A “hard” Brexit could cost the average Aberdonian as much as £2,300 a year, according to a new report.
The findings, released by the London School of Economics Centre for Economic Performance, claims Aberdeen will be the second worst affected area in the UK.
The research by the LSE’s Nikhil Datta said a “soft” Norway-style Brexit, where the UK remained in the European single market, would result in annual economic growth being 2.1% lower in Aberdeen over the next 10 years – around £1,300 per head of population.
A “hard” Brexit, where the UK leaves without a trade deal, would mean growth being 3.7% lower over the period – the equivalent of £2,300 a person, the academic has claimed.
Mr Datta said the model is based on analysing different trade sectors around the UK and its trading partners.
But his research also looks at changes in trade costs, including both business tariffs and customs costs.
The research finds Aberdeen is likely to be hit so hard due to its large employment shares of people within what it describes as the mining and quarrying sector, which employs around 14.3% of the population, and the sector that deals with the renting of machinery and equipment and other business services – with around 21.3% of the population working within it.
Mr Datta said: “The workers employed in those sectors in turn will be hit the hardest.
“While that may just affect those individuals, you obviously then get a knock-on effect.”
Aberdeen South MP Ross Thomson, who supported the Brexit vote, said his constituents would “not be out of pocket” under Brexit, adding there was “too much scaremongering” around the numbers.
He added: “In terms of how they add things up, I’m not saying they’re wrong, but we need to be mindful of the predictions made in the run up to June 2016 (when the EU referendum took place).
“Not a single one has come to pass and none of them again are taking into account the very free trade deal the Prime Minister is trying to achieve in Europe.
“We have to take these numbers for what they are. They are the equivalent of looking into a magic eight ball.”
Mr Thomson added cities such as Aberdeen are “best placed” to seize on “opportunities” offered by Brexit.
He said: “Aberdeen is not in any way dependent on the EU because it is global in its outlook and it has been since it became the energy capital of Europe and I know there are businesses right across the city who are looking, not just to Europe, but to growing markets in South and South East Asia, Africa and the Gulf of Mexico.”
But Mr Datta argued that economies trade more with their closest neighbours, adding that the EU is a large trading partner with a Gross Domestic Product of around £23 trillion.
He added: “Whenever we have got these estimates, they are estimates but the main point is when you look at any of the modelling, whether it’s ours or the Treasury’s, all of them are negative.”
Kirsty Blackman, SNP MP for Aberdeen North, said: “Time and time again the extreme Brexiteers dragging us off a cliff edge out of the EU are confronted with expert studies that show Aberdeen will be the worst or second worst affected city as a result of Brexit.
“A loss of up to £2,300 a year is simply unaffordable for most people, but the Tories refuse to take these damaging consequences seriously, and instead continue to fail to put any measures in place to prevent the losses.”