As if Theresa May’s enfeebled government didn’t have enough problems already, departments have now begun openly attacking each other.
It’s wasn’t difficult to imagine the severity of the behind-the-scenes war raging on Whitehall over what direction Brexit should take.
But the inter-Cabinet conflict burst into the open earlier today when Liam Fox’s Department for International Trade (DIT) shared an article from the Daily Mail criticising Philip Hammond’s Treasury.
The post was deleted from DIT’s twitter account shortly afterwards – but Scrapbook took a screenshot just in case:
The article previews an event being held tonight by the Economists for Free Trade group, who are pushing their widely discredited report claiming that Brexit will boost the economy by £135 billion. It states:
‘The findings are sharply at odds with most mainstream economists who have warned the UK faces lower growth and more pressure on the public finances as a result of the vote to leave.
‘But at the report’s launch on Tuesday, the pro-Brexit Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg will say official forecasts are based on “false assumptions” of the Treasury and that the outlook for the public finances is “much better” than the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) is predicting.’
Those ‘false assumptions’ are actually the forecasts adopted by the Government – so Fox’s department was in effect sharing an attack on…the Government.
That would be an unthinkable state of affairs for any other government, but seems completely fitting for this circus.
More worrying is that the Economists for Free Trade group’s recipe for economic success boils down to abolishing all tariffs on goods imported to the UK.
They hope that would see the country flooded with cheap food, clothing and other consumer goods which would keep the cost of living low.
But, as Scrapbook reported recently, the Resolution Foundation has said that would also result in making British business uncompetitive and could lead to around 1.4 million British jobs being lost.
Speaking about this danger in the summer, Fox said bluntly: “It is not our responsibility to protect jobs.”
Today’s deleted tweet is more proof that Fox is willing to sacrifice as many livelihoods as necessary to fulfil his Thatcherite fantasy…