The Liberal Democrats have vowed to put a £50 billion “Remain bonus” into public services if they win the General Election .
The party said scrapping Brexit will generate billions for public finances because they say remaining in the European Union will mean the economy will grow faster than under Brexit, and will lead to higher GDP.
The Lib Dems forecast that the economy will be 1.9% larger in 2024-25 if Brexit is stopped than it would be under the Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal, reaping a dividend of £50bn over five years from higher economic growth and resulting tax receipts.
Deputy leader Sir Ed Davey told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that the Lib Dems “actually think these are quite cautious figures”, adding that all the independent forecasters “were clear that there will be a big boost if we stay”.
Paul Johnson, from the independent Institute for Fiscal Studies, said it was a reasonable calculation in line with their own forecasts, adding: “We could expect the economy to be bigger if we were to remain and this assumes a relatively modest effect if anything, although obviously subject to a huge amount of uncertainty”.
Launching their election campaign, leader Jo Swinson is expected to say: “The Liberal Democrats are the only party standing up to stop Brexit and build a brighter future for the UK.
“Brexit has taken far longer and cost far more than anyone said it would. But any form of Brexit will damage our jobs, our economy and our public services, starving them of vital cash as the economy struggles along.
“The Liberal Democrats will stop Brexit and then use the £50 billion Remain bonus to invest in our public services.”
Ms Swinson is currently in a battle to be included in the leadership debates – despite being the fourth biggest party.
According to the New Statesman, Chief Executive Mike Dixon and MP Chuka Umunna met with ITV executives last night, telling them “the party believed Swinson’s exclusion was unlawful … and that legal action would follow if they did not budge.”
Jo Swinson ‘s insistence she could be the next prime minister has raised eyebrows, but under her leadership the Liberal Democrats have risen to poll heights rarely seen since the peak of “Clegg-mania” almost a decade ago.
The MP for East Dunbartonshire would like to be known as leader of the self-styled “Remain Alliance” of anti-Brexit parties after taking the controversial policy stance that the Lib Dems would kill any attempt at EU withdrawal without the need for another referendum.
Ms Swinson claims that a small shift in poll numbers could see the the Lib Dems sweep “hundreds” of seats in an election battle that will test a leader who only took over the party in July.