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Rees-Mogg Compares ‘Remainer Phil’ Hammond to ‘Dog Returning to His Vomit’ After Anti-Brexit Letter

Rees-Mogg
Dan Kitwood/Getty
JACK MONTGOMERY

Leading Brexiteer MP Jacob Rees-Mogg compared Chancellor Philip ‘Remainer Phil’ Hammond to a dog returning to his vomit after he published an anti-Brexit letter, allegedly without Downing Street’s consent.

Hammond has long been regarded as the Cabinet’s leading anti-Brexit voice behind the scenes, pushing for a ‘soft’ exit deal which keeps the United Kingdom as firmly embedded in the European Union as possible.

The Treasury reaffirmed that role on August 23rd, publishing a letter to Nicky Morgan, a Tory anti-Brexiteer on the left-liberal wing of the party, in which he claimed a ‘No Deal’ Brexit would result in “large fiscal consequences” — right after Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab had given a speech saying the country was well-prepared for it.

It is understood that Prime Minister Theresa May is unhappy with Chancellor Hammond seemingly going out of his way to undermine the Brexit Secretary, with sources telling reporters his letter “was NOT cleared by Downing Street” and that both Mrs May and Mr Raab are “furious”.

“This was a deliberate intervention by Philip, he knew exactly what he was doing,” a Government source told the Telegraph.

Jacob-Rees Mogg, a leading figure among Tory backbenchers who support Brexit, also responded to Hammond’s intervention, in unusually scathing terms.

“As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly,” he remarked, paraphrasing the King James Version of the Book of Proverbs.

“The Treasury is desperate to stop Brexit. Everything the Treasury does has to be read in this light,” he added.

The Treasury’s claims about the consequences of ‘No Deal’ carry less weight than they did prior to the 2016 referendum, when Hammond’s predecessor George Osborne had department mandarins produce forecasts of a technical recession and 500,000-800,000 job losses in the immediate aftermath of a Leave vote — which turned out to be completely inaccurate.

Rees-Mogg, who has adopted a studiously loyal public position following former Remain campaigner Theresa May’s coronation as Conservative leader and Prime Minister without a ballot of ordinary party members, but has been stepping up his criticism of the Tory establishment since she unveiled her ultra-soft Chequers plan.

“[The] Chequers proposals would shackle us to the EU forever,” he warned in a letter to constituency associations across the county recently, claiming it would leave the United Kingdom “out of Europe yet still run by Europe”.

“The UK does not need to do a deal with the EU. The EU needs to do a deal with us at all costs. It is time the government realised that the EU stands to lose much from ‘No Deal’ being agreed and stopped being cowed by the EU’s threats,” he added.

This view has previously been articulated by EU leaders such as the Hungarian foreign minister, who warned ‘No Deal’ would be a “nightmare scenario” for the bloc, putting up barrier to trade with a Britain newly empowered to sign trade deals with global economies, and jeopardising EU businesses’ share of the British market.

Follow Jack Montgomery on Twitter: @JackBMontgomery
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