‘£135bn boost’ from hard exit
The UK economy could enjoy a postBrexit dividend of £135bn in the five years after leaving the EU, according to Jacob Rees-Mogg. At a speech in London the leading pro-Brexit backbencher lambasted the “false assumptions” of Philip Hammond’s Treasury, insisting that leaving the EU would bring a huge economic benefit.
The trade department tweeted a link to an approving article on ReesMogg’s view but the message was later deleted. The international trade secretary, Liam Fox, is an ardent Brexiter.
Rees-Mogg (below) was introducing and endorsing an alternative pre-Brexit budget, from Economists for Free Trade, which said that a hard Brexit would boost the economy by £135bn from 2020 to 2025. He said that this would only happen if the government pursued free trade, less regulation and lower taxes. But this route seemed impossible as the Treasury had a “neo-protectionist approach and inbuilt bias towards a pessimistic assessment of Brexit”.
Speaking at the event, Prof Patrick Minford, whose team compiled the alternative budget, suggested a no-deal Brexit would bring a still bigger boost to the UK in a new era of free trade.
Rees-Mogg said: “I am confident the UK’s medium-term fiscal prospects are much better than those that at will be revealed to you by the Office for Budget Responsibility’s short-term projections … [which are] based on false assumptions supplied by the Treasury.”