Let’s hope a hung parliament can halt the Brexit disaster

If the SNP or Lib Dems end up holding all the cards come Friday morning, the economic catastophe of leaving the EU could be averted

An important moment during the so-called election “debates” last week occurred when a young lady in the studio audience told Theresa May that she had voted for Brexit because she had swallowed the lie that it would bring £350m a week for the health service. The prime minister, an uncomfortable Remainer and now an uncomfortable Brexiter, had no answer to this, resorting to the cliche that the government spends more every year on the NHS. This, like so many of the answers trotted out by her (also uncomfortable) team is an example of what Dr Johnson might have called “a last refuge of the political scoundrel”.

The crisis arises because the increase in NHS spending each year is nowhere near enough to meet the well-known demands on the service. As I understand it, extra NHS spending is running at no more than 1% a year in “real” – ie inflation-adjusted – terms, whereas merely to avoid going backwards the service needs an annual real-terms increase of 4%.

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We may be surprised at how things play out…

Michael Liebreich (@MLiebreich) is Chairman of the Advisory Board at Bloomberg New Energy Finance, a company he founded in 2004 that was acquired by Bloomberg L.P. in 2009. Following Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord, joining Syria and Nicaragua, he posted a 10-part Tweet storm. It is a very counter-intuitive, second…

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