Exclusive: Labour members warn their leaders that the party’s Brexit plan would torpedo its manifesto.
In a letter sent to Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell on Tuesday, anti-Brexit campaigners in the Remain Labour group said that Labour’s updated Brexit policy would result in the UK losing around £24 billion a year over a decade.
This would force Jeremy Corbyn to ditch many of his anti-austerity spending promises, the letter said.
Economist Jonathan Portes said the letter was “a fairly good approximation of what Labour policy would deliver” if implemented.
Corbyn has vowed to support a Brexit deal which includes a permanent customs union, close links with the single market, and EU-level workplace and environmental rights.
However, he is under growing pressure to take a tougher stance against Brexit and back a new referendum.
LONDON — Jeremy Corbyn’s Brexit proposals would torpedo his spending plans and deprive an incoming Labour government of billions of pounds in lost revenue, anti-Brexit campaigners in the party have warned.
In a letter sent to Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell on Tuesday and shared with Business Insider, the Remain Labour group — which represents pro-European Labour activists nationwide and is backed by a cross-section of Labour MPs — warned that the party’s revised Brexit plan would hamstring a Labour government’s spending power.
Last week, party leader Corbyn wrote to Theresa May, urging her to accept Labour’s Brexit plan of a permanent customs union, close links with the single market, and EU-level workplace and environmental rights.
However, the letter sent today warned McDonnell that this sort of Brexit would lead to the UK losing an estimated £24 billion a year over a decade, citing London School of Economics (LSE) and Kings College London research.
“Labour’s plan set out in the letter to the Prime Minister would cost the economy £24billion per year and devastate Labour’s 2017 manifesto spending plans,” the Remain Labour group told McDonnell.
The letter — which has been sent to McDonnell and every other Labour MP — stressed that £24 billion a year is over half of the £44 billion annual increase in public spending promised in the party’s 2017 manifesto.
This economic damage would stifle a Labour government and force it to “ditch a wide range of anti-austerity policies that could include schools, welfare and pensions, childcare and the NHS,” Remain Labour said.
It would sink some of Corbyn’s most eye-catching manifesto promises, the letter added, pointing to the estimated £9 billion it would cost to abolish tuition fees and £4 billion for improvements to the welfare state.
Andrew Lewin, founder of the Remain Labour group, told BI: “This analysis must serve as an urgent wake up call. If the party leadership chooses to pursue a ‘Labour Brexit’, the outcome will be Labour austerity.
“Brexit in any form will damage our public services, cost jobs and hit hardest those who have least. We must change course, have the courage to back a People’s Vote and campaign to Remain in the EU.”
One academic behind the LSE and Kings research, Jonathan Portes, said the analysis sent …read more
Source:: Businessinsider – Politics