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By Matthew Barrett
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In a lecture to the Centre for Policy Studies last night, Jacob Rees-Mogg, the Member of Parliament for North East Somerset, called for targeting international development and the European Union for easy cuts to public expenditure:

“There are some savings that are easy and should be made as a priority.  This includes our contributions to the European Union and our aid to other poorer countries.  These are often separated but the reason we pay £12 billion to the EU is as a subsidy to the poorer member states.  On top of this we pay out £7.8 billion in overseas aid.  This is not the job of government but ought to be a matter of private charity. “


Rees-Mogg also calls for an end to unilateral climate change policies, noting that Britain can make "very little difference on her own":

“Cheap energy will be essential if we are to compete globally.  Hydraulic fracturing may be part of the solution but carbon emission targets will not be.  Even if the greens are right Britain will make very little difference on her own and I would rather my constituents were warm and prosperous rather than cold and impoverished as we are overtaken by emerging markets who understandably put people before polar bears.”
Rees-Mogg concluded his lecture on a characteristically historical note:
“For a hundred years we have had essentially Whig measures even when the Tories have been in charge.  This will not be enough to deal with the challenges of the next hundred years  - so it is time for full-blooded Toryism with confidence in our country and courage in our convictions and a smaller state.”
The full lecture can be read here (pdf).

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