Top Tory boasts Brexit is delivering ‘enormous’ benefits – then can’t name a single one
Treasury minister Andrew Griffith told MPs Brexit ‘can deliver and is already delivering enormous benefits’ – but hastily added there wasn’t time to reel off any of them
Brexit: Andrew Griffith fails to name one benefit when asked
A top Tory boasted Brexit has delivered “enormous” benefits to Britain – but was then unable to name a single one.
Andrew Griffith came unstuck at the climax of a Commons speech defending the Autumn Statement, after Chancellor Jeremy Hunt admitted there were “trade barriers” with the EU.
The Treasury minister boasted: “Brexit can deliver and is already delivering enormous benefits and opportunities.”
SNP MP Peter Grant asked: “Could the minister just tell my constituents one thing that is a definite benefit, even to 20% of the people in my constituency, from Brexit?
“Something they would notice the difference with?”
Mr Griffith hastily replied: “Well, I am afraid we have time not left enough to share all of the benefits that we are delivering for his constituents.
“But as they sit here tonight and the nights are dark and the and the evenings are growing colder, his constituents like all of our constituents, will be enormously grateful for the £55 billion that we are putting in to protect people and households from the cost of energy this winter.”
The energy bills support has no connection to Brexit.
It came as Tory MPs became embroiled in a spat over whether to seek closer ties with the EU under a so-called ‘Swiss-style’ deal.
Rishi Sunak yesterday moved to kill off the reports, as he ruled out new Brexit arrangements that would see Britain following rules from Brussels.
Speaking at the CBI conference in Birmingham Mr Sunak insisted: “I voted for Brexit, I believe in Brexit.
“I know that Brexit can deliver, and is already delivering, enormous benefits and opportunities for the country,” the PM said.
He argued the country is now able to “have proper control of our borders” and is free to pursue trade deals with “the world’s fastest-growing economies”.
But a Brexit-backing former minister warned there was a “lot of paranoia” amongst those who supported Leave.
Former Brexit Secretary David Davis warned Rishi Sunak ’s government will “go pop” if he dared impose a Swiss-style deal.
He told LBC’s Andrew Marr that a Swiss-style deal was “unmitigated nonsense” and not “economically viable”.
Downing Street insisted Mr Sunak and Jeremy Hunt were “absolutely” in agreement on Brexit policy, amid speculation the Chancellor is pushing for a softer position.