Brexit Could Extend Austerity by Two Years, IFS Warns

Students holding Vote Remain posters
Students hold 'Vote Remain' posters, Preston, England, May 24. The IFS said consensus of economists was that the U.K. economy would shrink after a Brexit. Getty

The U.K. could face an extra two years of austerity measures if it votes to leave the EU, the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has said.

The consensus of economists was that the U.K. economy would shrink after a Brexit, the think tank said. It warned ministers could react to a post-Brexit GDP fall with either deeper cuts, or by extending them.

Andrea Leadsom, the energy minister and Vote Leave campaigner, said Brexit would “turbocharge” the U.K. economy. A vote to leave would let the U.K. “secure our economic security for future generations based on expanding our trade across the globe, turbocharging our economy and taking control of our borders,” she said.

The IFS assessment comes as a dozen former senior military officers have warned that the EU's policies are undermining the U.K.'s combat effectiveness.