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Brexit round-up: Hard Brexit could cost £66 billion a year

Theresa May said last week that the government would trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty no later than March 2017. 

As negotiations continue for the UK to leave the EU, European Council President Donald Tusk said that the only alternative to a ‘hard Brexit’ is ‘no Brexit’.

Here is a round-up of the top Brexit-related stories.

Hard Brexit could cost £66 billion a year

Cabinet ministers have been warned that going for a ‘hard Brexit’ could cost the Treasury £66 billion a year.

The document, which is based on a study in April, states that Brexit could cause GDP to fall by 9.5% compared to staying in the EU.

Speaking in Brussels, Tusk warned that there would be no compromise on the fact that the freedom of movement will be a condition for the UK’s access to the single market.

Mixed economic growth

The manufacturing sector enjoyed domestic growth and export sales following the EU referendum, according to the British Chambers of Commerce (BBC) quarterly survey.

However, domestic growth and sales in the services sector were at the lowest level since 2012.

Uncertainty following the referendum has led to businesses lowering expectations for hiring, training and investment.

Adam Marshall, director general of BCC, said:

“Firms are concerned over investment, hiring, and profitability. The chancellor's Autumn Statement is a crucial opportunity to incentivise business investment and overseas trade.”

Guaranteed funding for EU students

EU students applying for universities or further education in the UK for 2017/18 will be eligible for loans and grants for the duration of their course, even if the UK leaves the EU during that period.

This follows from the government’s announcement in June after the EU referendum, including immediate guarantees of funding and support for students currently studying or applying for 2016/17 academic year. 

Universities minister, Jo Johnson, said:

“This latest assurance that students applying to study next year will not only be eligible to apply for student funding under current terms, but […] will provide important stability for both universities and students.”

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