Jacob Rees-Mogg says EU is ‘protectionist racket'
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Jacob Rees-Mogg ridiculed the European Union in the Commons on Thursday, as he lauded Britain for leaving the bloc behind. Mr Rees-Mogg pointed out that the EU’s scaremongering had failed, with Brexit paying off, as Britain looks to offer Australia a trade deal under which both countries would phase out import taxes over 15 years. International Trade Secretary Liz Truss wants a trade deal in place with Australia by early June.
In the Commons, Tory MP Peter Bone said: “One of the great advantages of leaving the European Union was that we escaped the protectionism of the superstate.
“Free trade agreements give more choice to consumers and lower prices.
“Could the Leader of the House arrange a debate on government time so this side of the house can indicate how united we are behind free trade agreements, and we can see whether the opposition will support us?”
Mr Rees-Mogg responded: “Free trade is one of the great advantages of leaving the European Union, which has always been essentially a protectionist-racket and has led to higher prices of many staples of daily life.”
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The Commons leader continued: “The Government is a believer in free trade. It rolled over a number of trade agreements.
“Free trade is good for both sides. It is good for the side that reduces tariffs, because you lower prices to consumers, which means they have more disposable income to spend.
“And, so you can grow the overall economy and reduce the tax burden on individuals. And it helps producers be more competitive.”
Viewers praised the intervention, saying: “Where are all the doom sayers now? Grieve, Hammond, Soubry, Campbell and his cohorts?”
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Another remarked: “It may look as if the EU protects its members but it makes life very hard for them to grow their economies.”
This comes as Brexit Minister Lord David Frost warned that EU insiders are sabotaging the UK’s success for the sake of proving Britons’ decision to leave the bloc was a mistake. A
The UK Brexit chief claimed that while the British Government wishes a successful future on EU member states, Brussels is adamant to prove Brexit should have been avoided by hijacking Britain’s future as an independent nation.
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Speaking to the Spectator, Lord Frost urged the EU to solve “arguments about trade” in a “grown-up way”, drawing comparisons to the US-Canada model.
He said: “I don’t think it’s incompatible with friendly relations between sovereign equals to have arguments about trade and resolve them in a grown-up way…
“There definitely are US-Canada trade disputes and life goes on. And I don’t see why it shouldn’t be like that.”
In 2019-20, trade in goods and services between Australia and the UK was valued at £20.1bn, and both sides are hoping to expand this amount considerably.
However, Labour’s shadow international trade secretary Emily Thornberry has signalled that Labour will reject the deal.
She warned the Government not to strike a deal just to “prove a political point” about Britain’s post-Brexit economic independence.
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