AROUND 40,000 jobs in and around Glasgow are supported by exports to the European Union, research by a leading think-tank has revealed.

The research, by the University of Strathclyde’s Fraser of Allander Institute, has prompted Glasgow City Council leader Susan Aitken to voice concern over the impact of Brexit on a local economy “inextricably bound up” with the EU.

Fraser of Allander highlights not only the importance of exports to the EU for employment in the Glasgow City Region but also the impact of Brexit on companies in and around the city with complicated cross-border supply chains. It also flags the potential effect of leaving the bloc on overseas investment into Glasgow and surrounding areas.

The think-tank also highlights the impact of Brexit on higher and further education institutions in and around Glasgow with large numbers of EU students and staff, and on public services reliant on workers from elsewhere in the bloc to “help deliver the care and support that we depend upon”.

Summarising its findings, Fraser of Allander says: “Exports to the EU are estimated to support over 130,000 jobs in Scotland through direct demand and wider spillovers into the Scottish economy.

“Based upon an illustrative apportionment of such activity across Scotland’s regions, we estimate that the Glasgow City Region makes up around 40,000 of these jobs – with almost 20,000 jobs in Glasgow City alone.”

Fraser of Allander highlights the fact its estimates “suggest that services exports are particularly important for the Glasgow City Region, accounting for two-thirds of the jobs directly supported by EU demand in the region”.

Fraser of Allander Institute director Professor Graeme Roy noted the research covered the area of the Glasgow City Deal. This takes in the East Dunbartonshire, East Renfrewshire, Glasgow City, Inverclyde, North Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire, South Lanarkshire, and West Dunbartonshire council areas.

Glasgow City Council commissioned the research from Fraser of Allander ahead of a key Brexit summit being staged by the local authority tomorrow at the City Chambers. Speakers include University of Glasgow Principal Sir Anton Muscatelli, author of the Article 50 EU exit clause Lord John Kerr, and Mr Roy.

Ms Aitken said: “These figures show just how inextricably bound up our local economy is with the European Union. What’s concerning is that these are 40,000 posts dependent upon our relationship with countries within the European Union and these figures may be quite conservative if we’re talking about the full extent of the potential Brexit impact.”

She added: “They don’t take into account the potential exodus of people from within the EU working within key sectors, further and higher education, supply chains, travel and tourism industries, and other, less tangible sectors. When we do expand it out we can see the sheer scale of the potential impact on to the Glasgow City Region.”

HeraldScotland: Fraser of Allander director Professor Graeme Roy

Mr Roy noted Fraser of Allander’s estimates highlighted the magnitude and relative importance of EU demand to the economy in and around Glasgow.

He said: “What we are saying is this is the amount of demand you can track back to the EU in Scotland and this is Glasgow’s share of it.”

Mr Roy added: “What we are not saying is these jobs are going to go under Brexit. We are not saying overnight 40,000 jobs are going to be lost in Glasgow because of Brexit - it is just simply the demand it [the rest of the EU] is supporting.”

He highlighted the danger of a no-deal exit next March without a transition period.

Glasgow City Council’s summit takes place less than six months before the Brexit date of March 29, 2019.

Ms Aitken said: “We’ve still no idea what any deal may look like or, indeed, if we’re removed [from] the EU without a deal. It’s crucial our city, its economy and the frontline services we deliver within local government are Brexit-ready.

“We have now moved on from discussions about the impact of regulatory non-alignment and a talent exodus on the city economy to whether, in the event of a no-deal Brexit, we have enough food to feed the children in our schools and fuel to complete the cleansing runs. These are the stark realities facing the services local government delivers as we are driven off the cliff-edge.”

Ms Aitken added: “The summit will serve as an opportunity for stakeholders from across the business, academic, public policy and political communities, as well as civic society, to meet and discuss the implications of leaving the European Union for Glasgow.”