Jacob Rees-Mogg defends his city firm’s Irish opening and Brexit warning

Jacob Rees-Mogg defends his city firm’s Irish opening and Brexit warning

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Jacob Rees-Mogg has defended a business he co-founded setting up an investment fund in Ireland and warning clients about the risks of Brexit.

The Tory MP and ardent Eurosceptic’s firm, Somerset Capital Management (SCM), launched a new investment vehicle in Dublin.

It was registered three months ago and has since published a prospectus, listing Brexit under the “risks” section.

According to Private Eye magazine, the fund said: “During, and possibly after, this period there is likely to be considerable uncertainty as to the position of the UK and the arrangements which will apply to its relationships with the EU.

“As (the company is) based in the UK and a fund’s investments may be located in the UK or the EU, a fund may as a result be affected by the events described above.”

Mr Rees-Mogg has been one of the most prominent voices calling for a Brexit that sees Britain quit the single market, customs union, and has dismissed negative economic warnings about its impact.

He said in a statement: “A number of existing and prospective clients requested domiciled access to Somerset’s products.

“The decision to launch the fund was nothing whatsoever to do with Brexit.”

Mr Rees-Mogg also pointed out SCM had funds based all over the world, and that its warning about Brexit was “not a policy statement” but guidance from lawyers.

The MP set up Somerset Capital Management, which specialises in investment management in global emerging markets for institutional clients, in 2007 with a group of partners, his website states.

Somerset Capital Management is in charge of £7.2bn worth of investments, according to the Financial Times.

Parliament’s register of members’ financial interests says Mr Mogg earned £192,962.60 from Somerset Capital Management between April 2017 and April 2018, for 30 hours work a month.

(c) Sky News 2018: Jacob Rees-Mogg defends his city firm’s Irish opening and Brexit warning