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No-deal Brexit could cost 26,000 jobs in Belgium
A no-deal Brexit could threaten 26,000 jobs in Belgium, new research from the Walloon statistics institute Iweps has found.
Flanders would be the worst-affected Belgian region if the United Kingdom leaves the European Union without reaching an agreement on the terms of the divorce.
According to Iweps, 72,000 jobs in Flanders depend on Belgian exports to the United Kingdom and 21,000 could be lost - 0.8% of all employment in the region.
In Wallonia, 20,000 jobs depend on Belgium-UK trade and the potential job loss was estimated at 5,000 (0.4% of all employment).
The Iweps study said some of the difference between Flanders and Wallonia could be explained by the type of product each region exports to the UK. One of Wallonia's biggest exports is pharmaceutical products, which would attract relatively low trade tariffs, while Flanders' food produce and technology would suffer higher tariffs.
The report notes: "A decline in UK demand would also impact many other European countries, key trading partners of Belgium. France, for example, would be notably affected. The economic impact for Belgium would therefore be greater than what we estimate via the single channel of direct trade relations between Belgium and the United Kingdom."
British prime minister Theresa May addressed EU leaders in Brussels on Wednesday night ahead of a dinner where the EU27 discussed the Brexit negotiations. Read what EU journalists in Brussels think about the Brexit story here...
Photo: Thierry Roge/Belga