MORE than 20,000 people across Sussex face losing their jobs in a “no-deal” Brexit scenario, researchers at the University of Sussex have warned.

Dr Ilona Serwicka and Professor L Alan Winters work in the UK Trade Policy Observatory at the university.

And their research indicates 10,000 jobs risk being lost if the current Withdrawal Agreement is put in place.

They said most of the job losses would be in temporary employment agencies, finance, science and the media along with architects and translators with Crawley the hardest hit.

Their report said the impact would be most strongly felt in the South East because this region is the most heavily engaged in cross-border trade.

According to the research, £45.3 billion worth of goods were exported last year, with nearly a half of these exports destined for the EU.

Labour MP for Kemptown and Peacehaven Lloyd Russell-Moyle said: “Evidence is mounting up that there is no deal that would make Britain more prosperous.

“If we can’t mitigate the damage caused by Brexit then they must go back to the people.

“The damage to my constituents will be immeasurable across all sectors.”

The researchers said Brighton Pavilion constituency was also expected to be among those hit with large employment loses, with estimates of 1,600 people facing the prospect of losing their jobs.

Brighton Kemptown and Worthing West are also expected to lose a larger share of their total employment compared with others across Sussex and Hampshire.

Professor Winters said: “As constituency MPs in Sussex and Hampshire vote on the Withdrawal Agreement next month, they will have very difficult decisions to make knowing that the livelihoods of hundreds of their constituents will rest in their hands.”

But Henry Smith, Conservative MP for Crawley disputed the research.

He said: “This is a highly subjective report, indeed one of its authors is a former European Commission employee.

“Ahead of the Brexit referendum similar reports claimed a leave vote would result in an immediate economic crash.

“In fact the opposite has happened with record levels of employment and growth stronger that in the EU27.

“This seems like ‘project fear’ mark two.”

Caroline Lucas, the Green MP for Brighton Pavilion, said: "Any Brexit would be hugely damaging to people in Brighton and across the country - but a no-deal Brexit would be an unmitigated disaster.

"This isn't a game - people's livelihoods are at serious risk. Instead of threatening MPs with this nightmare scenario if we refuse to support her botched deal, the Prime Minister should put the public first. The Government must urgently rule out no deal and give the public a say over our future with a People's Vote on the Brexit deal."