Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

U.K. Growth to Slump Even If Brexit Changes Nothing, EU Says

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U.K. economic growth will drop to the slowest since 2009 in the year Britain is due to leave the European Union, even if its trading relationship with the bloc remains completely unchanged.

That’s the latest forecast from the European Commission, which expects the British economy to expand 1.5 percent this year, 1.3 percent in 2018 and 1.1 percent in 2019. Those rates would put the nation in the bottom two for growth among European Union nations each year, with the U.K. projected to post its worst performance since the aftermath of the financial crisis.

Britain is also forecast to be at the bottom of the pile for investment growth for the next two years, dropping to 0.7 percent in 2018. It is set to leave the EU in March 2019, with or without a deal.

New ForecastPrevious Forecast (May)
20171.5%1.8%
20181.3%1.3%
20191.1%N/A

In a report Thursday, the European Commission said:

“Given the ongoing negotiation on the terms of the U.K. withdrawal from the EU, our projections for 2019 are based on a purely technical assumption of status quo in terms of trading relations between the EU27 and the U.K. This is for forecasting purposes only and has no bearing on the talks under way in the context of the Article 50 process.”

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