A national tour by a red bus emblazoned with the slogan “Brexit to cost £2,000 million a week. Is it worth it?” reached St. George’s Square, Luton on Wednesday 28th February 2018.
Speakers at the Luton event included Luton South MP Gavin Shuker (Labour), former councillor Sid Rutstein (Lib Dem), former FT journalist Quentin Peel and Bob Wilkin from local organisation Bedfordshire for Europe.
Liberal Democrat councillor David Franks described the visit as an opportunity to explain the benefits Luton has enjoyed through Britain’s membership of the European Union and the concerns many local residents have about Brexit.
“EU funding has contributed towards many local projects including the development of St. George’s Square, Stockwood Discovery Centre and the support of many local voluntary organisations providing real benefits for the town. Many businesses employing thousands of Luton people rely on our membership of the EU. The Vauxhall van factory exports thousands of vans to Europe every year and London Luton Airport’s success has been built on growing airlines like Wizz & easyJet flying to European destinations.”
“The bus is a light-hearted attempt to draw attention to a very big issue. The Government’s own leaked analysis is that Brexit, even with a Free Trade Agreement, will cost us 5% of GDP after 15 years. At today’s prices, that means our country being £2,000 million a week poorer than we would have been if we stayed a member of the EU. To put this in context, that’s 80% of what we currently spend on the NHS across the UK”. – Cllr David Franks
Vote Leave’s bus falsely claimed that we send the EU £350 million a week. Now the Government’s own analysis shows the hit to our economy from leaving the EU will be ten times as great as the cost of staying in. Some people want us to leave without a trade deal at all. Again, the government’s own figures say that would cost us £3,200 million a week or sixteen times the cost of EU membership. More and more people are asking ‘is it worth it?’
A balanced and fully-sourced summary of the various likely Brexit scenarios is set out at www.isitworthit.org.uk.
During its tour, the bus is visiting towns and cities across the country at which there will be speaker events featuring local businesspeople, trade unionists, and politicians.