In a major intervention of the campaign, Liberal Democrat Shadow Chancellor Sir Vince Cable will use a speech on Friday to warn that both the Conservatives and Labour have turned their backs on business and the economy.
He will make a bold pitch for the Liberal Democrats as the real party of business, following endorsement today for the Liberal Democrats by The Economist and a letter (Friday) in the Financial Times from prominent tech figures backing the Liberal Democrats.
The former Business Secretary will:
• Accuse both Labour and the Conservatives of adopting a Brexit strategy almost designed to inflict maximum economic damage by rejecting membership of the single market and customs union, as well as other benefits of the EU
• Warn that the economic storm clouds are already gathering once more from rising inflation, falling real wages and rising personal debt to slowing spending and growth
• Highlight the Liberal Democrats’ positive economic plan, including boosting spending while still achieving a surplus on the current budget
• State that “under Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leadership’s model for economic management is the bankrupt, hyper-inflationary Venezuela.”
Vince Cable will say:
“If we crash out of the single market and customs union and revert to World Trade Organisation terms, respected independent estimates suggest that our trade will slump by almost a third by 2030. Far from turning Britain into a centre for exports, the main thing we would export under Theresa May would be jobs.”
“Labour’s plans for a spending spree funded by taxing the rich and corporations have been described by the IFS as wholly unrealistic, and will certainly scare off the investment and talent that are fundamental to our global economy. The May-Farage extreme Brexit that Labour voted for will drive out high-earners and leading international companies, leaving lower tax receipts for public spending."
On the Liberal Democrats:
“We are also the only party that genuinely recognises the crucial role of entrepreneurship in generating job creation, innovation and productivity improvements that are fundamental to our economic success. As our endorsement by The Economist shows, we are rapidly becoming the party of business.”
On Theresa May:
“Theresa May keeps insisting that no deal is better than a bad deal, but respected consultancy firm Oliver Wyman has estimated that an extreme Brexit would cost the financial sector £38bn a year with tax receipts down annually by £10bn. They also warn it would cost 75,000 jobs. This would devastate the economy, but Theresa May just doesn’t seem to care.”