November 26, 2019

Jeremy Corbyn's plan to hold two referendums will take up the whole of 2020 and will cost over £150m

New analysis has revealed that Jeremy Corbyn’s plan to hold two referendums in 2020 will take until September 2020 at the very earliest, and that the cost will total £150 million.

  • It will take, at an absolute minimum, nine months to hold both referendums (assuming that they are held in 2020, as Nicola Sturgeon is demanding). In reality, the process will likely take several more months on top of this.
  • The total cost will be £155 million. That is £138 million for the second EU referendum and £17 million for the second Scottish independence referendum.
  • This is a generous assumption, as it doesn’t take into account the fact that Labour is likely going to try and extend the vote to 16 year olds and EU nationals. Enfranchising 16 year olds within nine months will likely be an extremely expensive task, and could either cost up to £500 million (the same as the EU settlement scheme) or result in an additional delay of at least six more months to pass legislation and then to allow the Electoral Commission time to register 16 year olds.

Commenting, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:

“A majority Conservative government would get Brexit done and focus on the people’s priorities - such as increasing funding in our NHS and reducing the cost of living.  
“The alternative is Jeremy Corbyn, a man who can’t even make up his mind on Brexit, submitting to a pact with Nicola Sturgeon, and we already know what terms she will demand -  another divisive referendum on Scottish independence alongside a second vote on Brexit.
“The financial cost of this to taxpayers up and down the country will be in excess of £150m. But the real cost will be much, much higher: the chaos of two referendums in 2020 grinding the country to a halt and the world’s greatest political union reduced to the status of a bargaining chip.”
Region Labour's Pension Tax (£) Extra Months to Work
England 11,167 44
East Midlands 6,150 50
Greater London 12,871 45
North East 9,758 38
North West 6,835 47
South East 14,270 40
South West 7,407 45
West Midlands 10,729 41
Northern Ireland 13,718 35
Scotland 10,653 41
Wales 11,691 36
United Kingdom 11,253 43

Commenting, Therese Coffey, Secretary of State for the Department of Work and Pensions, said:

“Corbyn’s Pension Tax will see ten million savers facing a huge bill forcing them to delay their retirement for almost three and a half years.
“This is just one of the ways a Corbyn government would hammer hardworking people on top of his plans to hike up taxes by £2,400 a year, as well as the cost of his plan for unlimited immigration and the chaos of 2020 being dominated by two more referendums – one on Brexit and another on Scottish independence.
“Only Boris Johnson and the Conservative Party can get Brexit done with a deal, get parliament working again and turbocharge our economy to unleash Britain’s potential.”

Read more about how this Pension Tax will impact millions of savers (PDF)