Brexit Party MEP mansplains the economy to Emily Maitlis after being accused of profiting from a no-deal

Greg Evans
Wednesday 17 July 2019 10:00
news

On Tuesday, property developer and Brexit Party MEP, Ben Habib, appeared on BBC Newsnight where he came under some intense scrutiny from Emily Maitlis.

Habib, who is the CEO of the First Property Group, was elected as an MEP for the Brexit Party in June but, following his appearance on the BBC, it would appear that his intentions are a bit more self-centred than simply 'taking back power'.

Maitlis accused Habib of attempting to profit from a decline in the British property market after it was revealed that he had set aside £182 million to buy projects that had been struck by economic problems.

Habib responded to this claim by trying to mansplain the difference between 'economy' and 'markets'.

Emily, you need to distinguish the difference between the economy and markets. What I'm saying is that the economy for the UK will be absolutely fine. 

The markets shouldn't go weak at the knees. They went weak at the knees at the result of the referendum when sterling fell. 

Looking back at it, the GDP growth of the UK in the six months after the referendum was the highest or the second-highest in the G7.

Maitlis cuts Habib off and recites one of his own quotes to him about using Brexit for financial gain.

Ben, can I just quote you because before the referendum you said, 'If we get a vote for Brexit and the commentators are right, sterling will weaken and the markets will go into a degree of volatility, we'll be looking at that as a really great opportunity to buy assets in the UK.'

So, when things are going down, when sterling weakens, as that is going to happen in a no-deal, you profit.

Once again, Habib tries to explain to Maitlis what markets are and what the economy is.

Emily, you're failing to make the distinction between market movements and the economy.

I will buy because I believe in the UK economy. I will be putting my money where my mouth is because I think it's wrong for sterling to drop and I think it's wrong for the property markets to drop.

I would be buying on that judgement and on that conviction. People shouldn't sell.

The UK is absolutely fine in the event of a no-deal. We're the fifth-largest economy in the world. We're a tremendous nation. It's just this fear of fear that's causing these market movements.

Habib's chaotic and rather unconvincing answer has been widely ridiculed on social media.

More: Nigel Farage said he has 'done more than anyone get rid of the far-right' and everyone pointed out the irony

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