JACOB REES-MOGG mocked supporters of Britain’s adoption of the European Union’s single currency during a speech on country’s post-Brexit economy.
The prominent Brexiteer quipped that eurozone participation was said to bring a wave of prosperity to the Continent, but instead has only introduced a “tsunami of unemployment” across southern Europe.
The North East Somerset MP said Brexit should be seen as a similar victory, with the UK’s economy flourishing despite doom-mongering reports of financial woes.
Speaking at a Economists for Free Trade event, Mr Rees-Mogg said: “When the UK decided against joining the euro, it was widely argued this would be an act of irretrievable self-harm.
“That the countries of the eurozone were set to soar and surge forward on a wave of new prosperity unleashed by the single currency.
“Rabbiting on, rabbiting on about a tripling or doubling of UK trade. Only a few brave souls stood out about this overwhelming, but wrong, consensus.
“Not for the first time a small band of cherrypickers won the day. For countries of southern Europe, a wave of prosperity became a tsunami of unemployment.
“Now, it was widely suggested the Brexit vote would cause substantial weakness in consumer expenditure, but this is untrue.”
Mr Rees-Mogg proceeded to reel of facts about economic growth, adding consumer expenditure had grown by “1.8 per cent”.
In the same speech, Mr Rees-Mogg urged Chancellor Philip Hammond to use the Budget to hike the amount of taxpayers’ cash earmarked for investment in new border controls and other measures to get the country ready for Brexit.
Mr Rees-Mogg pointed to forecasts from the Economists for Free Trade pressure group identifying a potential £135billion windfall to the Treasury between 2020-2025 as the financial benefits from leaving the EU are felt.
He said: “These forecasts provide headroom for fundamental change in fiscal policy and the first thing to do as a matter of prudence is to allocate sufficient funds to prepare us to leave the EU without a trade deal.
“The Chancellor has so far made £250million available this ought to be increased to £500million with a contingency fund of £2billion for other matters that may arise.
“This will probably not be needed and can be added back to sums already referred to.”