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Nick Ferrari Challenges Jacob Rees-Mogg Over Retracted Sun Article That He Tweeted
5 September 2018, 09:53 | Updated: 5 September 2018, 09:55
Jacob Rees-Mogg insisted the principle of the controversial Sun article he retweeted about the cost of goods after Brexit is correct, despite the newspaper admitted it was wrong.
The article in the tabloid, headlined ‘Vote for bargains’ on 27th February described the potential savings on a number of goods if EU tariffs were removed after Brexit.
Mr Rees-Mogg tweeted a link to the article, thanking the newspaper for their calculations - while noting one error.
Thanks to the Sun for calculating the huge savings for us all outside the Customs Union, except for the one on cigarettes which no government would pass on pic.twitter.com/2LWIpTXlUC— Jacob Rees-Mogg (@Jacob_Rees_Mogg) February 27, 2018
However, shortly afterwards, The Sun admitted their calculations were incorrect, writing: "Unfortunately, we made our calculations on retail prices, when tariffs are actually applied when goods arrive in the UK. There were also mistakes in the calculations for individual items.
"For example, saving on a £2 pack of butter was given as £1, but the tariff is about 42p per pack. Savings on an LG flatscreen TV was given as £44, but there’s an EU free trade agreement with South Korea, so there is no tariff. Leaving the Customs Union would not necessarily directly result in any savings on cigarettes and not £4.54 as stated.
"The article also stated that we pay trade charges on more than 13,000 items from outside the EU. In fact, for many of these goods, no tariffs or charges are payable."
Chris, a caller to LBC, asked Mr Rees-Mogg why he had not yet deleted his tweet, but the backbencher insisted the principle is correct, even if it contained some errors.
That led Nick Ferrari to tell him: "Why would you tweet a mistake Mr Rees-Mogg? Goodness me. Your late father, the great editor of The Times, do you think he'd had run an article which was basically right, but a few facts were wrong? Of course he wouldn't.
"You tweet of fake news. You did! You saw something, you agreed that it was wrong, but you decided to tweet it anyway.
"Are you not disseminating fake news, Mr Rees-Mogg?"
But Mr Rees-Mogg responded: "There are big savings to be made from leaving the European Union on food, clothing and footwear because of the very high tariffs we impose.
"The broad principle is a really important one."