Caller Accuses Mogg Of "Breathtaking Arrogance" After He Dismisses No-Deal Concerns

7 January 2019, 10:38

This caller accused Jacob Rees-Mogg of "breathtaking arrogance" after he dismissed the evidence of pharmaceutical experts on what would happen in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

Mike Thompson, the Chief Executive of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry, told LBC that leaving the EU without a deal "should be avoided at all costs".

But Mr Rees-Mogg just labelled his claims as Project Fear.

He said: "What is being suggested there is that there is a punishment of us by the European Union when we leave to block up the ports. It's assuming not only that we leave and go on to WTO terms, but the EU then breaks its international agreement under the WTO.

"This is assuming that you can't trade unless you're in the European Union. It's fundamentally false. Lots of countries trade outside the European Union and don't have clogged up ports and get pharmaceuticals delivered to them.

"You've got to ask yourself why would the EU break its other international agreements? Why would businesses make their own lives more difficult? And why would the UK introduce arbitrary checks to make things more difficult? None of this is going to happen. It is part of Project Fear."

Jacob Rees-Mogg in the LBC studio
Jacob Rees-Mogg in the LBC studio. Picture: LBC

But caller Chris was far from happy with his response, firing back: "That is breathtaking arrogance, considering someone like Mike Thompson has worked in the industry for 30 years.

"If a pharmaceutical company wants to register a new product, they do that in the EMA [European Medicines Agency]. If we leave, they will have to go for a second additional registration with our body, the NHRA. That is a fact.

"That is going to eat into the profit margins of pharmaceutical companies and put off smaller innovative medicines from being applied for.

"And it will delay new medicines, that is a fact, Jacob. What do you say to a cancer patient who has been waiting for an innovative treatment for years?"