Berwick MP Anne-Marie Trevelyan has been criticised for ‘gambling with Britain’s economy’, but the Tory Eurosceptic has defended her decision to oppose the Chancellor’s proposed Brexit budget.
Yesterday, George Osborne said that he would have to slash public spending and increase taxes in an emergency budget to tackle a £30billion ‘black hole’ if the UK votes to leave the European Union.
But this announcement was followed by more than 60 Conservative MPs, including Mrs Trevelyan, teaming up to reject this proposed budget as ‘absurd’, warning that if he went ahead with these proposals, ‘the Chancellor’s position would become untenable’.
This has led to criticism from political opponents supporting the remain campaign with one rival saying she ‘should act in the interests of her electorate’. For her part, Mrs Trevelyan has criticised the ‘desperate attempts of the remain camp to scare people’ and that she could not support abandoning manifesto promises.
Northumberland Lib Dem Julie Pörksen said: “By wanting to leave the EU, Anne-Marie Trevelyan has already shown she is prepared to gamble with our economy, which in the North East is very dependent on the EU for exports and support. Now she is being utterly irresponsible in proposing to disrupt her own government and any smooth transition post-referendum if she gets her way and the country votes to leave the EU.
“Given the stock market has already become volatile we will need really strong government to minimise the fallout for jobs and the economy. It is exceptionally naïve to assume life will carry on as normal in the British economy post-referendum if we leave the EU. She really needs to step up to the plate as an MP and start acting in the interests of her electorate in Northumberland rather than her own.”
But Mrs Trevelyan defended her stance, saying: “We are seeing the last-ditch desperate attempts of the remain camp to scare people into submission.
“Threatening to needlessly raise taxes on ordinary people is wrong and I would not vote for it. I stood on a Conservative Party manifesto to keep those taxes low and MPs have already voted in this Parliament not to raise taxes.
“I could not support a budget that would wreck the hard work we have done to rebuild the economy and I do not believe the measures that were swiftly abandoned yesterday would find their way into any serious budget proposal.”
The joint statement from the Conservative MPs read: ‘We find it incredible that the Chancellor could seriously be threatening to renege on so many manifesto pledges. It is absurd to say that if people vote to take back control from the EU that he would want to punish them in this way. We do not believe that he would find it possible to get support in Parliament for these proposals to cut the NHS, our police forces and our schools.
‘If the Chancellor is serious then we cannot possibly allow this to go ahead. It would be unnecessary, wrong and a rejection of the platform on which we all stood. If he were to proceed with these proposals, the Chancellor’s position would become untenable.
‘This is a blatant attempt to talk down the market and the country. The Chancellor risks doing damage to the British economy in his bid to win this political campaign.’