The impact of Brexit on the UK economy will be worse than the coronavirus pandemic in the long-term, the chairman of the Office for Budget Responsibility has said.

Speaking to the BBC, Richard Hughes said leaving the EU would reduce the UK’s potential GDP by about 4 per cent in the long term while forecasts showed the pandemic would reduce GDP “by a further 2 per cent”.

“In the long term it is the case that Brexit has a bigger impact than the pandemic”, he said.

His comments come after Rishi Sunak delivered his budget, announcing a range of reforms to alcohol and flight prices, universal credit and creating a “levelling up fund”.

Sign up to our new free Indy100 weekly newsletter

But his joy was soon curbed after being challenged on the chairman’s comments. In a BBC interview this morning, when pushed on the OBR’s assessment, Sunak laughed the criticism off and said: “That’s their view. What I’m doing is making sure that we capitalise on the opportunities that Brexit has brought.”

He added: “We’ll be doing a lot on the trade agenda, and we’re seeing the benefits of that will bring to the economy, and our ability to sign trade deals around the country...”

But hardly reassured by Sunak, and reacting to the news, people were furious.

Peter Stefanovic, who makes videos fact checking Boris Johnson’s claims, said:

While satirist Jolyon Rubinstein said:

Journalist Otto English called it an “utterly predictable disaster”:

And campaign group Best for Britain said:

Here’s how other people reacted:

Sun! Lit! Up! Lands!

Please log in or register to upvote this article
The Conversation (0)