Rees-Mogg declares himself fan of Irish investment regime
Ireland a ‘particularly attractive’ place for funds, Brexit Tory MP tells C4
Channel 4 asked Brexiteer Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg if calculations that Somerset has set aside £7 million for him since the Brexit vote were correct. He declined to answer. Photograph: AFP/PRU
Brexiteer Tory MP and proud wearer of top hats Jacob Rees-Mogg, featured in Monday night’s Channel 4 documentary, The Brexit Millionaires, in which he paid Irish financial policymakers quite the back-handed compliment.
The premise of the show was to reveal some of the vast wealth earned by prominent Brexit supporters since the 2016 vote, and whether the effects of Brexit had any impact on the accrual of that wealth.
Rees-Mogg was grilled by the presenter on his links to hedge fund manager Somerset Capital Management, in which he owns a 15 per cent stake. There was plenty of mirth last year among the Brexiteer’s political counterparts – on both sides of the Irish Sea – when it emerged that Somerset had set up two funds in Dublin, which will give it access to the European Union after Brexit.
Britain’s exit from the EU, so craved by Rees-Mogg, was listed as a risk factor in the Dublin funds’ documentation.
Channel 4 asked a clearly uncomfortable Rees-Mogg if their calculations – that Somerset has set aside £7 million (€8.2 million) for him since the Brexit vote – were correct. He declined to answer and said the Dublin move had nothing to do with Brexit.
Rees-Mogg explained he was first involved in setting up a fund in Dublin 25 years ago for his previous employer. He didn’t give further details, but it would have been the fund set up by financier Robert Lloyd George, whose grandfather was the UK prime minister who partitioned Ireland.
“The way the global financial system works is that different jurisdictions are suitable for different investors,” explained Rees-Mogg. “Ireland . . . is a particularly attractive place for funds, irrespective of Brexit.”
Policymakers at the Department of Finance must have been delighted to receive such an endorsement for this State’s investment regime.