Jacob Rees-Mogg accuses the Treasury of ‘fiddling the figures’ on Brexit

Posted On: 
3rd February 2018

Jacob Rees-Mogg has accused Treasury civil servants of "fiddling the figures" to make the case against Brexit.

Jacob Rees-Mogg has accused the Treasury of 'fiddling' Brexit forecasts
PA Images

In explosive comments, the chair of the influential Tory backbench European Research Group, said the department of deliberately undermining the Government's attempts to take Britain out of the EU.

Speaking on Radio Four's Today programme, the leading eurosceptic said: "It’s not for officials to invent policy if the Government hasn't got one."

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He added: "What I’m talking about is the way the Treasury has behaved, both before and after the referendum.

"If you look at the forecasts the Treasury made before the referendum, they were a humiliation. They were clearly politically influenced.

"With the referendum and with the EU, the Treasury has gone back to making forecasts. It was politically advantageous for them in the past, it’s the same now, so yes I do think they’re fiddling the figures."

Mr Rees-Mogg also refused to apologise for asking Brexit minister Steve Baker if he had been told by Charles Grant, director of think tank the Centre for European Reform, that the Treasury were deliberately manipulating figures.

Mr Baker has since apologised after audio was released which showed Mr Grant had not made that accusation.

But Mr Rees-Mogg said: "The only thing I’ll apologise for is that it turns out to be much more serious than I thought."

Mr Grant, who also appeared on the Today programme with the Conservative backbencher, said that he was "surprised" that Mr Rees-Mogg had not apologised.

Meanwhile, Mr Rees-Mogg - who is hotly-tipped to succeed Theresa May as Tory leader - insisted he still backed the Prime Minister.

"I'm fully supporting the PM and the vision she set out for Brexit in Lancaster House and in the Conservative manifesto," he said.

"I think all this talk of leadership is unhelpful, I want her to get on with what she's doing."