Britain’s economy could fall behind that of Poland by the end of the decade, the Labour Party will say today.
The party’s leader Sir Keir Starmer will use the forecast – which is based on World Bank data – to appeal for voter support in the next general election.
Labour’s calculations are based on the assumption that the UK’s gross domestic product (GDP) per capita continues to grow at an average of 0.5% annually in real terms, as it did between 2010 and 2021.
The data shows that GDP per capita in 2021 was $44,979 in Britain and $34,915 in Poland, and Labour will say that Poland – should it maintain its 3.6% average annual growth – will overtake Britain by 2030.
Romania, with 3.8%, and Hungary, with 3%, would overtake Britain by 2040, the party will warn.
According to a pre-briefed extract of his speech, Sir Keir will say: “We need to be frank about the path of decline the Tories have set our country on.
“The British people are falling behind while our European neighbours get richer, in the east as well as in countries like France and Germany.
“I’m not comfortable with that; not comfortable with a trajectory that will soon see Britain overtaken by Poland.
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“Nor am I prepared to accept what the consequences of this failure would mean.”
He is set to add: “I don’t want a Britain where young people in our great towns and cities are left with no option but to get out.
“A brain drain, not just to London or Edinburgh, but to Lyon, Munich and Warsaw. That’s not the future our country deserves.”
During his speech in central London, Sir Keir will also talk more about his party’s “five missions”.
As well as commitments on energy, the NHS, crime and childcare, he has promised to secure the highest sustained growth in the G7, saying this will bring better wage growth, more savings, better jobs and vibrant high streets.
After the speech, Sir Keir and shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves will host a roundtable of business leaders.
Conservative Party chairman Greg Hands responded by saying: “The last time Labour left office, there was no money left, debt was spiralling, and unemployment soared – something the British people will never forget.
“Everyone already knows what Labour would do to the economy – with £90bn of unfunded spending, that would just lead to endless borrowing and higher debt.”