EU exit would damage wages, says new research

New research has found that Brexit could cause a pay cut across the country – and especially in London.

The number crunching, conducted by Frontier Economics for London First, shows that:

  • Of the average wage increases that British workers have enjoyed in the past 30 years, 29 per cent of that is down to EU membership (according to a central estimate)
  • EU membership has increased average UK salaries by £1,800
  • In London, the average increase in salaries £3,100
  • EU membership has made UK workers more productive: approximately a quarter of productively growth in the UK economy is associated with the trade-creating effects of EU members.

The research suggests that Brexit would hit London harder than the rest of the country, because the capital is the most reliant part of the country on international trade.

Will Higham, Campaign Director at London First, said:
“Our EU membership has helped Britain makes a real difference to the size of people’s pay packets. Throwing away our EU membership could harm exporters and would certainly make us a less attractive to global companies seeking to invest in London. This would have a worrying knock-on effect on the rest of the country and there would be an inevitable downward effect on salaries.”

Sir Michael Rake, one of Britain’s most notable business figures, said:
“There is simply no business case for leaving the EU. It would create years of uncertainty, curb exports and hinder businesses’ ability to create better paid jobs. This new research shows clearly that British workers will have better job opportunities if they vote to remain part of Europe.”

Naomi Smith, Europe Director at London First, said:
“London is the business capital of Europe, acting as a magnet not just for finance but also as a place where global businesses want to locate their European headquarters. Brexit would inevitably see our continental competitors grab a bigger slice of the cake – and harm the country’s ability to generate new jobs and better wages.”