Claims by a pro-leave group that a “clean Brexit” – leaving the single market and customs union – could save Britain £450m a week have been described as meaningless by the Liberal Democrats and a leading economist.
The group is the successor organisation to Vote Leave, the successful referendum campaign to quit the EU, which claimed that leaving could save £350m a week to go to the NHS, an assertion that was widely criticised.
In its research, Change Britain estimated that there would be £24bn of benefits overall from a clean Brexit, citing savings from ending EU budget contributions, forging bilateral trade deals with new countries and getting rid of some EU laws.
But the former chief economist at the Cabinet Office, Jonathan Portes, said the figure was adding together supposed savings that could not be compared. “Adding increased exports and reduced government expenditure is literally meaningless. The results mean nothing. It isn’t research, it’s junk,” he said.
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