Turkey could lose $3 billion from hard Brexit, minister says

Turkish Trade minister Ruhsar Pekcan said on Wednesday his country would lose almost $3 billion of exports to Britain if London goes through with a hard exit from the European Union, state-run Anadolu Agency reported.

Exports of automotives, textiles and appliances face the biggest risk if Britain ultimately leaves the bloc without trade arrangements, effectively wiping out most of the country’s $3.7 billion (£2.8 billion) trade surplus with Britain, if there is a so-called hard, or no-deal Brexit.

“We expect that the most affected sectors will be automotive by a trade loss worth up to $1.2 billion, textile with $1.3 billion and electronic and white goods by $500 million,” Anadolu quoted Pekcan as saying during a speech at the U.K.-Turkey Business Forum in Istanbul.

With a possible no-deal Brexit, Turkey would lose access to its second-largest export market and exports are vital to Turkey's economy as it still tries to find its way back from recession after last year's currency crisis. 

Britain’s departure from the bloc without a replacement trade deal would mean that Turkey, covered by the EU’s customs union, would lose open access to the British market.

“It seems that Brexit under a deal would be okay, but a no-deal Brexit will leave the Turkish businesses in a difficult position,” Pekcan said.

Besides, the Turkish minister said that Ankara was willing to increase cooperation in sectors such as information technology, software, blockchain, big data and artificial intelligence, according to Anadolu.

Britain and the EU agreed in April to delay Brexit until Oct. 31. All options, including the hard Brexit, are still open.