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23rd Jul 2018

Jacob Rees-Mogg claims it could take “50 years” to see benefits of Brexit

James Dawson

It comes after Conservative backbencher Anna Soubry said Jacob Rees-Mogg was now “running our country”

Prominent Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg has said that it could take five decades before anybody can accurately assess whether the UK’s exit of the European Union is a success.

Rees-Mogg – who chairs the influential European Research Group of backbench Tories – made the claim during an interview with Channel 4 presenter Krishnan Guru-Murthy. In the interview, Guru-Murthy pressed Rees-Mogg on whether he would resign as an MP if Brexit was proven to be unsuccessful by an economic downturn.

Responding, the 49-year-old MP for North East Somerset insisted the full impact of leaving the European Union would not be known for “years to come”, but added that it presented the “greatest opportunity, economically, for this country”.

Despite sitting at the back of the House, Rees-Mogg has played an increasingly prominent role in the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. Last week Tory remainer Anna Soubry claimed he was “running the country” after the European Research Group forced government concessions on a series of key Commons vote on Brexit.

Rees-Mogg is on record as saying the country is heading for a “no deal” exit from the EU on World Trade Organisation (WTO) terms, something widely feared by business leaders. Speaking on LBC, Rees-Mogg said: “I think we are heading to WTO and I think WTO is nothing to be frightened of.

“I don’t think we necessarily need the theatrics of walking away, but the truth is that WTO is likely to be all that they will offer us.”

It emerged yesterday that a second investment fund had been set up in Ireland by Somerset Capital – the City firm part-owned by Rees-Mogg – after it previously issued a warning over the impact of a “hard Brexit” earlier this year.