Ipsos MORI conducted an online survey of members of the Royal Economic Society (and the Society of Business Economists) on behalf of the Observer last week. The RES agreed to contact its members to offer them the opportunity to give their professional opinions on the likely effect of Britain leaving the EU and the single market on a variety of economic indicators, including real GDP and unemployment. The Society made it clear in the accompanying emails that it does not and will not take a position on Brexit and the results therefore represent only the views of the individuals who opted to take part in the survey.
Of the 639 economists who responded to the poll:
- 72% thought it the most likely outcome would be a negative impact on UK real GDP over the next 10 to 20 years, if the UK left the EU and the single market. This compares with 11% who thought that a positive impact on real GDP would be the most likely outcome.
- 88% thought it most likely that real GDP would be negatively impacted in the next 5 years, if the UK left the EU and the single market. 4% thought GDP would be positively impacted over the same time period and the 7% thought GDP would be broadly unaffected.
- Of those stating that a negative impact on GDP in the next 5 years would be most likely, a majority cited loss of access to the single market (67%) and increased uncertainty leading to reduced investment (66%).
- 73% of respondents thought that real household incomes in the UK would be lower over the next 10 to 20 years, if the UK left the EU and the single market. This compares with 10% who thought that incomes would rise and 13% who thought that incomes would be broadly unaffected.
- Opinions on the longer term effects on unemployment were more mixed. 45% thought that the UK unemployment rate would be higher over the next 10 to 20 years if the UK left the EU and the single market. However, 33% of respondents felt that the unemployment rate would be broadly unaffected and 17% thought the unemployment rate would be lower.
- 68% of respondents thought that the UK leaving the EU and the single market would increase the risk of the economy experiencing a serious negative shock. 22% thought it would make no difference and 8% thought it would reduce the risk.
Reported figures are based on unweighted data and so should only be taken as representative of those who responded. Overall 3,818 invitations were sent out, with a response rate of approximately 17%.
Further details on the Ipsos Mori poll can be found here.