The alternative to Theresa May’s Brexit?
In a small, dark room somewhere in Parliament, the leading Brexit supporting politicians had gathered the waiting press to announce their support for a new economic proposal for leaving the EU and trading on World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules.
The event had been planned to show that the European Research Group (ERG), a collection of roughly 50 Eurosceptic Conservative MP’s, did indeed have an alternative Brexit plan after spending much of the summer savaging the Prime Minister’s so called Chequers plan, in which she sought to align closely with the EU in regulations for goods, but not services.
Jacob Rees-Mogg, Boris Johnson, Steve Baker, David Davis, Bill Cash and Iain Duncan Smith were all in attendance to announce that they’d come up with a brilliant idea for an alternative. We’d been told, just days before, that the group would have their own detailed plan ready for the public only to change their minds and indefinitely shelve it for fear of being laughed at (reportedly).
And so, rather than have absolutely nothing to present, much like a child who brings a rock to show and tell, having forgotten all about it, they instead decided to throw their collective weight behind this economic plan by Economists for Free Trade.
Many had expected something that may not quite have the professionalism and weight of the detailed economic analysis provided by actual economists and the treasury. As it turned out it was even better.
Business Insider Political Editor Adam Bienkov live tweeted the entire process and it was quite something. Here’s a brief breakdown of events.
> Rees-Mogg introduced Boris Johnson and David Davis as “towering” figures of Brexit, before adding “we also have Steve Baker”
> Rees-Mogg claimed that the UK economy would benefit by more than 1 TRILLION POUNDS, without providing any evidence to support this, as though a bond villain forced to suddenly come up with a ransom figure.
> Steve Baker calls most economists “bloody useless” before saying the authors of the report he’s endorsing aren’t “useless”, presumably because they wrote something he liked.
> A journalist asked Boris Johnson a detailed question about Brexit, Johnson declined to answer.
> Tom Peck, of the Independent, reported “of the two late-middle-aged men who had come to Westminster to launch it, one of them used his very first words to say, “I am not an economist”, instantly reducing the number of economists on the panel at the Economists for Free Trade event to one.”
Not content with the humiliating nature of the conference thus far, the report was released to almost universal derision as it was shown to be littered with basic factual mistakes as well as grammatical errors. There isn’t quite enough space to list them all here, but we will list the quite glorious highlights of the Q&A section at the back of the report.
16. Won’t prices inevitably go up?
No, in the long term, they will go down by a substantial amount
18. Wouldn’t Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into the UK inevitably fall?
19. Wouldn’t opening the UK up to global competition spell disaster for British manufacturing?
No, quite the opposite.
One thing is for certain, you can’t accuse prominent Brexit politicians of having no detailed plan, after all, there’s even a Q&A.