Brexit will have twice the impact on the northern economy compared to the south, says thinktank

Brexit will have double the impact on the north of England compared to the south, according to new research.

Thinktank IPPR North, which published the report, said leaving the European Union will have a “major and long-lasting” effect on the northern economy, with many of its services relying heavily on European grants and consumers.

It found that the EU was responsible for 10.2 per cent of the north’s gross domestic product (GDP), compared to just 7.2 per cent in London.

The report added that Cumbria and surrounding regions will be most affected, as 13.2 per cent of its GDP is reliant on the EU.

It suggested that many northern regions were 50 to 60 per cent more dependent on trade with the European Union, meaning they are more susceptible to major shifts in the economy.

Luke Raikes, a senior researcher at the think tank, said it will be up to “Generation Z” – those aged 22 to 37 – to “unlock northern potential” after Brexit.

The report found that, in the decade after leaving the EU, Generation Z will make up over two-thirds of the north’s working population and would face a huge number of challenges.

“Climate change is likely to have severe effects, robots and automation could threaten their job opportunities, and they will have to pay for the care of older people who will live much longer than ever before,” said Mr Raikes.

“They didn’t cause these problems but they will have to find the solutions.”