Belfast Telegraph

Adam Smith Institute director says Leave campaign is UK's answer to Donald Trump

A leading economist has launched a blistering attack on the Leave campaign, claiming that all of its key messages are "bare-faced lies" and dubbing the group "Britain's answer to Donald Trump".

Sam Bowman, executive director of the Adam Smith Institute, said in a statement that after expecting to vote Leave, he now intends to vote Remain.

Writing in a personal capacity, Mr Bowman said: "All of Leave's key messages have been bare-faced lies that Leavers know are lies: about the UK's contribution to the EU, about Turkey's chances of joining, about the UK's power to veto EU treaties.

"They've released conspiracy theory videos about Mark Carney being in the pay of Goldman Sachs. They are Britain's answer to Donald Trump, and like Donald Trump if they win will destroy important norms we have about (relative) honesty, decency and sanity in politics."

He also blasted Brexiters over immigration and the economy, saying that a Leave vote has the potential to "destroy hundreds of billions of pounds worth of wealth".

"Markets are not irrational and no they are not just panicking. No: they are pricing in the danger of a colossal act of self-harm if we leave. Leaving the Single Market should never have been on the table, but now, unbelievably, it is."

He added that Europeans "more than pay their way and integrate very well" in the UK.

"I resent the idea that we need to 'control' something that is a big positive for us, and I think it's naive to claim that leaving the EU would mean more immigration from elsewhere. Britons are not voting to get fewer Spaniards so they can get more Bangladeshis," he said.

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