Chancellor says Brexit is ‘a lose-lose situation’
Chancellor George Osborne visited Ashford yesterday (Wednesday) to make a keynote speech about the case for the UK staying in the EU.
Mr Osborne highlighted the threat to the economy and investment in the South East as the referendum campaign enters its final phase.
In a visit to the Hitachi headquarters next to Ashford International station, Mr Osborne said: “We know what happens when you lose control of the economy.
“A vote to leave would hurt businesses, hurt investment and cost jobs.
“There would be difficult decisions – difficult decisions that begin next Friday.
“There would have to be an emergency budget to fill a £30 billion black hole.
“Today, we are setting out the difficult decisions we would have to take.”
He described an exit from the EU as a “lose-lose situation”.
Leaving the EU would “undo the good we have done”, describing it as a “leap in the dark that would hurt our children”.
He said a Brexit budget would mean income tax rising by 2p to 22p, health spending would be cut by £2.5bn and the education budget by £1.2bn.
He was accompanied by former Labour chancellor Alistair Darling, who described the momentous vote as a “once-in-a-lifetime decision which will decide Britain’s position in the world for the next 40 to 50 years”.
He claimed Brexit would lead to a downturn in the economy.
Mr Darling claimed the Leave campaign had a flawed prospectus.
He added: “There would not just be one emergency budget, there would be one after the other. The chancellor would have to consider cuts to the NHs and schools if we leave.”
The pair’s visit comes as polls suggest the outcome of next week’s referendum is too close to call.
Mr Osborne is the latest in a string of political VIPs to head to the county to campaign.
Your guide to referendum results – page 16
Poll shows Kent backs Brexit – page 33
Chancellor George Osborne, left, and former chancellor Alistair Darling attend a pro-Remain event at the Hitachi Rail Europe plant in Ashford this week
Political rivals were in agreement over problems UK could face should the vote be to leave