Chancellor George Osborne has claimed the English Channel will widen ‘by up to 650 miles’ following Britain’s exit from the EU.

“Some of the millions we pay to Europe each day go towards the maintenance of massive undersea cables that keep Britain linked to the continent,” he said last night.

“If we leave, those cables will break, which will mean England, Scotland and Wales will drift westwards, smashing into Ireland and destroying it. Because the mainland is so much bigger than Ireland, it is much heavier, and will push it to the bottom of the sea. It is estimated that the final location of the British mainland will be 650 miles west of its current position.”

A Treasury spokesman has said the cost to the British economy of moving 650 miles west will be ‘catastrophic’.

“British exports will have to travel much further to get to Europe, which will greatly increase transport costs,” he said. “Hard-working British holidaymakers will find their European holidays cost more, because they’ll use more jet fuel. Even the sort of scum who buy duty-free pleb stuff like beer and rolling tobacco will find their costs rise, as the Channel Tunnel will end hundreds of miles from Dover, and they won’t be able to take their dirty white vans to Calais any more.”

UKIP leader Nigel Farage said in a statement that being 650 miles further from Europe suits him just fine, because on a windy day, the smell of garlic snails from France reaches well into Kent, and he avoids all his responsibilities as an MEP to get away from that sort of thing.