Economists are in near-complete agreement that a “hard Brexit”—in which the United Kingdom crashes out of the European Union with no withdrawal agreement in place—would wreak havoc on the British economy. Estimates from German think tank Bertelsmann Stiftung suggest that the aggregate damage to the U.K. from a hard Brexit would be more than that of every other EU member combined—hardly a strong position for Prime Minister Boris Johnson to be negotiating from. But some countries could come out ahead. If the U.K. has no trade deal in place with the EU, it will be forced to rely on hastily signed trade agreements with partners outside the single market, such as the United States. With the U.K. in a weakened position, those terms could be quite favorable.
Sources: Bertelsmann Stiftung, calculated with conversion rate of 1 euro = $1.12 USD.
A version of this article appears in the October 2019 issue of Fortune with the headline “Brexit: A Handful of Winners.”
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