Brexit Party MEP shut down after questioning economic credentials of Green Party MEP, who informs him she is a professor of economics

‘I think Mr Rowland stands corrected,’ says chair after MEP humiliated in chamber 

Brexit Party MEP challenges an economics professors fiscal credentials

This is the spectacular moment a Brexit Party MEP fell headfirst into a trap of his own creation during a debate in the European Parliament about the economic impacts of Brexit.

After hearing evidence from Green Party MEP Molly Scott Cato on the economic risks of implementing prime minister Boris Johnson‘s post-Brexit trade deal strategy and the huge cost of failing to recognise the climate crisis, Brexit Party MEP Richard Rowland questioned her authority on the subject.

Standing in the chamber, he said: “I’d just like to ask Mrs Scott Cato what empirical proof she has that the end of the transition period, when we will be leaving the European Union, hopefully on a ‘Canada plus’-style trade deal, will result in a cliff-edge – when as far as I’m aware she does not have any degree in economics.

“Maybe she has some business experience that would give some empirical proof that that would be the case?”

He added: “So I was wondering whether you could answer that question of why you’re so certain that the United Kingdom will suffer as a result.”

To Mr Rowland’s instant humiliation, Professor Scott Cato replied: “Obviously you haven’t been paying much attention to my CV because I was and I remain a professor of economics.”

Her response was applauded in parliament as she continued: “I also have expertise in trade policy and have been studying the trade negotiations from the beginning. I rely on the expertise of other trade experts, all of whom have said it takes much longer than the time available to negotiate a treaty.

“The likelihood is, if we go ahead with Boris Johnson’s deal, we will end up in exactly the same crisis, facing a no-deal Brexit at the end of 2020.”

Her riposte prompted further applause from other MEPs, and Mr Rowley appeared to laugh.

“I think Mr Rowland stands corrected,” said the chair, Mairead McGuinness.

Professor Scott Cato is professor of economics at Roehampton University in London, and sits on the European Parliament’s Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs.

She is currently the finance spokesperson for the Green Party.

Mr Rowland, a hedge fund manager who also sits on the parliament’s Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs, has previous form on suggesting his political adversaries should seek higher education in economics.

In another resplendent self-own, in July, Mr Rowland took aim at David Lammy, who has been the Labour Party MP for Tottenham since 2000.

He tweeted: “Lammy, you’re [sic] first port of call should be the Chicago School of Economics. Complete 3 years and then you might understand 10% of what we all understand. Ignorance and race baiting is your signature tune.”

Twitter users quickly took Mr Rowland to task, pointing out not only his poor grammar, but more importantly that the Chicago School of Economics is not an actual institution, but a school of thought, and that US degrees take four years, not three.

Mr Lammy himself also pointed out that he had, in fact, attended Harvard University.

The interaction resulted in the University of Chicago inviting Mr Lammy to visit the institution at any time.

“It would be an honour”, a professor of behavioural science and economics at the university’s Booth School of Business, said.

Twitter users described his interaction with Professor Scott Cato as an "epic self own".

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