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Osborne faces Tory backlash over Brexit austerity warning

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Osborne faces Tory backlash over Brexit austerity warning


Leaving the EU would mean austerity in Britain, Finance Minister George Osborne has warned, sparking revolt within his own party.

The chancellor said a Brexit would force him to raise taxes and slash spending, to plug a 30-billion-pound (or 38 billion-euro) hole in the country’s public finances. Health care, pensions, education and police would be affected.

But a group of 57 Conservative MPs, including former cabinet ministers said it would block the plan, and the Leave camp accused Osborne of fear mongering.

The rhetoric from both sides is heating up ahead of the June 23 referendum. And the economic impact of leaving or staying in the European single market has taken centre stage in the debate

Recent sharp falls in sterling and British stock markets represent “real money” leaving the British economy because of fears about its future in Europe, Osborne told BBC radio.

While betting odds show bookies still largely expect a British vote to remain in the EU, the “Leave” camp now has a six to seven point lead in opinion polls.

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