‘Invasion not something I was speculating on’ Rees-Mogg defends Brexit price fall forecast
Ukraine war 'was not speculated during Brexit' says Rees-Mogg
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Jacob Rees-Mogg defended his forecast about the price of clothing, footwear, and food falling thanks to Brexit allowing the UK to remove tariff barriers on imports from abroad. Mr Rees-Mogg saw his expectations doubted due to inflation rocketing, and Britons facing an increase in energy and heating bills because of Russia invading Ukraine. Speaking to LBC. the Brexit Opportunities minister said: “With the trade deals we are doing, particularly important with Australia and New Zealand, we are taking tariffs off food, footwear, and clothing.
“The more trade deal we do, the more tariffs will be removed and, more importantly, because they have a big cost in terms of the flexibility of market, the more non-tariff barriers will be removed.
“But there is global inflation in food prices which has nothing to do with Brexit.
“The fact that the wheat price has gone up because, partly, the invasion of Ukraine by Putin’s forces is not something I was speculating on in the run-up to Brexit.”
He continued: “I was talking about the costs we imposed as a nation and these are tariff and non-tariff barriers which are being removed as we make more free trade deals.
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“That is fundamentally important.
“And in a cost of living crisis, it’s even more important because it helps ameliorate the cost of living crisis we are suffering.”
The price cap increased by 54 percent on Friday, leaving thousands of Britons questioning how they will cope with the rising bills.
The Resolution Foundation think tank has said a further 1.3 million people are set to fall into absolute poverty next year, including 500,000 children.
Jacob Rees-Mogg says EU was ‘very cross’ about Brexit
But Transport Secretary Grant Shapps insisted Chancellor Rishi Sunak is always looking at what additional policies can be rolled out to better support Britons.
Mr Shapps said on Sunday: “We’re trying to do what we can – you’re asking if we’ll do more – I want to absolutely be clear, given the Chancellor’s record, I’m sure he’ll always be looking what else he can do.
“He’s already provided billions and billions of pounds to try to relieve the pressure.”
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Mr Shapps added: “I sit here this morning and I feel angry at the scale of the crisis people in this country are facing and the lack of response from Government in the spring statement – and promises on announcements in future just won’t cut it.”
Referring to the Government’s upcoming energy security strategy, he said: “The energy statement… will deal with long-term issues of supply, I understand it, it will not be about help now, and the Government has to understand the scale of this crisis.”
But Shadow business secretary Jonathan Reynolds said the Government “hasn’t done enough” to tackle rising energy bills and the wider cost-of-living crisis.
Mr Reynolds said: “I think none of that should be used as a smokescreen to get away from the real issue, which is, right now, the cost of living is absolutely extreme.
“Energy bills are a huge part of that, and the Government hasn’t done enough.
“There’s no way they can say they have done enough – the scheme they put forward, I think, where the Chancellor has offered to lend us our own money and pay it back over five years, is completely unrealistic and doesn’t meet the scale of the challenge.”
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