Member of Parliament for North Somerset Jacob Rees-Mogg has lectured the British government’s Brexit minister David Davis MP, reminding him that Britain is not continuing its membership of the European Union and therefore does not need to behave as a permanent member.
The exchange — which took place in the House of Commons on Wednesday — saw Mr. Rees-Mogg argue the government’s approach to Brexit meant that Britain might as well extend the Article 50 negotiations for two more years.
The current plan implies the European Union will still demand money from, and enforce its rules over the United Kingdom for at least two years after the Brexit process fully comes to fruition. Mr. Davis disagreed, claiming the core difference was that Britain would be free to negotiate its own international trade deals after the cut off in 2019.
“…why aren’t we just extending Article 50… we’re going to be defacto in the European Union,” said Rees-Mogg, before adding, “be honest about it”.
“…the abiltiy to make international trade deal, these matter enormously,” responded Davis, pointing to 2020-2021 as a date by which new deals could kick in.
“The one advantage we have is that we’re free from sincere co-operation?” asked Rees-Mogg before suggesting: “Can’t we be a bit insincere now and get on with it?”
“Insincerity is not government policy,” responded Davis, formerly a lion on the Brexit issue, whose passion for the project of relieving Britain from the EU’s grasp appears to have waned during his time in charge of the Remain-dominated Department for Exiting the EU.
“Who’s going to punish us if we get on with it now?” queried Rees-Mogg, adding, “Aren’t we just acting as if we are still in the European Union? We’re bound by the European Union, we’re lackeys of the European Union. Can’t we be a bit bolder and implement the referendum result?”
Mr. Davis suggested that Mr. Rees-Mogg was suggesting the United Kingdom “break the laws”.
“We’re not breaking the laws… we’re leaving. We don’t need to behave as if we were a permanent member,” Mogg shot back.