George Osborne warns of long-term effects

The consequences of Brexit could be “quite a lot worse” for the UK than independent economists have forecast, chancellor George Osborne has warned.

George Osborne warns of long-term effects

The IMF has warned Britain face a long-term hit to its national income of 5.6% if it failed to strike a deal to access the European single market on leaving the EU.

But Osborne said the economic outcome could be considerably more negative due to the unpredictable uncertainties triggered by Brexit.

And he warned wavering voters that there will be “no turning back” if they vote to leave on Thursday.

Meanwhile leading Brexit campaigner Michael Gove insisted the UK will be able to deal with “whatever the world throws at us” if there is a vote to leave the EU.

As campaigning resumedafter the murder on Thursday of Labour MP Jo Cox, Osborne told ITV1’s Peston On Sunday the UK would be “a lot poorer” outside the EU.

Asked if he feared the economic hit might be worse than that resulting from the 2008 recession, Osborne said: “The central estimate is that our GDP would be 5% to 6% smaller. Personally, I think it’s possible it could be quite a lot worse than that.

“You can’t predict the enormous uncertainty that exiting the EU means for Britain. The trade deals that are suddenly torn up, the fact that we have no product regulation in our country, that we’d have to write a whole load of new pieces of red tape through our parliament, the fact that Britain’s standing in the world would be diminished, the fact that there would be a flight from our currency.”

The Leave camp is relying on a “baseless assertion that somehow the country will have more money, when anyone with any credibility in this debate is saying we will have less money”, he said.

Gove told BBC1’s Andrew Marr Show, he rejected suggestions that a Leave vote represented a gamble for the UK, describing it as “an affirmation of faith and hope in Britain”. “I wouldn’t use the word gamble. Whether we vote to leave or remain there are risks to our future, there are challenges in the global economy,” said Gove.

“My view is that those challenges will be easier to meet, those risks will be less if we vote to leave because we will have control of the economic levers, we will have control over money we send to the European Union, we will have control over our own laws, and as a result we will be able to deal with whatever the world throws at us,”

“What it would be would be an affirmation of faith and hope in Britain. Britain would be taking its place alongside countries like Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and America as a self-governing democracy.

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