Jacob Rees-Mogg has been bashed by tweeters describing him as a “Trump-like” politician as he launched a tirade on the government over its leaked Brexit transition strategy. Rees-Mogg branded it a “perversion of democracy.”
The comparison with the US President follows news of the Tory MP meeting Donald Trump’s former adviser Steve Bannon. The London meeting took place two months ago, where the two reportedly discussed how right-wingers can keep power in the UK and US.
@Jacob_Rees_Mogg What’s a perversion of democracy is you thinking your world view outweighs that if the majority of British voters, including abstentions, and The Houses of Parliament. You are no democrat and Trump like in your methods. This is how fascism starts. The ending is?
— Charlie Bloom (@charliebeeman) February 22, 2018
Editor of Breitbart London Raheem Kassam, who organized the meeting, said about the discussions: “Brexit and the election of President Trump were inextricably linked, so the discussions focused on how we move forward with winning for the conservative movements on both sides of the pond.”
The Conservative backbencher and bookies’ favorite to succeed Theresa May as Tory leader, launched a scathing attack on the government’s Brexit transition plans. Rees-Mogg focused on the open-ended transition period after Britain leaves the EU in March 2019.
The North Somerset MP branded the strategy a “perversion of democracy,” in a column penned for the Telegraph. Rees-Mogg suggests the transition period still subjects the UK to EU red tape.
The leaked document read: “The UK believes the period’s duration should be determined simply by how long it will take to prepare and implement the new processes and new systems that will underpin the future relationship.
“The UK agrees this points to a period of around two years, but wishes to discuss with the EU the assessment that supports its proposed end date.”
Rees-Mogg wrote: “Transition must be time limited, the European Union itself has suggested twenty-one months to the end of the multiannual financial framework.
“It is, therefore, peculiar that the leak reveals Whitehall proposing the exact opposite.
“It reads: ‘the period’s duration should be determined simply by how long it will take to prepare and implement the new processes’: This translates from bureaucratese into English: ‘We must remain.’”
Under the EU’s current framework, the UK would not be allowed to sign any deal during a transition period. Rees-Mogg suggested this must be challenged in order to ensure the UK effectively drops out of the EU.
“To avoid the perversion of democracy that BRINO (Brexit in Name Only) would be it is essential that we are able to sign trade deals in the fixed transition period even if they are implemented when it is over. Anyone can negotiate, but for deals to be real they must be capable of being signed.”
The Tory backbencher then reiterated the UK should not become a “vassal state” once it withdraws from the bloc next year. He said: “When we leave the EU on 29th March next year we need not continue to behave as if we were still a member.
“That would make us a vassal state and there have been no vassals in this country since the era of the Plantagenets.
“We want what our Irish friends have had for a century: the freedom to follow our own star. Our choice is to go. Our friends should respect our choices as we respect theirs.”
His attempt to save British democracy, however, was ridiculed on social media. It was not long before people flocked to Twitter to point out the Old Etonian himself is subverting democracy as he holds the PM to “ransom” in a bid to secure a hard Brexit.
— BritArmoRemainer #FBPE 🇬🇧 🇦🇲 🇪🇺 ❄️ (@Hishyeness) February 22, 2018
What Rees Mogg is actually saying is “No one who believes in democracy & the rule of law should threaten how I & the far right resurgence interpret free speech, especially if it derides Socialism & Corbyn, but champions authoritarian relics like myself”.
— RΣDMIST (@bluscourge) February 21, 2018
Since the document leak, in a bid to quell the fury of Conservative Brexiteers, Downing Street has sought to dismiss suggestions it is planning an open-ended transition deal. A Downing Street spokesperson said: “There will be an end-date included in the agreement.”
A cabinet minister told the Guardian any suggestion otherwise was “just paranoid or wishful thinking.”
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