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No-deal Brexit could cost jobs in Denmark: minister

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No-deal Brexit could cost jobs in Denmark: minister
Minister for Economy and the Interior Simon Emil Ammitzbøll-Bille. File photo: Liselotte Sabroe/Ritzau Scanpix)
12:06 CET+01:00
Jobs in Denmark could suffer in the short term if the United Kingdom leaves the European Union next year without a deal for withdrawal, according to Minister for Economy and the Interior Simon Emil Ammitzbøll-Bille.

Just under 60,000 people in Denmark or two percent of the working population have jobs directly or indirectly connected to Denmark's exports to the UK, Ammitzbøll-Bille said.

A no-deal Brexit on March 29th next year therefore puts Danish jobs at risk, according to the minister.

“Employment could be affected in the short term if no-deal Brexit becomes reality,” he said to news agency Ritzau.

“Up to 60,000 jobs are dependent on the UK as an export market. So it could impact a lot of people,” he added.

But Danish businesses would recover in the longer term, Ammitzbøll-Bille, an MP with the libertarian Liberal Alliance party, said.

“Analysis shows that, in the longer run, Danish companies will find new export markets, so it will be possible to maintain current employment levels in the long term,” he said.

On Monday, British prime minister Theresa May postponed a vote in the UK parliament over the draft Brexit deal agreed with the EU last month.

May told parliament that the vote had been postponed because there is not enough support for the current backstop solution to avoid a hard border in Ireland.

She said she will go back to the EU to improve on the deal, especially with regard to the backstop. Citizens' rights groups in Europe have expressed anger that the vote was postponed.

European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker tweeted that there will be no further negotiation on the deal but that “further clarifications” are possible.

A withdrawal agreement between the UK and EU is likely to provide better short-term prospects for jobs in Denmark, but the overall impact will vary from industry to industry, Ammitzbøll-Bille said.

“In Denmark, the food industry in particular exports to the UK and is very sensitive to a no-deal Brexit,” he told Ritzau.

“That's why Denmark has worked hard for an agreement to be reached between the EU and the UK,” he added.

Both the IMF and Nordic economic consultants Copenhagen Economics have estimated that no-deal Brexit could shrink Denmark's GDP by as much as one percent in the long term.

READ ALSO: RECAP: Brits in Europe vent anger after May postpones Brexit vote

 
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