Brexit warning for Derby, says report

Derby could have one of the worst employment growth rates in the UK in the three months after the scheduled date for leaving the EU, according to a new report which raises concerns regarding Brexit’s impact on the East Midlands region.

The UK Powerhouse study by law firm Irwin Mitchell and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) says that Derby’s workforce will grow by just 0.4% in Q2 2019, making it one of the poorest performing cities in terms of employment.

Leicester and Nottingham are only expected to fare slightly better during the same period, while the latter is set to lead the way in terms of GVA growth in the region with a rate of 1.2%. In contrast, Derby’s GVA growth rate of 0.9% will mean it is also one of the worst-performing city economies.

Looking at the wider implications of Brexit, the report predicts that recent surges seen in car manufacturing will slow following the UK’s departure. It adds that this will impact on major automotive companies based in the Midlands and could create further issues for Rolls Royce in Derby, where jobs were cut earlier this year.

While the East Midlands had the highest rate of people migrating into the region in 2016, the report also warned that this could reverse if southern regions reliant on migrant labour look to employ workers from other areas to address the shortfall.

Victoria Brackett, chief executive of business legal Services at Irwin Mitchell, said: “This report has raised some clear concerns regarding what the future may hold for the East Midlands, but ultimately the overall impacts of Brexit in the long term prove difficult to measure without clear guidelines and a deal in place.

  Employment Level, Q2 2019 Growth (YoY)
Sunderland 135,400 0.6%
Ipswich 79,300 0.5%
Derby 135,200 0.4%
Norwich 134,700 0.3%
Swansea 116,100 0.2%
Doncaster 127,000 0.1%
Wolverhampton 117,200 0.1%
Stockport 118,700 0.0%
Wakefield 144,800 -0.2%
York 111,000 -0.5%


Bottom ten locations by employment, Q2 2019 – UK Powerhouse report

“The UK will be responsible for managing and securing its own trade deals and though there are clear opportunities, these will have to be balanced alongside the short term risks which will be realised shortly after the UK’s official departure.

“One thing that the last decade has taught us is that despite the hugely disruptive force of the financial crisis, the UK economy has been incredibly resilient. It is vital that we tackle the challenges head on and take advantage of the new opportunities that emerge.

“The UK is a global powerhouse and we need to stay positive and work together to ensure this remains to be the case.”