Mr Rees Mogg highlighted the £350 million figure on the side of the Vote Leave campaign bus
Jacob Rees Mogg, many people’s favourite to be the next leader of the Conservative Party, told a conference that the Government should abide by the Vote Leave promise of giving the NHS a massive financial boost from the Brexit windfall.
He said that the extra money for the NHS should initially come from cash ministers are considering giving to the EU as a divorce bill, and warned that every penny for Brussels is money taken away from domestic priorities.
The North East Somerset MP highlighted the £350 million figure on the side of the Vote Leave campaign bus which took Boris Johnson around the country campaigning for Britain’s freedom.
While Vote Leave did not promise all the £350 million, approximately the gross amount paid by the UK to the EU budget, would be able to go to the NHS, Mr Rees Mogg argued that it could be entirely spent on the health service because of the finances generated from leaving the EU.
Mr Rees-Mogg argued that the Budget next week should include a £2.5 billion Brexit war chest
Although I did not want the £350 million used, it was used and the electors believe a promise was made
He was speaking at Economists for Free Trade presentation of a pro-Brexit budget “Red Book” based on slashing taxes, deregulating and bringing down trade barriers with the rest of the world which would give Britain a Leave dividend of £135 billion a year.
He argued that the Budget next week should include a £2.5 billion Brexit war chest to prepare Britain for Leaving, particularly if it goes on to World Trade Organisation rules.
But he also said that the Government has a duty to fulfil the promise many perceive from the Vote Leave campaign that the NHS will get £350 million extra a week after Brexit.
He said: “Although I did not want the £350 million used, it was used and the electors believe a promise was made.
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Jacob Rees-Mogg visits the new Bagpuss Pop-up Shop at Whitelys Shopping Centre
“Politicians cannot hide behind the small print like some disreputable businesses do, but recognise that the commitment is accepted in broad terms not in pettifogging detail.
“We promised £350 million for the NHS so we must deliver it.”
Highlighting that NHS chief executive Simon Stevens had highlighted the Brexit dividend promise he said that the cost would be £18.2 billion a year to the taxpayer.
He said: “This is just half the dividend from 2025, but the money is needed sooner so in 2019/20 the cash boost needs to be there as far as possible.
“This puts pressure on the Government not to spend too much on speculative EU commitments and it is the crucial reminder that any money paid out to the EU is money that cannot be spent on domestic priorities.”