Jacob Rees-Mogg has dismissed claims Brexit hit trade - here's why he's wrong

Jacob Rees-Mogg has dismissed claims Brexit hit trade - here's why he's wrong
Jacob Rees-Mogg claims the British elector is 'very pleased with the leader ...

You would probably expect someone with the job title 'Minister for Brexit Opportunities' to wax lyrical about Brexit and its opportunities, but in doing so by dismissing concerns that Brexit has hit trade, Jacob Rees-Mogg has attracted a flurry of criticism.

Asked by the BBC about falls in trade during a visit to the port of Felixstowe, Rees-Mogg said Covid had caused "the most enormous disruptions to supply chains" and defended an "extremely beneficial" Brexit.

"We've had containers simply being stuck the wrong place, being stuck in Chinese ports, being stuck in the port of Los Angeles," he added.

"This has been a global trade issue - and we do have to recover from the problems of Covid".

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Asked whether Brexit had reduced UK trade, he replied: "I think Brexit has been extremely beneficial for the country.

"I think the evidence that Brexit has caused trade drops is few and far between."

But there are a few problems with his claim. Today, new ONS figures revealed that UK exports to EU countries shrunk by a record £20bn in just 20 months.

Meanwhile, a recent survey, carried out by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), found that 71 per cent of businesses felt the EU trade deal was not enabling them to grow or increase sales and the majority of exporters said Brexit had pushed up costs, increased paperwork, delays, and put the UK at a competitive disadvantage.

And research from the Centre for European Reform concluded that in October 2021 the UK's trade in goods with the EU had been 15.7 per cent or £12.6bn lower, than it would have been without Brexit. Then there's this recent PAC report...

All this and more was pointed out by people on Twitter:

Elsewhere on this merry trip to the port, local MP Natalie Elphicke was questioned about the benefits of Brexit and whether it could have possibly contributed to traffic jams near the port. But she remained adamant that Brexit was pretty good, despite people telling her otherwise.

Decent start to the Brexit opportunities gig, then...

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