A Brexit economic shockwave would hit Northern Ireland extremely hard, George Osborne has warned.
The chancellor chose a visit to Warrenpoint Port in Co Down, which is a stone's throw from the Irish Republic, to outline his fears if there is a vote to exit the European Union on June 23.
Pointing to the Carlingford Lough waterway which separates the jurisdictions, Mr Osborne said:
Let's be clear, if we quit the EU then this is going to be the border with the European Union.
And all the things that those that want to quit the EU claim would happen - ie new immigration checkpoints, border controls and an end to free movement - that has a real consequence, and there would have to be a real hardening of the border imposed either by the British government or indeed by the Irish government.
The Chancellor George Osborne has warned against the impact on the financial services sector if Britain leaves the European Union.
Speaking at the JP Morgan Chase bank in Bournemouth, Mr Osborne said there would be "a big economic price to be paid" if Britain voted to leave the single market on June 23.
The 'Remain' campaigner described the European Union as a "massive economic opportunity" for Britain, and said 400,000 service sector jobs would be at risk in the event of a Brexit.
You can base your business here and you can do banking and financial services across the whole of the European Union, across a market of 500 million consumers.
That is a bigger market in terms of its wealth than the United States or China or anywhere else in the world. You can do that through the financial services passport, which means a bank like JP Morgan can base itself here, (and) doesn't have to set up subsidiaries in other European countries and as a result Britain is the big financial centre for the whole of Europe.
My concern is that if we quit the EU there will be a big economic price to be paid in this country.
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Between 500,000 and 820,000 jobs could be lost if Britain votes to leave the EU, new Treasury analysis has forecast.
The analysis also says the economy could shrink by as much as 6% in the two years after a Brexit vote.
The Treasury forecasts are based on two models:
- A 'shock' scenario, which the Treasury says uses cautious assumptions and links the size of the transition effect to the central estimate of the UK adopting a negotiated bilateral agreement with the EU
- A 'severe shock' scenario, which is linked to the estimate of Britain leaving the Single Market and defaulting to membership of the World Trade Organisation.
These are the key figures released by the Treasury based on the two scenarios:
It is a month to go until the EU referendum and today could be the biggest day of the campaign so far.
ITV News' Political Editor Robert Peston shares his thoughts:
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Iain Duncan Smith accused the Government of getting the Treasury to look at the "very worst possibilities" economically if the UK left the EU.
The former Tory leader's warning comes after the Treasury predicted the country would suffer an "immediate and profound" economic shock if it voted in favour of Brexit on June 23.
Duncan Smith told ITV's Good Morning Britain said there were a "number of economists" who didn't agree with the report.
He added that Government supported remaining in the EU and that it had got the Treasury "to look at the very worst possibilities that could happen".
Duncan Smith said that none of the pro-Remain Government reports mentioned the "chaos and crisis that the euro area is bringing".
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