Living standards will decline if we leave EU claims leading academics

Former Batley and Spen MP Elizabeth Peacock launches her autobiography. (D535B346)
Former Batley and Spen MP Elizabeth Peacock launches her autobiography. (D535B346)
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LIVING standards have been mooted as another casualty of Britain leaving the EU by top economists who believe families are at risk of losing thousands of pounds a year.

Reduced trade could see average incomes fall by between £850 and £1,700 per household according to academics at the London School of Economics.

Long-term a drop in trade and productivity could result in families losing up to £6,400 a year, they suggest.

Their stark warning comes as Conservative grandee Elizabeth Peacock exclusively reveals in The Yorkshire Post she might join the leave campaign, as she criticises David Cameron for acting like a ‘second-hand car salesman’ over the EU.

The former MP for Batley and Spen said the Prime Minister’s attempt to convince the public to back his reformed EU deal mirrors someone ‘trying too hard to sell a suspect vehicle’.

Ms Peacock, whose time in Parliament spanned Margaret Thatcher’s tussles with Europe and John Major ratifying the Maastricht Treaty, has long spoken in favour of economic, but not political unity with Europe.

However in 2016 however, the Government should be neutral.

She said: “Currently, the whole process is being driven off course because the Government is not doing its duty of explaining, independently, the benefits of leaving or staying in the EU.

“On the contrary, the Prime Minister and much of his Government are leading the nation to stay “In” when it should, in fact, be neutral so individuals can make their own decision without pressure or influence.”

CEP director Professor John Van Reenen said: “Our work leaves little doubt that there is a serious cost for real wages and pensions from leaving the EU.

“Even ignoring any chilling effect on foreign investment and productivity from Brexit, the income losses from lower trade are clear. Regulatory overhauls are unlikely to offset these losses to any great extent.”

The CEP, which is part funded by the European Commission, argue that leaving the EU would lead to a reduction in trade due to higher tariff and non-tariff barriers likely to imposed by the single-market.

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