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Not a good week for Rees-Mogg and his acolytes

21 September, 2018

• IT’S been a pretty hectic week for Jacob Rees-Mogg and his parliamentary European Reform Group (ERG).

They got hauled in front of the “beak” and ticked off for mis-spending £340,000 of public money. No matter, they had bigger things in mind. This week marked the kick off to the Fantasy Politics League.

This is rather like the harmless fantasy football game many people play. The difference is that Jacob and his Brexiteers think their league bears some resemblance to reality.

They thought that playing their 140-page Brexit plan would get the game off to a good start. But no. It was leaked and met with whistles of derision all round.

Rather than run for cover the lads presented a 19-page “solution” to the Irish border problem. This was also dismissed as being vacuous. It may have cost £340,000 of public money but they still awarded themselves points.

Apparently you can do this if you get rid of all EU regulations and ditch any hint of trading standards.

They got this idea from “Mad Professor” Patrick Minford who told them the UK could thrive under what they called the “WTO deal”. That there is no such thing is obviously neither here nor there in the Fantasy Politics League.

The magical “WTO deal” promises that a bonfire of regulations, standards and tariffs will provide a £40billion a year “boost” to the economy. It will also wipe out our manufacturing, lead to mass unemployment and huge wage cuts for unskilled workers. Hurrah! Tax cuts all round!

A critique by the London School of Economics lambasted Minford’s £40billion “boost” saying “…to take the position that since no econometric work can be perfect, all inconvenient facts should be ignored is poor scholarship and bad science”.

To put it bluntly, Rees-Mogg and his Brexit acolytes have been selling us a pig in a poke, mutton dressed as lamb, Asian shrimps dressed as fresh crab. But when you’re playing fantasy politics who cares, as long as “you can fool enough of the people, all of the time”?

RICHARD ROSSER
N1

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