“George Eustice describes himself as being “quite happy” about Brexit being twice as bad for the U.K. economy as the pandemic. What a time to be alive.”
Tory Environment secretary George Eustice has been ruthlessly mocked online after claiming that he’s “quite happy to live with the consequences” of Brexit after the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) forecast that the economic impacts would be double that of the pandemic.
Eustice made the comments during an appearance with journalist Nick Robinson on BBC 4 Today’s programme. Richard Hughes, chairman of the OBR told the BBC yesterday that leaving the EU will ‘reduce our long run GDP by around four per cent’.
He added: “We think that the effect of the pandemic will reduce that (GDP) output by a further two per cent.
“In the long term, it is the case that Brexit has a bigger impact than the pandemic.”
When asked about the OBR’s findings by Robinson, Eustice said: “Well I’m quite happy to live with the consequences of leaving the EU.
“We are a self-governing country again for the first time in decades. We’re controlling our own waters, we’ve got an increase in fishing quotas for our fishermen, we’re changing our agriculture policy completely.”
That reaction led to widespread criticism, with LBC presenter James O’Brien tweeting: “George Eustice describes himself as being “quite happy” about Brexit being twice as bad for the U.K. economy as the pandemic. What a time to be alive.”
Paul Johnson tweeted: “Long term economic consequences of Brexit are twice as bad as Covid, says OBR.
‘I’m quite happy to live with consequences of leaving the EU’-George Eustice
“They just don’t care. What an admission.”
Basit Mahmood is editor of Left Foot Forward
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