Chancellor urged to back People's Vote during visit to Gloucester
Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond has been urged to stop a no deal Brexit and back a People's Vote during a visit to Gloucester.
Mr Hammond officially opened the new University of Gloucestershire's Business School and Growth Hub building at the Oxstalls Campus in Longlevens.
Dr Rebecca Trimnell, Lib Dem Parliamentary spokeswoman for Gloucester, said: "I am very pleased Mr Hammond visited Gloucester.
"Gloucester is a great multi-cultural and outward-looking city and he will see at first hand what it has to offer both young and old.
"But Gloucester's future is at risk if the Conservative Government takes the UK off a cliff edge on March 29 with a hard, no deal Brexit.
"No deal would be disastrous for jobs, our infrastructure and our NHS. It would also be disastrous for Gloucester's young people and make it harder to live, study and work on the continent.
"The Chancellor should rule out a no deal Brexit immediately. Theresa May is pushing her deal, with no deal as the only other option. But there is a choice.
"A People's Vote is the only sensible way to unblock the deadlock in Parliament and overcome the civil war engulfing both the Conservative and Labour parties.
"We continue to believe that there is no deal as good for the UK outside the EU as the one it already has as a member."
The effects of Brexit are already being felt on the British economy and also in Gloucester.
The value of the pound has plummeted, inflation is rising and economic growth has slowed.
"The Government is already borrowing billions more to fill the gap in lost tax revenue and their determination to pursue a hard Brexit casts a shadow over our economic future," Dr Trimnell said.
"Our economy is at its most fragile since the 2008 crash. We need a radical programme of investment to boost growth, develop new infrastructure fit for the future and get our economy back on track.
"The Conservatives have failed to take advantage of historically low interest rates to borrow for the investment that would create jobs now and prepare the economy for a post-Brexit future."
A recent think tank report showed Gloucester was one of the cities hardest hit by Conservative cuts to local government funding.
"Under the Conservatives nationally and locally Gloucester City Council has become the 'vanishing council' because their austerity cuts have gone too far," Dr Trimnell said.
"The council has lost half its staff and will soon be selling its headquarters at The Docks and renting a cramped floor in Shire Hall."
She added: "Last year Mr Hammond promised that 'austerity is coming to an end' yet we've seen precious little evidence so far of that happening in Gloucester."