Kettering MP says he is 'okay' with Brexit economic consequences

Kettering MP Philip Hollobone said he accepts the economic consequences of Brexit in an appearance on national television today.

Monday, 21st October 2019, 2:30 pm
Kettering's MP Philip Hollobone appeared on the Victoria Derbyshire show earlier today (Monday, October 21)

Mr Hollobone was sat alongside Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran on the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire show, who challenged Kettering's representative on his comments that previous economic assessments have had a remain-bias.

On the show earlier today (Monday), Victoria Derbyshire put to Mr Hollobone that the government's own analysis suggests there will be economic disruption from Brexit with any deal.

Mr Hollobone said: "Indeed, because that comes from Her Majesty's Treasury which, as we know, has an in-built remain bias.

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Philip Hollobone was challenged on the economic impact of Brexit

"I welcome a fresh economic assessment from the Treasury under Boris Johnson's premiership."

Asked if he believed Operation Yellowhammer, the government's assessment of a no deal Brexit, Mr Hollobone said: "Yes, I believe there will be problems with no deal which is why I am supporting a deal."

Challenging Mr Hollobone's comments, Layla Moran said: "Are you saying it's all a big conspiracy that all these different economists who are telling us that the economy is going to shrink as a result of this deal are wrong?"

Mr Hollobone replied: "Well, all economists aren't saying that."

Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran questioned Mr Hollobone's rejection of expert analysis

Ms Moran countered Kettering's MP and said: "The vast majority are. It's a bit like climate change, there's one or two who are saying it might not, the vast majority are saying that the economy is going to shrink as a result of this deal. It's what Amber Rudd said on one of the programs yesterday, it's what minister after minister has said. Do you just not believe in experts at all? What is the point of academia?"

Mr Hollobone replied: "Well during the referendum it was made quite clear that if we voted to leave there would be economic consequences. A government booklet said this which was sent to every home in the land."

Chairing the debate, Victoria Derbyshire asked Mr Hollobone if he personally was okay with this twice, to which Mr Hollobone said: "I am okay with it, I voted to leave, 61 per cent of my voters in the Kettering constituency voted to leave, 52 per cent of the public voted to leave despite being given that evidence."

Speaking on Sky News on Sunday, Amber Rudd said the government's own assessments show that Boris Johnson's Brexit deal would hurt the economy by four to six per cent a year.

Back in 2018, then-Chancellor Philip Hammond said all Brexit scenarios would have an economic cost.

At the time of the referendum, the government was campaigning for remain and a leaflet published by the government, which Philip Hollobone mentioned, was arguing for remain and said: "If the UK voted to leave the EU, the resulting economic shock would put pressure on the value of the pound, which would risk higher prices of some household goods and damage living standards.

"Losing our full access to the EU’s Single Market would make exporting to Europe harder and increase costs."

The Leave campaign in 2016 famously said there would be an extra £350m a week for the NHS, but critics are now saying any extra public spending is unlikely if the economy shrinks as much as the government's assessments suggest.

On the subject of the union, Mr Hollobone rejected fears that Brexit could lead to Scottish independence.

Victoria Derbyshire asked: "Scotland are saying, actually please can we have what Northern Ireland have got, which is access to the EU's single market. Why can't they?"

Mr Hollobone replied: "Well because that isn't in the deal agreed between the UK and the EU.

"It's the only deal, it's the best deal we are going to get."

Asked if the deal could potentially lead to the break of the union, Mr Hollobone said: "No, I don't think that at all because the UK is the fifth biggest economy in the world, and Scotland will always want to be a part of that."