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Crash us out of the EU without a deal at the end of 2020, and Johnson will create a tidal wave of debt

December 3, 2019 1:00 PM

Tory no deal Brexit would increase national debt by £220 billion say Lib Dems

Certainty of a Free Trade Deal with EU by December 2020 is Zero, say The Institute for Government stopbrexit

Crashing out of the EU would cause the national debt to rise by over £220 billion over the next five years, analysis of figures published by the IFS (Institute for Fiscal Studies) have revealed.

The Brexit black hole would be equivalent to an extra £8,000 of debt per household and would be equivalent to this year's government budget for Health, Social Care, Schools and Local Government combined. It would be also larger than the entire annual GDP of Finland.

Despite claiming on Andrew Marr that a Conservative Government wouldn't rack up national debt, the analysis shows that that if Boris Johnson goes through with his Brexit plan and ends up crashing the UK out of the EU in December 2020, the resulting economic hit would make national debt £221 billion larger than under Liberal Democrat economic plans. Managing the extra burden would risk yet more public services being cut to get debt under control.

Boris Johnson has said that if he wins a majority, he will seek a Free Trade Agreement with the EU but will not extend the deadline for securing a deal past December 2020. The Institute for Government has described the certainty around securing a deal within this time-frame as "zero".

The Liberal Democrats, on the other hand, would stop Brexit and keep debt falling. The IFS has said of the Liberal Democrats that "they are now the only major party committed to reducing the national debt as a fraction of national income, a goal now abandoned by both Labour and the Conservatives."

Ed Davey MPCommenting, Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader and Shadow Chancellor Ed Davey said:

"If Boris Johnson gets his way and crashes us out of the EU without a deal at the end of 2020, he will create a tidal wave of debt that would jeopardise funding for our schools, hospitals and vital public services. The £221 billion Brexit black hole in the budget would be equivalent to £8,000 of debt for every household in the UK.

"It was already clear that Boris Johnson's Brexit deal was yet another con, but these figures show what is ultimately at stake. Only a vote for the Liberal Democrats can stop Boris Johnson, stop Brexit and allow us to invest the £50 billion Remain Bonus in our public services."


2019 LD PLAN (LIB DEMs .org)


According to IFS analysis of party manifestos, under a Conservative no-deal Brexit, Public Sector Net Debt (PSND) would rise to roughly 80% of GDP by 2023-24, whereas under Liberal Democrat plans it would fall to nearly 70% by the same year.

In the IFS model the two scenarios are calculated as a share of mid-year GDP. Different GDP baselines are applied to the two scenarios to reflect the parties' different policies in the run-up to 2023-24. This includes a boost to GDP under Lib Dem plans thanks to the Remain Bonus.

According to the above model, Public Sector Net Debt would rise to £2,106 Billion by 2023-24 under a Conservative no-deal Brexit happening in December 2020. This is £164 billion more than currently predicted and £221 billion more than it would be under Liberal Democrat plans in 2023-24.