MP Jacob Rees-Mogg, a Conservative from North East Somerset, has advised United Kingdom Prime Minister Theresa May to stand firm against calls to keep the country close to the European Union once Brexit takes effect in 2019.
Rees-Mogg who also heads the influential European Research Group asked PM May to ignore overtures from pro-EU Cabinet ministers in Parliament to establish a new customs partnership with Brussels. According to Rees-Mogg, such moves would only serve to divide the party just like Victorian PM Robert Peel.
The suggestion was not taken lightly by his fellow ministers who accused Rees- Mogg of initiating plans to destabilise the Government.
However, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson came to the defence of Rees- Mogg in a tweet over social media:
“It’s vital that all MPs are able to air their views on Brexit. Whatever your position, I hope we can all agree Jacob Rees-Mogg is a highly principled and dedicated MP who wants the best for our country.”
Johnson’s Deputy Alan Duncan apparently does not share the same views on Rees- Mogg:
“Reese-Mogg’s insolence in lecturing and threatening the PM is just too much. Risks debasing government, party, country, and himself. PM must be given maximum latitude and backing. The ideological right is a minority despite their noise and should pipe down.”
Rees-Mogg has always been a vocal critic of the European Union. He was one of the leading figures for Brexit and had appeared in a series of interviews debating the need for the United Kingdom to leave the EU.
During a speaking engagement at the Oxford Union, Rees-Mogg described the EU as a potential threat to British democracy. He said many countries had already rejected the European Constitution.
Rees-Mogg likewise met with a representative of the nationalist movement, Alternative for Germany. However, he felt the party was still insufficiently eurosceptic and has described the difference between their brand of nationalism in the following quote:
“German Euroscepticism is milk to British euroscepticism’s brandy.”
Suzanne Moore of The Guardian has described Rees-Mogg as a “modern bigot” and his political views as “verging on fascistic.”