Letter: May's 'Brexit Dividend' claims are a leaf out of the Boris and Trump playbook
PUBLISHED: 07:00 23 June 2018 | UPDATED: 20:24 23 June 2018
Theresa May plainly took notice of Boris Johnson's desire to see what Brexit would look like if it was negotiated by Donald Trump.
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In the last few days she has moved from hapless jargon-spouting bureaucrat to brazen liar.
She has lied to Dominic Grieve and the rebels and lied that extra money for the NHS will come from a ‘Brexit dividend’ which she has no way of predicting.
She also lies when she says parliament is accountable to the government. The opposite is true. Parliament is sovereign and Mrs May knows it.
How long before she starts talking about her huge landslide at the last general election?
The ‘Brexit dividend’ is actually a Brexit deficit because the benefits of our EU membership will evaporate when we stop contributing to the budget.
In fact, these losses are already happening, even before we have actually left the EU: our economy has started under-performing, and Mark Carney estimates our losses this year at between £20bn and £40bn, more than Mrs May has promised the NHS.
Don’t get me wrong: of course I would be delighted if the NHS received more money. But our PM should not taint this welcome move by associating it with Bo Jo’s infamous lie and compounding it with one of her own.
Telling that while Jeremy Hunt defended the phantom Brexit dividend, Mrs May’s chancellor was suitably camouflaged and nowhere to be seen or heard.
This government proposal is fantasy politics.
Our economy is facing serious bad news in the short-term because of Brexit.
In the long-term it may be better, but as John Maynard Keynes said, “In the long-term, we’re dead.”
The UK will continue to pay into the EU through the transition until the end of 2020, and will pay £20 billion of the “divorce bill” through to 2028. In addition, the UK government has committed to keep EU funding for agricultural subsidies, research and development and other key areas at the same level in the short-term.
These are set figures so it will be at least 10 years before any so-called ‘Brexit dividend’, if it were ever to materialise, is to be realised.
Add to that, if the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) forecasts are accurate, the public finances are set to be £15 billion a year worse off by 2021, equivalent to £300 million a week.
The prime minister announces that the increase in spending on the NHS will be funded to a large extent by the Brexit dividend. This is contrary to everything we know has been said previously by the Institute of Fiscal Studies and the Office of Budget Responsibility.
But then, what would they know? They are only the much-despised economic experts.
I am going to keep asking this question: Since Theresa May alienated the Commonwealth with the Windrush scandal and we’ve lowered our standing in the world by showing that we don’t care much about poor people as evidenced by rough sleeping, foodbanks, the Grenfell Tower abomination and now that the orange slob heading up the other half of our ‘special relationship’ is running an administration more corrupt than the Nixon Whitehouse, imposing tariffs and schmoozing with dictators... what / who is lined up to replace our massive trading relationship with the EU when it goes up in smoke in nine months time?
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