Could the ERG bring down Theresa May? All you need to know about Jacob Rees-Mogg’s band of Brexiteers

Brexiteers : The European Research Group is attracting increasing amounts of attention with its crusade against the proposals Theresa May hammered out at Chequers for Brexit Britain’s future relationship with the European Union.

Jacob Rees-Mogg, chairman of the group, and his Brexiteer colleagues have insisted so far that all they want is for Mrs May to “chuck Chequers”. But the lengthy discussion 50 of them had on Tuesday night about “how best do we get rid of her” will not allay suspicions that they threaten to put an early end to her leadership.

We know now that Brexit is based on an economic fantasy. We know this because the Brexiteers have told us so. The ERG’s report calls for massive tax cuts, which have been endorsed by prime ministerial wannabe Boris Johnson. Income tax, capital gains tax and stamp duty could all be cut – measures that would disproportionately benefit the rich and the biggest corporations. Rees-Mogg and Johnson, and their friends in the city, will get richer.

Could the ERG bring down Theresa May? All you need to know about Jacob Rees-Mogg's band of Brexiteers

The justification for these cuts is a long-discredited right-wing economic theory, embraced by Margaret Thatcher and never fully abandoned by the Tories. This is the Laffer Curve, a nonsense embraced by Ronald Reagan. This is trickle down economics writ large: the ludicrous idea that a government can increase revenues by slashing taxes. ‘Trickle down’ proponents also claim that cutting taxes for rich people and companies benefits the poorest in society, by creating jobs and economic growth. Time and again this theory has been proven wrong, and time and again right-wing politicians return to it. George H. W. Bush once called it voodoo economics, today it’s more like zombie economics.

In Thatcher’s Britain, there was substantial economic growth that made some people very rich indeed. But the Yuppies were a lucky minority who were in the right position to exploit the system. For the nearly 4 million unemployed during he Thatcher years, trickle down felt more like being pissed on by the rich. Bank and market deregulation created fortunes, and left ordinary workers exploited and alienated.

As Thatcher privatised essential services and attacked the social safety net, so has this Tory government. Overstretched police forces, a funding crisis in the NHS and high levels of working poverty are results of a deliberate policy. In the ERG’s vision of Britain, these services would have to suffer further cuts as the tax take fell and the economic realities of Brexit started to bite.

Bizarrely, the ERG also wants a new missile defence system – built in the UK, of course. This boondoggle is no doubt intended to offset the economic impact of Brexit. The ERG is essentially admitting that the government will need to stimulate the economy through spending, but the only acceptable form of stimulus for the hard right is military expenditure. So Britain will get some unnecessary new missiles to replace those food and medicine imports.

Rees-Mogg, Boris Johnson, the ERG and like-minded Brexiteers are embracing this vision of a low tax, low regulation economy where spending on social services will be pared back to a bare minimum. They are embracing a discredited economic ideology that even economically conservative organisations like the IMF don’t support. And leaving the EU will make it much easier to implement these ideas.

Once the UK is outside the EU, there will be no EU regulations on workers’ rights and no European court to appeal to if the government roles back those rights. The Brexiteer ideology is and always has been one of visceral opposition to government intervention in the market, unless that intervention benefits corporations and the people who own them. If you are not a millionaire, if you do not have a stock portfolio, if you’re just about managing on minimum wage, the Brexiteers don’t care about. You’re just a human resource; just another asset to be exploited for maximum profit.

Read More : This is the article Boris Johnson wants you to forget

So what do you think?

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