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Brexit vote caused £26 billion annual loss to the UK economy, according to the Center for European Reform.

The British economy is 2.5 percent smaller today than if the U.K. had voted to remain in the European Union, according to the Center for European Reform, a think tank.

In a report published Sunday, the think tank said the U.K. suffered a £26 billion blow to the economy annually, equivalent to £500 million a week, without yet having formally left the bloc.

The weekly losses contrast the claims of Leave campaign, which promised a “Brexit dividend” whereby the U.K. will keep the payments it currently makes to the EU — notably an alleged weekly sum of £350 million, disputed by experts, that the campaign said would be diverted instead to the U.K.’s National Health Service.

The study noted that the U.K. is the slowest-growing advanced economy among its peers. “The U.K. has grown by 3.1 percent over that period [since 2016]. Compare that to the average of the 22 most advanced economies: 5.2 percent — which amounts to a 2.1 percent gap, not far away from our estimate of the cost of Brexit,” the report said.

Large companies like Airbus and BMW have warned of potential lay-offs and closures to operations if the U.K. leaves the EU without a deal. British Prime Minister Theresa May’s post-Brexit plan to effectively keep the U.K. in the EU’s single market for goods and agricultural products was rejected by the EU, and faces opposition from Brexiteer MPs in her own party.

Source: Politico

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