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Rich and clueless: James Delingpole thinks Brexit is a hit worth taking – because he won’t be taking that hit.

In one of the few appearances James Delingpole has made on This Site, he is quoted as saying he smoked cannabis while listening to Supertramp with David Cameron while they were both at Oxford – and one would be forgiven for asking whether he went back on the whacky baccy before appearing on Andrew Neil’s This Week to support a ‘no deal’ Brexit.

Mr Delingpole made a short film extolling the virtues of reverting to World Trade Organisation rules on trade and tariffs between countries, and then appeared in the studio for an interview in which Mr Neil, Caroline Flint and Sam Gyimah – who quit his job as a government minister over Theresa May’s Brexit deal – exposed his attitude as nonsense. Watch:

For accuracy: The hysterical laughter at the end of the clip was added by whoever made it; in reality, Andrew Neil said, “Okay. Well, that’s honest – and on that, we’ll move on. Thank you.”

But we can’t move on.

Mr Delingpole has admitted that his claims are based on nothing but hot air.

Under WTO rules, a country like the UK would have to accept an automatic level of tariffs on all goods coming in and going out. If we chose to waive those tariffs, they would be waived on all trade, and there would be no point in trying to strike free trade deals.

For a net importer like the UK, both situations mean we lose money.

That’s why Mr Delingpole said, “We’re going to take a hit”. But is it a “hit worth taking”?

No! At least, not for ordinary working people. The privileged rich, like Mr Delingpole, may find themselves able to accommodate it.

Rod Thistledown McKie made this point on Twitter: “The thing about those “taking a hit” is they don’t include the likes of Delingpole himself. They are working class voters, for instance Airbus’s 100,000 workers estimate, and they are going to be very, very annoyed with the people who promised them the Earth.”

Airbus has slated the Conservative government’s failure to negotiate a workable Brexit deal, warning that it may leave the UK if Theresa May forces the UK to crash out of the EU with no deal. Airbus employs 14,000 people in the UK, with a further 110,000 in its supply chain.

That’s 124,000 jobs in jeopardy.

None of those jobs are held by Mr Delingpole, of course.

But he, and his Brextremist ilk – like James Dyson, who is famously scarpering to Singapore to build his latest invention which has been dubbed a “moral vacuum”, taking his company’s Corporation Tax contributions with him – did promise those people a brighter future.

And now they are walking away, leaving a huge mess behind them, in the knowledge that they won’t be taking the hit.

And people are going to be angry. This response, for example, is mild:

Should we not be talking about imposing penalties on people who talked up the fictitious benefits of Brexit in order to induce the electorate to support it – when they did not have good reason to do so?

Is there no way to force them to put their money where there mouths have been?

And if not, why not? Poor people stand to lose everything – why should the clueless rich get away scot free?

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