£50Bn “Remain bonus”

Liberal Democrats have been speaking openly of applying a “Remain bonus” of around £50Bn to helping the most vulnerable in our society, if Brexit doesn’t happen. On the doorstep this has caused some questioning.

A very short comment is that the web site fullfact.org [Full Fact] has looked into this and concludes that the “figure is a reasonable estimate but highly uncertain” (the figure is uncertain as the situation is hard to predict).

The longer comment is that all forms of Brexit harm the economy. A hard Brexit (where we leave everything) does the most damage, but none are neutral. From an economic angle, stopping Brexit stops the damage and means we have more money than otherwise. Boris Johnson’s deal is projected to cost the economy £70Bn between now and the late 2020s (70bn between now and the 2020s).

What Liberal Democrats are calling the “Remain bonus” is the extra money we have from escaping this. If anything, the figure of £50Bn is cautious --- if those predicting Boris Johnson’s deal would cost £70Bn are right, then the “Remain bonus” is arguably £70Bn.

This “Remain bonus” isn’t “new money”, but however it is viewed it reflects the reality that escaping Brexit means there is more money in the system to address the real social problems we face --- including the ones that led people to vote Leave out of a sense of frustration.

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