Minister for Brexit Opportunities Jacob Rees-Mogg (Photo: Oli Scarff via PA Wire/PA Images)
The government will not produce any assessments of whether Brexit has been a success, Jacob Rees-Mogg has revealed.
The cabinet minister also launched an outspoken attack on a report which said leaving the European Union had damaged the UK economy.
He said the Resolution Foundation’s findings were “the regurgitation of Project Fear” and took aim at the think tank’s chief executive, Torsten Bell, because he used to work for Ed Miliband.
According to the report, which was conducted in collaboration with the London School of Economic, Brexit has damaged Britain’s competitiveness, reducing productivity and workers’ real wages in the years ahead.
It said the immediate impact of the referendum result has been clear, with a “depreciation-driven inflation spike” increasing the cost of living for households, and seeing business investment falling.
But responding to the findings, Rees-Mogg, the minister for Brexit opportunities, said: “Regurgitations of Project Fear don’t seem to get anyone anywhere.
“The head of the Resolution Foundation is the former chief of staff to Ed Miliband, who was one of the main cheerleaders for staying in the European Union, so it is the usual suspects.”
Rees-Mogg said the success of the Covid vaccine rollout, plus free trade deals struck between the UK and other countries proved that Brexit was successful.
But asked whether he would produce his own data to back up his claims, the minister said: “I’m not going to make those sorts of assessments because lots were made before the referendum and they were all bilge.”
Asked by HuffPost UK how voters are supposed to assess whether Brexit has been worth it, Rees-Mogg said: “I’ve always thought it’s all about democracy. Can you change your government, can you make decisions about how you are governed?
“That is the big and overwhelming advantage of Brexit, and then you come to the debate as to whether democracy also makes you more prosperous and I think it does and there’s a great deal of evidence for that.”
Rees-Mogg had earlier told MPs that he hoped a “revolution” to reform parts of EU law retained by the UK after Brexit will help cut the cost of living.
He said the government will publish data every three months to show how many changes have been made to the 2,400 pieces of EU legislation in place following the UK’s departure.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.