Grim research by the Centre for Economic Performance has indicated that as many as 3 million British jobs are at risk of being lost in 2021. The report shows that the future of 900,000 small companies are hanging in the balance and may well go under when government aid is ceased.

A marked increase in bankruptcies among British businesses looms as one in seven, (15 per cent) of UK-based firms are at risk of imminent collapse as enforced temporary closures and lockdown restrictions persist. Professor John Van Reenen said the bleak scenario they predict could be alleviated by imaginative and swift Government intervention but as yet, that has not materialised. Mr Lambert added: ‘The current policy trajectory must be altered in order to provide protection now and to map a path for post-pandemic prosperity.’

Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown who famously sold of Britain’s entire gold supply in what was quoted as “one of the worst investment decisions of all time” has also chipped in by asking for “an urgently needed’ long-term business recovery programme“.

In the UK youth unemployment is already at record levels – a concern that a forward-looking Britain free of EU shackles should be dealing with as a matter of urgency.

In December, the Chancellor extended the furlough scheme to the end of April 2021, meaning that taxpayers continue to pay 80 per cent of wages for workers not actually working.