Rees-Mogg: Government ‘Cooperating’ with Big Business to Undermine Brexit

Philip Hammond
PUNIT PARANJPE/AFP/Getty

Pro-Brussels members of government and the cabinet, principally Chancellor Philip Hammond and those in the Treasury, are “cooperating” with big business to undermine Brexit and the will of the people, leading Tory Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg has warned.

“I think there is cooperation between the Remainers in the cabinet and some businesses, some of the more politicised businesses,” he told Sky News on a visit to the Irish border town of Blacklion.

Asked who in the cabinet, specifically, Mr Rees-Mogg replied: “Oh, the chancellor. Boris Johnson was quite right when he said the Treasury is the beating heart of remain, that’s obvious.”

The Member of Parliament for North East Somerset leads Parliament’s European Research Group, a powerful alliance of backbench MPs pushing for a clean exit from the European Union (EU).

At the end of last week, aviation giant Airbus intervened in the Brexit process and threatened to pull out of the UK unless business ties with the EU are maintained.

The move was widely perceived as politically motivated – as the firm takes cash from the EU – and an effort to keep the UK tied to the bloc’s Customs Union and rules. However, they denied fuelling “project fear”.

Pro-Brussels newspapers then claimed German car giant BMW had made similar threats before a board member denied this and said they had no plans to move production from the UK.

Mr Rees-Mogg also told Sky News he expects to see more interventions and threats from business ahead of a crunch Chequers summit on Brexit, where Theresa May could announce further concessions to the EU.

“We’ll see a lot of business recognise there will be opportunities from leaving as well as concerns that they want to suck up to the Treasury,” he said.

Meanwhile, a Treasury source blasted suggestions the department was working to undermine Brexit and government policy, calling them “nonsense”.

“The Treasury is the champion of prosperity for the British people,” they said.

“All of us, government and industry alike must make the case for an EU exit that protects that prosperity, protects jobs and allows business to go on trading, investing and creating the growth that supports our economy.”

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