UCL News


UCL economists warn of historic economic risks from Brexit

23 May 2016

47 economists from the UCL Department of Economics, ranked first in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, have added their voices to a warning that the economic costs of Brexit would be high.

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The 47 have together signed a statement now agreed to by over 200 other economists, which reads:

Focusing entirely on the economics, we consider that it would be a major mistake for the UK to leave the European Union.

Leaving would entail significant long-term costs. The size of these costs would depend on the amount of control the UK chooses to exercise over such matters as free movement of labour, and the associated penalty it would pay in terms of access to the single market. The numbers calculated by the LSE's Centre for Economic Performance, the OECD and the Treasury describe a plausible range for the scale of these costs.

The uncertainty over precisely what kind of relationship the UK would find itself in with the EU and the rest of the world would also weigh heavily for many years. In addition, there is a sizeable risk of a short-term shock to confidence if we were to see a Leave vote on June 23rd. The Bank of England has signalled this concern clearly, and we share it.

Head of Department, Professor Orazio Attanasio said: "These signatures confirm the breadth of the consensus among academic economists that Brexit would pose historic economic risks."

The 47 signatories are:

  • Professor Orazio Attanasio
  • Professor Sir Richard Blundell
  • Professor Antonio Cabrales
  • Professor Wendy Carlin
  • Professor Pedro Carneiro
  • Dr Parama Chaudhury
  • Professor Andrew Chesher
  • Dr Gabriella Conti
  • Professor Martin Cripps
  • Dr Wei Cui
  • Professor Mariacristina De Nardi
  • Professor Richard Disney
  • Professor Jan Eeckhout
  • Professor Eric French
  • Professor Raffaella Giacomini
  • Dr Liam Graham
  • Professor Antonio Guarino
  • Dr Hedvig Horvath 
  • Professor Steffen Huck
  • Professor Philippe Jehiel
  • Dr Cloda Jenkins
  • Professor Patrick Kehoe
  • Professor Dennis Kristensen
  • Professor Guy Laroque
  • Dr Valerie Lechene
  • Dr Attila Lindner
  • Dr Jeremy Lise
  • Professor Stephen Machin
  • Dr Konrad Mierendorff
  • Dr Lars Nesheim
  • Dr Aureo De Paula
  • Dr Malcolm Pemberton
  • Professor Fabien Postel-Vinay
  • Professor Ian Preston
  • Professor Imran Rasul
  • Professor Morten O. Ravn
  • Professor Jean-Marc Robin
  • Dr Adam Rosen
  • Professor Uta Schoenberg
  • Professor Vasiliki Skreta
  • Dr Christian Spielmann
  • Professor Stephen Smith
  • Dr Vincent Sterk
  • Dr Michela Tincani
  • Dr Marcos Vera-Hernandez
  • Dr Donald Verry
  • Dr Frank Witte