The new Brexit Opportunities Minister, Jacob Rees-Mogg, has said that Brexit is ‘already a success’ and ‘the evidence that Brexit has caused trade drops is few and far between’.
City A.M. spoke to one of the UK’s biggest international delivery firms and their response was “He said that? Well, not in our universe.”
In fact, ParcelHero’s head of consumer research, David Jinks, said the new Rees-Mogg “appears to be living in an alternate reality in his analysis of Brexit, given that UK to EU exports collapsed by £20bn last year.”
Last week, Rees-Mogg said Brexit is ‘already a success’, has been ‘extremely beneficial for the country’ and that ‘the evidence that Brexit has caused trade drops is few and far between’.
However, also last week, the latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) Government figures showed UK exports of goods to the EU have fallen by a record £20bn compared to the last stable period of trading with Europe in 2018. That’s a 20 per cent fall.
“Nor has Brexit encouraged trade with non-EU countries, as originally promised by Brexiteers,” Jinks said, pointing out that the total annual imports are £23.4bn, or almost 5 per cent, lower than in 2018 and total exports are £36.8bn, or 10.5 per cent, lower than in 2018.
“Obviously, Mr Rees-Mogg is hoping for the reality-bending powers of Marvel’s Dr Strange.”, David Jinks
“That way, he could ensure UK businesses experience collective amnesia and forget that the ONS also says 67 per cent of them are still experiencing challenges when exporting and 72 per cent when importing.”
“Supply chain disruption, new trade barriers and additional red tape caused by Brexit were cited as the main reasons,” he added.
“Mr Rees-Mogg would do well to learn the lesson of tampering with multiverses, with great power comes great responsibility. If the Brexit Opportunities Minister wishes to retain credibility with the business leaders he is supposed to serve, he should inform himself of the realities of UK-EU trade.”
Last November, an Institute of Directors survey revealed almost half of British businesses that traded with the EU pre-Brexit are now doing less trade with the bloc or have stopped entirely.
“If Mr Rees-Mogg still thinks that evidence Brexit has caused trade drops is “few and far between”, then perhaps struggling SME exporters deserve a Brexit Opportunities Minister who remains in our own dimension,” Jinks concluded.