Deciding whether to believe former Bank of England governor Mark Carney or Tory arch-Brexiter Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg on the economic impact of leaving the European Union is surely one of life’s easier judgement calls.

Mr Carney, who spent many years studying economics and was governor of the Bank of Canada between 2008 and 2013 before holding the same position at the Bank of England until 2020, has no political axe to grind.

Sir Jacob, who studied history, comes across as a Brexit zealot.

Of course, some Brexiters might prefer to ignore these biographical details or even go as far as taking the view enunciated by Conservative Cabinet minister Michael Gove ahead of the 2016 EU membership referendum that “people in this country have had enough of experts”.

However, that would not help their case because the reality of what Mr Carney pointed out last week is there for all to see.

Sir Jacob’s version of events might exist in his own mind, and in the worlds of other ideologically entrenched Brexiters, but that does not make it in any way real.

READ MORE: Ian McConnell: Why should Scotland not be able to tell world about Brexit, Mr Jack?

So what did Mr Carney - who in his days as governor of the Bank of England warned about the detrimental impact of Brexit ahead of the referendum - have to say last week on the departure from the EU?

Mr Carney said: “We laid out in advance of Brexit that this will be a negative supply shock for a period of time and the consequence of that will be a weaker pound, higher inflation and weaker growth. And the central bank will need to lean against that.

“Now that’s exactly what’s happened. It’s happened in coincidence with other factors, but it is a unique aspect of the economic adjustment that’s going on here.”

He added: “There’s no joy in saying…‘we told you so’ because people are having to live with that reality.”

It is surely difficult, on the basis of the evidence, to argue with any of this.

Annual UK consumer prices index inflation remained stuck at 8.7% in May – the highest among the Group of Seven leading advanced economies – official data published on Wednesday showed.

Former Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee member Danny Blanchflower has been among other eminent economists to highlight the continuing impact of Brexit on the UK economy recently.

He wrote in The Herald earlier this month: “Brexit and its devastating impact on supply chains, especially for food, is what sets the UK apart from every other country.”

Centre for European Reform deputy director John Springford’s latest report on the impact of leaving the EU on the UK economy, published in December, estimates that Brexit had, by the second quarter of 2022, reduced the country’s gross domestic product by 5.5%.

That is a big amount indeed.

The major impact of Brexit has also been flagged by Office for Budget Responsibility chairman Richard Hughes.

Asked by the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg in March about how much stronger the UK economy would be had the country stayed in the EU, Mr Hughes declared: “We think that in the long run it reduces our overall output by around 4% compared with had we remained in the EU.”

That is also a big amount.

Sir Jacob, however, is having none of it.

Even though he had a spell in the curiously named post of “minister for Brexit opportunities” during which such opportunities surely remained conspicuous by their absence, the former Cabinet minister certainly seems to have lost none of his passion for leaving the EU.

And, in contrast to Mr Carney, Sir Jacob seems unperturbed by the fact that UK growth and people’s living standards have been hit hard by the Brexit folly.

That said, he continues to refuse to acknowledge the huge damage that Brexit has caused already and continues to inflict on the UK economy and the population at large.

We must remember that this is the man who offered his opinion, shortly after his February 2022 appointment as minister for Brexit opportunities and government efficiency, that “the evidence that Brexit has caused trade drops is few and far between”.

He also proclaimed: “I think Brexit has been extremely beneficial for the country.”

These are truly astounding comments.

READ MORE: Is Danny Blanchflower or Alister Jack right?

So, while Sir Jacob’s response to Mr Carney’s cool analysis last week of the UK economic situation was utterly astonishing in terms of what it contained from an objective standpoint, it was entirely in keeping with the arch-Brexiter’s usual behaviour.

We should also remember that, back in 2017, Sir Jacob described Mr Carney as “one of the enemies of Brexit”. This is emotive language indeed.

Sir Jacob responded to Mr Carney’s latest analysis of the UK economic situation by declaring that the former Bank of England governor’s observation that Brexit had exacerbated the country’s cost of living crisis is “obviously nonsense”.

The Tory MP added: “He [ Mr Carney] uses dodgy figures, he is responsible for many of the failures of the Bank of England, he was a bad governor who politicised the Bank and presided over failures in forecasting and failures to begin the process of reversing quantitative easing when the economy was strong."

This is typical Brexiter fayre. Dismiss something as nonsense when it clearly is not. Try to dispute the evidence, even though it is extensive and comes from a raft of different sources (perhaps following Mr Gove’s philosophy about the population having had enough of experts). And then try to blame an opponent of Brexit for creating the troubles that have been visited upon the UK by leaving the EU.

READ MORE: Opinion: Caledonian MacBrayne should be treated as national treasure

Sir Jacob’s comments, while surely lacking any grounding in reality, do chime with Mr Carney’s description last week of Brexiters as “a group of people who portrayed it as being something that was going to be seamless and positive and driving growth”.

Mr Carney noted this Brexiter stance contrasted with the more negative analysis of the Bank of England. He also observed that the negative predictions about Brexit had “proven to be the case”.

They have indeed, and this is the crux of the matter.

Given this reality, the decision on whether it is Mr Carney or Sir Jacob who has got it right on the impact of Brexit on the economy is not a subjective one.