The grim cost of Brexit Britain closing its doors to foreigners has been laid bare, after official figures revealed the falling number of migrants coming to the UK is set to hit the country for £16bn.
Data from the independent Office for Budget Responsibility suggested the huge bill could soar even higher if Theresa May pushes on with the discredited plan to reduce net migration to the “tens of thousands”.
It follows a divisive referendum campaign which focused negatively on migration, including the infamous “breaking point” poster, leading politicians to suggest that foreigners are taking British people’s jobs, and to a wave of hate crime against overseas nationals.
Forecast documents published by the OBR have predicted there will be a £122bn black-hole in the public finances by 2020, with £58bn directly related to the EU referendum.
Of that number, £16bn of the loss is down to an expected falling number of foreign nationals coming to the country over the next five years.
That sum alone could pay for hundreds of extra NHS doctors and nurses, but it may rise higher if the Government pursues its stated goal on reducing net migration.
The OBR’s document states that it based its predictions on the government implementing a tighter migration regime, “but not one sufficiently tight to reduce net inward migration to the desired ‘tens of thousands’.”
The pledge to reduce net migration by that amount was first made by David Cameron, but the target was repeatedly missed.
What experts have said about Brexit
What experts have said about Brexit
1/11 Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond
The Chancellor claims London can still be a world financial hub despite Brexit “One of Britain’s great strengths is the ability to offer and aggregate all of the services the global financial services industry needs” “This has not changed as a result of the EU referendum and I will do everything I can to ensure the City of London retains its position as the world’s leading international financial centre.”
2/11 Yanis Varoufakis
Greece's former finance minister compared the UK relations with the EU bloc with a well-known song by the Eagles: “You can check out any time you like, as the Hotel California song says, but you can't really leave. The proof is Theresa May has not even dared to trigger Article 50. It's like Harrison Ford going into Indiana Jones' castle and the path behind him fragmenting. You can get in, but getting out is not at all clear”
3/11 Michael O’Leary
Ryanair boss says UK will be ‘screwed’ by EU in Brexit trade deals: “I have no faith in the politicians in London going on about how ‘the world will want to trade with us’. The world will want to screw you – that's what happens in trade talks,” he said. “They have no interest in giving the UK a deal on trade”
4/11 Tim Martin
JD Wetherspoon's chairman has said claims that the UK would see serious economic consequences from a Brexit vote were "lurid" and wrong: “We were told it would be Armageddon from the OECD, from the IMF, David Cameron, the chancellor and President Obama who were predicting locusts in the fields and tidal waves in the North Sea"
5/11 Mark Carney
Governor of Bank of England is 'serene' about Bank of England's Brexit stance: “I am absolutely serene about the … judgments made both by the MPC and the FPC”
6/11 Christine Lagarde
IMF chief urges quick Brexit to reduce economic uncertainty: “We want to see clarity sooner rather than later because we think that a lack of clarity feeds uncertainty, which itself undermines investment appetites and decision making”
7/11 Inga Beale
Lloyd’s chief executive says Brexit is a major issue: "Clearly the UK's referendum on its EU membership is a major issue for us to deal with and we are now focusing our attention on having in place the plans that will ensure Lloyd's continues trading across Europe”
8/11 Colm Kelleher
President of US bank Morgan Stanley says City of London ‘will suffer’ as result of the EU referendum: “I do believe, and I said prior to the referendum, that the City of London will suffer as result of Brexit. The issue is how much”
9/11 Richard Branson
Virgin founder believes we've lost a THIRD of our value because of Brexit and cancelled a deal worth 3,000 jobs: We're not any worse than anybody else, but I suspect we've lost a third of our value which is dreadful for people in the workplace.' He continued: "We were about to do a very big deal, we cancelled that deal, that would have involved 3,000 jobs, and that’s happening all over the country"
10/11 Barack Obama
US President believes Britain was wrong to vote to leave the EU: "It is absolutely true that I believed pre-Brexit vote and continue to believe post-Brexit vote that the world benefited enormously from the United Kingdom's participation in the EU. We are fully supportive of a process that is as little disruptive as possible so that people around the world can continue to benefit from economic growth"
11/11 Kristin Forbes
American economist and an external member of the Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of England argues that the economy had been “less stormy than many expected” following the shock referendum result: “For now…the economy is experiencing some chop, but no tsunami. The adverse winds could quickly pick up – and merit a stronger policy response. But recently they have shifted to a more favourable direction”
Despite Mr Cameron committing to the target over and again, his administration implemented an economic policy requiring immigration for GDP growth.
During the referendum campaign immigration was exploited by Brexiteers in the Leave campaign, with Nigel Farage appearing in front of a poster showing a line of migrants and the phrase “breaking point”.
Ms May has also committed to the “tens of thousands” target, promising tighter immigration rules.
Home Secretary Amber Rudd was attacked after a conference speech in which she suggested foreigners are taking jobs British workers might do.
There was a sharp increase in the number of racially or religiously aggravated crimes recorded by police in England and Wales following the EU referendum.
In July 2016, police recorded a 41 per cent increase compared to the same month the year before, according to a Home Office report.Reuse content