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17 days to stop the UK becoming Trump’s poodle

November 25, 2019 11:36 AM
  • If the UK leaves the EU under Johnson's leadership we will become more reliant on Trump, and risk becoming a vassal state of the United States. Chlorinated chicken will be the least on the penalties.
  • Johnson is part of a network of populist, right-wing, authoritarian nationalists
  • In order to stop Boris Johnson getting a majority, seats need to be taken from the Tories which the Lib Dems are best placed to do, according to in-constituency independent polling
  • Ahead of the NATO Summit on 4th December, the Liberal Democrats are committing to spend extra money on defence and aid - linked to GDP, and boosted by kicking out Brexit.

Chuka Umunna ()Newcastle Liberal Democrats' defence and security specialist Robin Ashby has welcomed the Pary's commitment to spending 2% of GDP on defence, as mandated by NATO.

"Thanks to the economic boost resulting from staying in the EU, the defence budget will be almost £1 billion more in 2024-25 under the Liberal Democrats than under the Tories.

"The Liberal Democrats will also maintain the current commitment in law to spend 0.7% of GDP on International Aid. Thanks to the economic boost resulting from staying in the EU, this will mean that the Liberal Democrats will outspend the Tories by £340m in 2024-25. "

On the risk of the UK becoming a vassal state of the USA, Liberal Democrat Shadow Foreign Secretary Chuka Umunna told an audience in Watford today:

"Not only will we cease to be that important bridge between the EU and the US but by withdrawing from the European Union, inevitably Johnson will become more reliant on Trump in the short term if he is re-elected. Johnson is desperate to secure a US trade deal to make up for the damage done to our global standing if Brexit happens.

"From my own contacts with the US Government, it is clear a high price will be demanded and close alignment with US rules and regulation demanded - we risk becoming a vassal state of the US if Boris Johnson gets a majority. Leave the EU and the UK under Johnson will become President Trump's poodle. That is what is at stake at this election."

On Boris Johnson being part of a network of right-wing, authoritarian nationalists, Umunna is expected to say:

"It was Trump, perhaps more than any other, who took this politics mainstream in the Western World. In his words and deeds he has been unafraid to engage in bigoted, racist, sexist, and Islamophobic behaviour, lie and break the law. All the same criticisms apply to the UK's Prime Minister who is following the Trump playbook and has become part of this global network of populist, right wing, authoritarian nationalists. Giving Johnson a majority is to give carte blanche to this type of politics in the UK - something which should worry us all."

On the Liberal Democrats being best placed to take seats from the Tories in order to stop Boris Johnson getting a majority, Umunna is expected to say:

"In order to stop this calamity and for the numbers to add up to Stop Brexit in a new House of Commons, at the very least we must reduce the numbers of Conservative MPs - all of whom have signed a pledged to deliver this hardest of hard Brexits. In this, the Liberal Democrats have a vital and decisive role to play because only we can take seats from the Tories in significant numbers.

"As Sir John Curtice has said, given current polling, in a substantial number of seats we are now likely to be the stronger challenger to the Conservatives. This is borne out by current in-seat polling. Over the last two weekends, The Observer has carried out seat polls in a number of constituencies that usually vote Tory which show the Lib Dems in second place and poised to be able to beat the Tories particularly if Remainers vote tactically. Conversely, the Labour party would lose in all of them.

"Far from taking seats from Johnson, Labour is trying to defend its own from the Tories, particularly in the West Midlands, North East and Yorkshire. For the betting folks out there, Ladbrokes currently does not have Labour as favourites to win in any Tory-held seat - but it does with the Lib Dems. This highlights the crucial role voters have in Tory Lib Dem marginals in the coming weeks - stopping Brexit and stopping Boris Johnson's extreme Brexit is the prize."

On the Liberal Democrats being committed to spending more money on defence and international aid, he is expected to say:

"This is why Liberal Democrats will ensure the UK upholds our NATO responsibilities, including by spending 2% of GDP on defence. And under a Liberal Democrat government, this 2% will be worth £1 billion more in 2024-25 than under a Tory government because, using the Remain Bonus, we will enhance the UK's ability to play our part in NATO and maintain our security. In so doing, we will ensure the men and women in our armed forces have the support and resources they need to do their jobs.

"By stopping Brexit, we can ensure that the UK continues to be a major global aid player, helping those who are most vulnerable. Using the Remain Bonus, the UK aid budget will be £340 million larger in 2024-25 than under a Tory government."

Back up data

  1. The NATO Leaders Meeting, chaired by the NATO Secretary General, will take place at the Grove Hotel, Hertfordshire on 4 December 2019.
  2. Stopping Brexit will generate a Remain Bonus for the public finances, because the economy will grow more quickly - and therefore government receipts will be larger. We forecast that in total the economy will be 1.9% larger in 2024-25 if we stop Brexit than it would be under the Conservative Government's Brexit deal.
  • Paul Johnson, Director of the independent Institute for Fiscal Studies, has said that: "We could expect the economy to be bigger if we were to remain and this assumes a relatively modest effect if anything, although obviously subject to a huge amount of uncertainty."
  • See calculations below for the additional funding for the Defence Budget and Aid Budget due to the expected economic boost from staying in the EU:
2020-21 2021-22 2022-23 2023-24 2024-25
Real GDP growth with government Brexit baseline 1% 1.4% 1.4% 1.4% 1.4%
Real GDP growth under Remain 1.1% 1.6% 1.8% 1.8% 1.8%
Extra Aid Budget under Remain (£m) 50 110 190 260 340
Extra Defence Budget under Remain (£m) 140 330 540 760 990