British businesses risk being hit with £34.4bn in export taxes and other trade barriers if the UK votes to leave the EU, according to Sajid Javid.
The Business Secretary said in a letter co-signed by the former Labour Business Secretary Lord Mandelson that billions of pounds in export taxes would hit UK jobs and growth, with each business facing additional charges of £80,000.
“Inside the single market we can guarantee continued growth in employment, greater opportunities for our young people, higher investment in our public services and new trade agreements with the world’s global powers,” Javid and Mandelson wrote.
The Leave campaign immediately rubbished the claims, accusing Mr Javid of using “random numbers” to back Prime Minister David Cameron's campaign to get the UK to vote to stay in the EU.
The Leave and Remain camps have been trading insults over the numbers used in their respective campaigns, with Cameron launching an attack on Tuesday on the “total untruths” used by Tory Leave leaders to “con” the public into voting for Brexit.
Mr Cameron's assertion comes as polls show increasing momentum in the Leave camp.
Polling firm TNS said on Monday that the Leave campaign had a two-point lead over the Remain campaign. A YouGov poll also showed that the Leave campaign was up four points.
YouGov asked people to judge whether they thought the UK should leave the EU if they were £100 a year worse off afterwards.
The majority (44 per cent) of people said they would vote to leave, while 42 per cent said they would remain.
The pound fell to three-week lows in the aftermath of the polls, while one-month sterling implied volatility, which gives an indication of how much the pound will swing in the month, was at its highest level since the financial crisis.
The EU referendum debate has so far been characterised by bias, distortion and exaggeration. So until 23 June we we’re running a series of question and answer features that explain the most important issues in a detailed, dispassionate way to help inform your decision.