No-deal Brexit would be paid for through borrowing hike, Chief Secretary to the Treasury admits

Richmond MP and Chief Secretary to the Treasury Rishi Sunak
Richmond MP and Chief Secretary to the Treasury Rishi Sunak
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The Government would be forced to borrow money to foot the bill of a no-deal Brexit, the new Chief Secretary to the Treasury has admitted.

Tory MP for Richmond, Rishi Sunak, who was appointed to the role last week, told Sky’s Sophie Ridge that the cost of Britain leaving the EU without a deal would see borrowing spike.

But he insisted that the UK economy was in good enough shape to take the hit.

He said: “Borrowing now is at a 17-year low and that is because of the very careful stewardship of the economy that we have had.

“The fiscal rules that we have set ourselves we have actually met one year early so that is where that capacity comes from but just more broadly, when we talk about affording no deal prep or investment in the police or levelling up all our regions or investing in our schools and NHS the only reason we can do all that is because we have a strong economy.

“Wages are now rising at the fastest rate in over a decade, more people are in work than ever, unemployment is low, investment in the UK is still very high, there is strong growth.

“All of that is what you get with a Conservative Government, that’s what gives us the ability to invest in our public services and make these vital preparations.”

Since Boris Johnson took over as Prime Minister last week, no-deal Brexit preparations have been stepped up.

The newly appointed Chancellor Sajid Javid has announced a £1bn fund to ensure a smooth transition on the 31 October, when the UK is set to exit the bloc, which will pay for a public information campaign and 500 new Border Force officers.