The European Commissions statistics office, Eurostat, today announced it will create new figures for its most important data excluding the UK ahead of Brexit.
With less than a year to go until the UK leaves the EU, Eurostat said it will publish numbers for the EU28 without the UK for indicators like GDP, unemployment, and population.
The decision has come in response to “a strong demand for such data from institutional users as well as the general public”, Eurostat said.
Eurostat, which was first founded in 1953 to service the EUs forerunner, the Coal and Steel Community, will still produce an “EU28” measure, but will add an “EU27_2019” measure alongside it.
To add further confusion, Eurostat will still create an “EU27” measure, which will refer to the EU with the UK as a member before the addition of Croatia to the bloc in 2013.
The UK will leave the EU on 29 March 2019 at 11pm, the first time during the history of the union that its size has reduced.
Peter Dixon, senior economist at Commerzbank, said the decision is “symbolic, but it is another of the small signposts signalling a loosening of the ties between the UK and the rest of the EU” and highlighting the issue of contributions to the EU budget.
The shortfall will have to be made up by other nation states, a serious concern given the UKs status as a net financial contributor.
Dixon added the move will “illustrate the economic importance of each for the other”, diminishing the nominal size of the EU economy by almost 13 per cent. The UKs output was €585bn (£510bn) in the fourth quarter of 2017, compared to overall EU GDP of €3.9 trillion, according to Eurostat.
The move will also narrow the gap between the aggregate stats from the 19 Eurozone nations and the rest of the EU with the removal of the largest non-Eurozone member from the EU.