Labour MPs urged to reject 'Brexit bribe' from May

Prime Minister Theresa May reacts during a press conference at 10 Downing Street. Photograph: Matt Dunham/PA.

Prime Minister Theresa May reacts during a press conference at 10 Downing Street. Photograph: Matt Dunham/PA.

PA Wire/PA Images

The economic impact of Brexit will outweigh the benefits of any public spending "bribe" offered to Labour MPs for backing Theresa May's deal, according to new analysis.

Research indicates losses of £1.1 billion a year within a decade of Brexit for 36 constituencies represented by Labour MPs thought to be targeted by Number 10.

According to Treasury figures and research by the London School of Economics, the potential impacts include £970 million in lost economic output, £30.5 million in EU structural funds and £88 million in agricultural subsidy.

Labour MP Anna Turley, a supporter of the People’s Vote campaign, said: “These figures show any Labour MP thinking of accepting what is, in effect, a government Brexit bribe for their constituency should think again.

“Brexit has always been a project of the right, for the right, by the right. The same ideology that has impoverished seats like mine in Redcar - stripping away our industrial base and shrivelling funding for local government - is now driving plans to leave the European Union.

“The cost of this Brexit deal to individual constituencies will run into tens of millions of pounds every year.

“Any temporary funding designed to sway Parliamentary votes for this Tory government not only threatens the integrity of MPs who take it but also threatens the living standards or life chances of both their constituents and mine.”

Downing Street has hinted at additional financial support for former industrial communities as part of a programme of “national renewal” following Brexit.

“We are determined to lead a programme of national renewal post-Brexit by rebuilding and reconnecting communities, driving prosperity and unleashing the potential and creativity of hard-working people in every part of our country,” the prime minister’s spokesman said.

But asked if the funding was “cash for votes”, the spokesman said: “I absolutely wouldn’t characterise it like that.”

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