'Do not let Boris Johnson push the British economy off a cliff,' Gordon Brown warns
Gordon Brown has urged Boris Johnson not to “push the British economy off a cliff” with a no-deal Brexit.
The former Labour prime minister also warned that such an outcome threatens the Union and would hit the poorest the hardest.
Speaking at the launch of a new campaign by Hope not Hate to stop a no-deal Brexit, Brown said “we have 100 days” to halt such an outcome.
“The message to Boris Johnson is plain and urgent” he said.
“Don’t push Britain off a cliff on October 31st. Don’t push the British economy – our car industry, our pharmaceutical industry, our aviation industry or financial services – off the cliff.”
Johnson is widely predicted to win the Conservative leadership race and become the new prime minister on Wednesday.
Brown predicted that within minutes of Johnson taking the role that he would “hit a brick wall” on negotiations with the EU.
He used his speech to describe some of the events he predicts would occur within the first week of a no-deal Brexit taking place.
Brown said: “If no-deal goes ahead on Thursday, October 31st, 24 hours later, on what Brexiteers will call ‘freedom Friday’ but others ‘Black Friday’ – there will almost certainly be hold ups at Dover; by Saturday pile ups on our motorways; by Sunday, food prices will be going up – a 10 per cent rise is the latest estimate – and by Monday, the pound -already sharply down on its pre -Brexit value-will be under pressure .
“By Tuesday medical drugs from mainland Europe will be less accessible and a week after Brexit, companies will be complaining that vital stocks and components are not reaching them and that is likely to put their workers on short-time. Economists, who have long forecasted recession, will not be surprised.
“All of the above is not a ‘Project Fear' fantasy but the most conservative conclusions of the assessment of the UK’s most senior civil servant whose 14-page forecast was leaked a few weeks ago and whose conclusions have been backed up in the past few days by the independent OBR, NIESR, the Bank of England and others.”
In the closing passages of his speech, Brown called on workers from across the NHS as well as manufacturing, services and retail sectors to call for a no-deal to be ruled out.
He said: “I urge them to press MPs, whether they were for or against Brexit, to oppose a No Deal Brexit as an irresponsible act of supreme folly that will further hurt their constituents who - already weighed down by austerity - have been living too long in a world of hurt.”