NHS will be 'decimated' as Theresa May's £50bn Brexit gamble is revealed

Theresa May is battling to secure a ‘good deal for Britain’ with the EU – but the full costs are now revealed (Jeff Overs/BBC via Getty Images)

Brexit will “decimate” the NHS and other public services an MP has claimed after the much-leaked full Commons assessment was finally published.

The impact document reveals that an additional £50 billion-plus will need to be borrowed even if the UK leaves under the preferred free trade agreement.

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And that figure soars to an additional £80bn if Theresa May’s “no deal is better than a bad deal” Brexit scenario is played out and the UK defaults on to World Trade Organization rules.

The graphic shows how much more borrowing about the base of £35bn various Brexit scenarios will bring (Source: Commons Brexit Committee)

Chris Leslie, Labour MP for Nottingham East, declared on Twitter: “If anyone doubts this FTA-type approach to Brexit will DECIMATE revenues for our NHS & public services, just look at the £50billion+ of extra borrowing they predict!”

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The document was leaked in January but has today been published in full by the Commons Brexit Committee.

The document reveals that 15 years after Brexit, annual net borrowing would be around £20bn higher under the EEA option, almost £60bn higher under the free trade agreement option and more than £80bn higher under the WTO option.

It shows that under the three main Brexit outcomes – staying aligned in some form with the European Economic Area, signing a free trade agreement, or defaulting to WTO rules – growth would be significantly lower over the next 15 years than it would be without Brexit.


Growth will suffer in the long-term whatever Brexit deal is struck (Source: Commons Brexit Committee)

The document also outlines how diverging from EU rules will damage the UK economy.

It concludes “the most important driver of the GDP estimates is the change in NTBs [non-tariff barriers – regulatory burdens that would increase as a result of regulatory divergence] in each scenario”.

GDP will be hit under each Brexit scenario, suggests the committee (Commons Brexit Committee)

In other words, the committee is concerned that far from freeing up the UK from Brussels red tape, the new tariffs and barriers to trade that might be part of a Brexit deal will damage the economy by up to -8% if we default to WTO rules.

Meanwhile, the full cost of the Brexit ‘divorce’ will be outlined next week by chancellor Philip Hammond.

He will use his spring statement to reveal just how much leaving the the European Union will cost taxpayers.

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The figures will be contained in annex to his statement and will be calculated by the independent Office for Budget Responsibility.

Britain has committed to paying up to £39bn for its various obligations in this current EU budget cycle, due to end in 2020.


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