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first_imgLeaving the EU is likely to hit Britain’s public finances and add two years of austerity according to a report from the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), released Wednesday.While a vote in favor of Brexit would free up £8 billion a year, even a small economic downturn would offset that, the think tank said.“Leaving the EU would most likely increase borrowing by between £20 and £40 billion in 2019-20. Getting to balance the budget from there, as the government desires, would require an additional year or two of austerity at current rates of spending cuts,” said Paul Johnson, the director of the London-based IFS and an author of the report, in a written statement. The IFS took aim at the Leave campaign’s claim that Brexit would save the U.K. £350 million a week.”Claims that we would have an additional £350 million a week to spend are wrong,” the IFS report stated. “They imply that following a U.K. exit other EU countries would continue to pay a rebate to the U.K. on contributions it was not making. Such claims also imply we would simply stop all existing EU subsidies to farming and poorer regions (such as Cornwall and west Wales).”A vote to leave the EU would increase uncertainty in the short run and make trade more expensive in the long run. It would likely make the U.K. less attractive [for] foreign direct investment,” the report concluded. Also On POLITICO Tony Blair joins fight against Brexit — and Jeremy Corbyn By Tom McTague David Cameron: rights of UK citizens in EU ‘uncertain’ after Brexit By Cynthia Kroet Brexit campaigns play NHS card By Helen Collis Scots, Welsh, Greens take a stand against Brexit By Jules Johnstonlast_img read more