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Connections are crucial to the success of any business. Visit our latest news to keep up to date with the latest business news from across the region.

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Brexit Facts & Stats - leaving the single market and customs union

Brexit Facts Versus Fear

Here you will find Brexit facts and stats, the region’s relationship with the EU and research on businesses views on key aspects of Brexit.

This information was prepared in consultation with support from the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce Brexit Advisory Group.

 


Key Statistics

 

308,000
EU CITIZENS LIVING IN THE WEST MIDLANDS
91,000
EU Citizens living in Greater Birmingham
44%
of goods exported from the West Mids go to the EU
62%
of goods imported into the West Mids come from the EU

Brexit: How Are Businesses Responding?

Each month, we are releasing a new report analysing the latest intelligence on how businesses are responding to and impacted by Brexit.

Brexit: How Are Businesses Responding? combines data collected via the Business Brexit Health Check (a free online tool for businesses) with insight from Chamber surveys and anonymised business case studies.

It is produced by the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce on behalf of the West Midlands Combined Authority, Black Country Chamber of Commerce and Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce.


Your Brexit Guide

This quick fire signposting guide is aimed at public & third sector individuals who engage with businesses on a regular basis (from business support to trading standards, economic development to procurement and beyond). It aims to equip readers with enough knowledge to navigate and signpost to the local Brexit business support environment and help make sure local businesses are receiving the support they need, when they need it.

 This guide is part of a series of activity on Brexit readiness activity being undertaken by the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce in partnership with the West Midlands Combined Authority.


Among businesses in the West Midlands:

 

Single Market

47% believe the UK should aim to stay in both the Single Market and the Customs Union

WTO Rules

Just 4% believe that UK should aim for WTO Rules or a “No Deal” Brexit

Tariffs

43% identify tariffs as a significant barrier to international trade

EU Workers

38% believe restrictions on the rights of EU nationals to work in the UK would have a negative impact on their business

Transition

43% businesses support a Brexit transition period of three years

Export Growth

41% plan to start or grow exports to Western Europe over the next 3 years

Export Strategy

35% cite Brexit as a top factor influencing their export strategy

EU Trade

23% only import or export from countries inside the European Union


 

Brexit and Greater Birmingham: SWOT Analysis

The Birmingham city-region and wider West Midlands are home to many strengths and potential opportunities to exploit. However, Brexit throws into sharp relief some of the region’s weaknesses and potential threats on the horizon:


Growing economy

In 2017 Birmingham’s GVA figure was £28.1bn with a growth rate of 3.6%, matching the national average1

Attractive to Investors

More foreign businesses invested in the West Midlands in 2016-17 than anywhere outside London and the South East2

Excellent Transport Links

Half the UK’s population lies within two hours and 90% within a four-hour travel time of the Greater Birmingham city-region with 140 routes worldwide accessible via Birmingham Airport3

Confident Businesses

62% Greater Birmingham businesses are confident that their profitability will improve in the next 12 months4

Diverse industry base

The Greater Birmingham region houses 4,000 advanced engineering firms and accounts for 42% of the UK’s automotive Research & Development5. Manufacturing accounts for 11% of jobs which remains one of the highest percentages for any region in the country6. Birmingham is only one of four cities that employ over 9,000 insurance professionals and 10,000 in the banking sector7. The region also contains more medical technology firms than any other in the UK8, the largest number of start-ups outside the capital and has a thriving wholesale and retail trade sector9

Skills

The West Midlands region has an above UK average rate of unemployment (5.2%) and proportion of the population with low or no qualifications (10.4%). Birmingham’s is higher still at 6.4% and 12.6% respectively 10

Productivity

GVA per hour worked in the West Midlands region is almost 12% below the UK average11

Global population

The West Midlands region is home to 203,000 citizens from outside the EU12. In Birmingham alone, 108 different languages are spoken13

Room to grow exports

Less than one third of companies in Greater Birmingham currently export their goods or services14

Host City & Region

Post-Brexit, the Government will need to create, and decide where to locate, new UK focused agencies to replace the EU agencies whose jurisdiction the UK will no longer fall under. Many businesses based in London and the South East may also look to relocate parts of their business to reduce their cost base.

FUTURE FOR EU CITIZENS

There are 308,000 EU Citizens currently living in the West Midlands region and 91,000 across the Greater Birmingham area (Birmingham, Burton, Chase, Lichfield, Tamworth, Solihull and Sutton Coldfield) . The West Midlands’ 10 universities attract over 8,000 EU students each year and employ approximately 5,000 academics who are EU citizens16. The details of the UK’s post-Brexit approach to immigration remain unknown.

Future of EU funding

The EU budget for 2014-2020 allocated funding of £765 million for the West Midlands from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and European Social Fund (ESF) alone with £213.5 million allocated to Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP . Over the last three years, universities in the West Midlands have received over £100m in EU funding for research18.

Future of Trade with the EU

44% of exports of goods from the West Midlands go to the EU. The region’s higher than average reliance on the manufacturing sector and automotive manufacturing in particular make it even more reliant on trade than other areas. The West Midlands also has one of the highest share of goods imports coming from the EU (62%) only the East, South East and Northern Ireland have a higher proportion .

  • 1 Birmingham City Council – Economic Research and Policy – Birmingham Update, April 2017, p. 2
  • 2 Department for International Trade – Inward Investment Results 2016-17, July 2017, p.5
  • 3 Business Birmingham – Reasons to Invest – Current Connectivity, July 2017
  • 4 GBCC Quarterly Business Report for Q4 2017
  • 5 Business Birmingham: Greater Birmingham – Advanced Engineering – Making it Happen Brochure 2016
  • 6 ONS Regional Labour Market Statistics, March 2017
  • 7 Business Birmingham : Greater Birmingham, Business Professional and Financial Services, Making It Happen Brochure, 2016
  • 8 Business Birmingham, Life Sciences in Greater Birmingham [webpage: accessed August 2017]
  • 9 ONS Regional Labour Market Statistics, March 2017
  • 10 Birmingham City Council, Unemployment Briefing July 2017, p.6
  • 11 ONS – Regional and Subregional Productivity in the UK, January 2017
  • 12 ONS – Population in the United Kingdom by Country of Birth and Nationality, 2015
  • 13 Birmingham City Council – Changing Times- The Future of Education in Birmingham, September 2017, p.11
  • 14 GBCC Quarterly Business Report for Q4 2017
  • 15 ONS – Population in the United Kingdom by Country of Birth and Nationality, 2015
  • 16 University of Birmingham, Chancellor Sir David Eastwood, Press Release, 26th April 2017
  • 17 Philip Bradborne OBE, MEP for the West Midlands, Press Release, 25th November 2013
  • 18 University of Birmingham, Chancellor Sir David Eastwood, Press Release, 26th April 2017
  • 19 HMRC, Regional Trade Statistics, June 2017

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