Philip Hammond slams Rees-Mogg claims of £80million no-deal boost to the economy

Jacob Rees-Mogg, pictured in 2013. Picture: Colin McPherson/Corbis via Getty Images

Jacob Rees-Mogg, pictured in 2013. Picture: Colin McPherson/Corbis via Getty Images - Credit: Corbis via Getty Images

The chancellor has said that it's 'terrifying' that Jacob Rees-Mogg is close to being in government when he claims the UK will be millions better off after a no-deal Brexit.

Hammond hit back in a tweet against the arch-Brexiteer's claims, which were made in a Telegraph opinion piece.

The piece said that Hammond's sober view of no deal was "pure silliness", rubbishing his ongoing warnings that it would cost the UK economy £90 billion. On the contrary, said Rees-Mogg, the treasury is unnecessarily pessimistic.

POLL: Who do you think is to blame the most for the Brexit mess?"Happy to debate scale of negative impact of no deal on the economy," said Hammond in the tweet. "But terrifying that someone this close to a potential future government can think we'd actually be better off by adding barriers to access to our largest market."

Rees-Mogg disputed numerous treasury calculations in his article, concluding: "Put simply, the idea that we will be poorer in the long-term and even in the short-term after Brexit is a myth."

Hammond has opposed Johnson's willingness to contemplate a no-deal Brexit and is unlikely to be reappointed if the front-runner wins the leadership race. He has become increasingly distanced from hard eurosceptic views and has even hinted he would be willing to vote with the opposition against a no-deal Brexit.

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Meanwhile Rees-Mogg, currently a backbencher, is a Johnson supporter and is one of several said to be angling for the chancellor's post in the cabinet reshuffle that will follow the appointment of a new prime minister. His article is likely to be read as a jobs pitch to Johnson, who has called for more optimism around Brexit.

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