A study by the International Monetary Fund has concluded that the UK will be hit harder by Brexit than the European Union, as Freight industry leaders urge forwarders and shippers to prepare for a hard Brexit.

Of the remaining EU members, Ireland is likely to be hardest hit after Brexit because it has the biggest exposure to the UK economy.

The Netherlands and Belgium are also likely to suffer disproportionally, while countries such as Germany will also be affected because of their strong supply chains links.

The UK Road Haulage Association (RHA) has slammed MPs claiming “no deal is better than a bad deal”, suggesting some foods we take for granted could become “luxuries”.

More than 140,000 UK business only trade with EU countries and the message to them is it is important to ‘know your data’, and to establish commodity codes for your products.

The IMF study entitled “Long-term impact of Brexit on the EU” found that overall the long-term impact on output and employment would be lower for the EU27 that for the UK.

In the case of a hard Brexit EU27 long-term output is forecast to fall by up to 1.5%, while long-term employment is forecast to fall by 0.7% – more than a million jobs. These figures would be lower for a soft Brexit.

However, it found that Ireland would see long-term decline in output of up to 4% as a result of a hard Brexit – similar to the UK.

Even a soft Brexit would result in a 2.5% decline – again similar to the UK.

While Britain and the EU agreed the outlines of a transition plan in March to largely preserve the status quo until the end of 2020, this deal has not been ratified and risks falling apart if there is no agreement on longer-term goals.

“The strength of the euro area-UK integration implies that there would be no Brexit winners,” the IMF said.

We will continue to share thoughts and recommendations to keep our customers aware of solutions and contingencies to keep their supply chains moving as seamlessly as possible