Jacob Rees-Mogg defends own firm after it moved to Dublin amid hard Brexit fears
Jacob Rees-Mogg has defended a City firm he co-founded after it set up an investment fund in Ireland and warned of the dangers of a hard Brexit.
The Tory arch-Brexiteer has been among the Commons’ top proponents of a clean break from the EU.
But he faced questions after Somerset Capital Management, where he continues to work part-time, launched a new investment vehicle in Dublin.
The new business, to be subject to Irish and European Union rules, was registered in March and detailed Brexit under the “risks” section of its investment prospectus, Private Eye magazine reported.
The fund says: “During, and possibly after, this period there is likely to be considerable uncertainty as to the position of the UK and the arrangements which will apply to its relationships with the EU.
“As [the firm is] based in the UK and a fund’s investments may be located in the UK or the EU, a fund may as a result be affected by the events described above.”
Mr Rees-Mogg, the non-executive chairman of SCM and a partner in the business, told the Telegraph: "A number of existing and prospective clients requested domiciled access to Somerset's products.
“The decision to launch the fund was nothing whatsoever to do with Brexit."
He added that his firm had funds based around the world, including in Australia, the US and the Cayman Islands, and that "people outside the EU are used to Irish-domiciled funds".
He said the warnings of the risks of Brexit were "not a policy statement by SCM" but simply guidance to investors from lawyers.