Amber Rudd says Jacob Rees-Mogg "wrong" to criticise civil servants over Brexit

Written by John Ashmore on 5 February 2018 in News

The Home Secretary warned eurosceptic Tory backbenchers that the Cabinet is "more united than they think" on the Brexit deal

Image credit: Dan Kitwood/PA

Amber Rudd has rejected comments from Tory backbencher Jacob Rees-Mogg on Brexit preparations, saying he is "wrong" to criticise civil servants over their approach to leaving the EU.

The Home Secretary, who was a prominent Remain campaigner, warned eurosceptic Tory backbenchers that the Cabinet is "more united than they think" on the Brexit deal.

She spoke out after Rees-Mogg, who chairs the European Reform Group of Tory MPs, accused the Treasury of "fiddling the figures" in a leaked report last week which set out the economic consequences of different forms of Brexit.

"I'm very surprised at Jacob because he is famously courteous, famously thoughtful, articulate, so I'm very surprised that he's used that language," she told the Andrew Marr Show.

"I think that they are wrong, he is wrong here and this document he is particularly referring to is not a Treasury document anyway, it's prepared across different departments and it's a tool, it's a tool for informing those of us who are on the EU sub-committee about the choices that are going to be made.

"It's not about projecting one way or another, so I think they're wrong."

She also issued a thinly veiled swipe at Brexit minister Steve Baker, who earlier this week said government forecasts were "always wrong".

"No, I think that Steve Baker had an interesting week this week where he also, over the whole debate about what was said when, was gracious enough to issue an apology.

"We all use forecasts, it doesn't mean we put all the weight that people might expect on them. We have to approach them with a certain amount of cynicism but they help inform the debate and the decisions we make." 

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