​Leading Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg furious at post-Brexit import price rises

"Jacob Rees-Mogg has "officially become a "remouner”"

Jacob Rees-Mogg

One of the leading Brexiteers has reacted furiously to the news that food prices are set to rise as a result of post-Brexit import checks, leading commentators to label him a “remoaner”. 

Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg has laid into Defra and slammed government bureaucracy for “sabotaging Brexit”, following the announcement that post-Brexit border checks will come into force this week, with Britons warned that the price of imported food will rise as a result.  

Defra has reclassified some fruit and vegetables from low to medium risk, which means they will be subject to border inspections and require health certificates. The government has said the checks and paperwork are “key to protecting the UK’s biosecurity” and public health.  

Importers have warned that the new rules will affect the quality, price and availability of products, and it is predicted to add £200 million to import costs which, will be passed onto consumers. 

The government has already postponed the introduction of extra paperwork and border checks on plants and animal imports five times since Brexit, due to fears the new controls would push up prices in the middle of a cost-of-living-crisis. 

Rees-Mogg said on GB News: “When we left the EU, we didn’t vote to become a mini-EU… we need to drop the paranoid and risk-averse instincts, because they are not for dynamism, innovation, and free trade.”

He has argued that the EU “over regulates” and has “very high standards”, as he pushed for lower health and safety standards on imports. 

The latest projected consumer price rise flies in the face of what Vote Leave supporters promised the British public, claiming that Brexit would in fact lower food prices.

Pro-European Union activists Femi Oluwole said Jacob Rees-Mogg has “officially become a “remouner””.

“He has called Brexit an “act of self-sabotage”, he’s ranting about trade barriers, and wants to go back to what we had before!” Oluwole wrote on X.

Another X user wrote of Rees-Moggs video reaction: “This is worth watching for the cognitive dissonance on display. As far as I can tell, the argument is that implementing Brexit in the form of a customs and regulatory border between the U.K. and EU damages Brexit.”

An old video clip of Rees-Mogg has been re-circulated in which the MP argued that “free trade is hugely advantageous to consumers” and that prices will be reduced as a result of Brexit. He also said the EU had acts of “self-harm” against consumers, similar to his comments on post-Brexit regulation now. 

The London School of Economics found that Brexit had caused food inflation to rise at the highest rate in 40 years, with a proportionately greater impact on the poorest families.  

Nearly two-thirds of food consumed in the UK comes from the EU, with groups such as Save British Farming have been predicting for years that leaving the EU would increase food prices. 

The government hasn’t denied that prices will rise, nor the £200 million figure.

Hannah Davenport is news reporter at Left Foot Forward, focusing on trade unions and environmental issues

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