A vote to leave the European Union will result in the UK giving up billions of pounds of infrastructure investment every year, the Prime Minister claimed on 14 May.
An exit from the EU would terminate Britain’s membership of the European Investment Bank (EIB), an organisation which has invested more than £16bn in UK projects over the past 3 years.
Just over a week ago the EIB announced funding of £280m for the expansion of facilities at University College London and just yesterday it confirmed a £700m injection of finance for the Thames Tideway Tunnel, a major new sewer which will help clean up the River Thames. Those are just the latest of many projects, covering every region of the UK, which have been supported by the bank.
While Treasury analysis has already highlighted Britain will be worse off by £4,300 a year per household if Britain votes to leave the European Union, today is the first time the government has warned of the significant effects of walking away from the EIB.
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Prime Minister David Cameron said:
“We know leaving the EU would result in an economic shock in the UK, after which we would be permanently poorer. We also know businesses would lose access to the single market of over 500 million people, and the contraction of our economy would mean less money for public services.
“But something less remarked upon is the devastating impact on future infrastructure investment of our expulsion from the European Investment Bank.
“Vital projects across every region of the UK have been financed by the EIB. These make a huge difference locally, nationally, and sometimes globally – from the purchase of 65 new Super Express Trains for the East Coast Main Line; to investment in development of emission control technologies in Hertfordshire; to extension of the M8 motorway between Edinburgh and Glasgow; to the expansion of Oxford University’s research and teaching facilities.
“Not only would leaving the EU see us wave goodbye to this crucial funding – but, with a smaller economy hit by new trading barriers and job losses, it’s unlikely we’d be able to find that money from alternative sources.
“Infrastructure affects the competitiveness of every business and the prosperity of every family in the country – but a leave vote on 23rd June risks putting the brakes on the infrastructure investment we need and shifting our economy into reverse.”