James Forsyth

Head of the IN campaign says wages will go up if we leave the EU

Head of the IN campaign says wages will go up if we leave the EU
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Stuart Rose will have to be added to the long list of British businessmen who have struggled to make the transition to politics. Rose, the Chairman of Britain in Europe, didn’t get off to the best of starts in this campaign when he told The Times that ‘“Nothing is going to happen if we come out of Europe in the first five years, probably. There will be absolutely no change’ a quote that was seized upon by the Out campaign who said it disproved all the dire warnings about the immediate consequences of leaving. But today he has had made an even bigger gaffe.

Appearing before the Treasury Select Committee, Rose was asked by the Labour MP Wes Streeting ‘‘if free movement were to end following Brexit, is it not reasonable to suppose that we could see increases in wages for low-skilled workers in the UK? To which Rose replied, ‘If you’re short of labour, the price of labour would go up. So Yes. But that's not necessarily a good thing.’

Now, this is an absolute gift for the Out campaign. They can take out adverts across the country saying ‘Even the IN campaign admit that wages will go up if we Vote Leave’. Rose’s blunder also means that every politician who is in favour of staying IN will be asked in interviews, ‘the head of your campaign says wages will go up if we leave, surely that is a good thing?’