No-deal Brexit would push United Kingdom debt to 50-year high

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Meanwhile, a new report, entitled The IFS Green Budget 2019, by the Institute for Fiscal Studies in association with Citi and the Nuffield Foundation, said a no-deal Brexit would push United Kingdom debt to its highest since the 1960s as borrowing was likely to rise to £100bn ($122.9bn) and total debt would soar to 90% of national income. Under current spending rules the government can only borrow up to 2% of national income. Not only is every spending department about to see a budget increase, we have a Conservative government set to increase day-to-day spending on public services to a level far closer to what Labour promised in its 2017 manifesto than to what was implied by the Conservative manifesto.

A doubling in the annual budget deficit, leading, in relation to the size of the economy, to the highest government debt since the 1960s.

French president Emmanuel Macron told United Kingdom prime minister Boris Johnson that the remaining 27 European Union members will make their decision by the end of the week after they discuss whether a proposed Brexit deal can "respect" the bloc's principles and is likely to be passed through parliament. Only on the extraordinary scale of the fiscal collapse of the 2008 financial crisis are these numbers modest.

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Even without Brexit, Britain was likely to have to raise tax rates to fund the cost of pensions and public healthcare for an ageing population, it said.

In the case of a no-deal Brexit, the IFS said a temporary government spending spree could help to smooth the path for growth.

It warned that a rise in public spending in 2020 would likely be followed by "another bust" as the government would have to deal with "the consequences of a smaller economy and higher debt for funding public services".

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He said that in the event of no-deal, any measures to support the economy would have to be strictly temporary.

Media captionConfused by Brexit jargon?

However further delay to Brexit would mean continued economic uncertainty with "very poor" growth of around just one per cent a year.

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Commenting on the change to lorry import taxes, Meredith Crowley, an economist specializing in global trade from the University of Cambridge, said the UK's heavy goods industry is facing "some difficulty with Brexit". Widespread nationalisations, handing 10% of share capital of large companies to employees while redirecting some dividends to the Treasury, or other policies that might reduce private sector investment significantly, would challenge the UK's traditional "business model" and risk damaging growth by an amount it is not possible to quantify. "Securing a Brexit deal would be better for the economy over the next two to three years than another delay", the report noted.

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