East Anglia struggling to retain EU workers

A report outlining the potential impact of Brexit in Norfolk and Suffolk counties has warned against the possible consequences which leaving the EU will have on the two counties. Commissioned by New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), with Norfolk and Suffolk County Councils, the report looked at key points of focus for the area’s economy, identifying both challenges and possible opportunities for local economies.

The report suggested Norfolk and Suffolk may get hit hard by Brexit. Manufacturing, agriculture, construction and other industries provide many jobs in the area. In these counties, attracting and retaining EU workers will be an important factor for the area’s post Brexit economy. This is because, within these industries, UK nationals make up less of the workforce. In addition to job-related concerns, funding and foreign investment were noted as key focuses for the area.

This means that grants provided by the EU for three local area wind farms would, presumably, need to find alternate funding. But not all parties are voicing negativity.

The government maintains that after Brexit, the UK will have a “bold and ambitious economic partnership” with the European Union. Similarly positive, the LEP report also suggested Brexit might provide a potential opportunity for the UK to streamline regulations and may provide opportunity for businesses to explore previously untapped markets.

While the LEP report suggested an attempt to understand, and prepare for, the realities of leaving the EU, very little is certain until the terms of the separation are negotiated. At present, this report does well to highlight potential risks and opportunities but ultimately, the situation still ends with a question mark.


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May 2022
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