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City region has ‘a lot of cards to play whatever happens with Brexit’

The Liverpool City Region has ‘a lot of strong cards to play’ to help itself in the wake of Brexit as negotiations get underway in Brussels today (19 June).

That’s according to Gary Cook, professor of economics at the University of Liverpool, who was speaking at a recent Move Commercial event.

Professor Cook believes the city region has plenty of assets and positives which can help it continue to thrive as the UK prepares to leave the EU.

Despite this, he offered some sobering insight into the effects a bad Brexit deal could have on the UK economy as a whole.

He said: “In a very optimistic picture, a soft Brexit will cost us around £20 billion a year as economy – that’s if everything goes swimmingly.

“However, if we get a really bad deal – the cost will in the end start to mount up to something like £120/130 billion a year – which is about the size of the NHS budget.”

Asif Hamid, chair of the Liverpool City Region LEP, who joined Cook on the panel alongside other leading figures from the region’s property and business community, added: “There is a demand out there for a softer Brexit and I think businesses want certainty and I tend to agree that the instability doesn’t help the markets.

“We have to capitalise as a city region. We’ve got to rise our head above Brexit and say ‘how can we make the most of this?’

“I agree that we should be looking to get behind the Metro Mayor and the devolution agenda to do this.”