Jacob Rees Mogg, leading Conservative Brexiteer and leader of the European Research Group (ERG), has chastised the Government’s Chequers proposal, as it does not allow the freedom to create a truly global Britain.
Writing in The Telegraph, Mr Rees Mogg said that there is an inconsistency in Government messaging at the moment; as the Prime Minister says it’s either her deal or no deal, yet her Environment Secretary, Michael Gove, has said that the agreement could be changed by a future Prime Minister.
Mr Rees Mogg has used his op-ed to argue that it is time we found a more consistent and longer lasting approach to our future relationship with the European Union.
Addressing the issue of the border at Northern Ireland, he said that the Prime Minister’s approach was too “heavy handed.” “he EU has offered a comprehensive free trade deal for Great Britain and would offer it for Northern Ireland as well if the integrity of the single market could be guaranteed.”
There is an alternative to Chequers and it is better. https://t.co/5FMvYRo8hs
— Jacob Rees-Mogg (@Jacob_Rees_Mogg) 19 September 2018
Pointing to research papers released last week by the Economists for Free Trade, Mr Rees Mogg said that the “EU is considering compromise and technological solutions for its backstop proposal.”
He said we must seize on this opportunity if we are to find a solution to the border question that is free from bureaucratic tape and still allows the UK to look beyond the corners of Europe for free trade deals. He said that “for excise, VAT and immigration, the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic is not currently policed at crossing points but administratively, as companies make filings or carry out checks, while customs officers act to detect crime.”
He uses this point to say that there is already an alternative to the Chequers proposal, one already offered by the EU and one which the Government lacked the political will to grasp.
On the issue of shifting a deal later by a new Prime Minister, Rees Mogg says this would be even less viable than Chequers, because “the EU would have no incentive to renew talks once we have left on the basis of an agreed international treaty.” He said there would be a distinct lack of political will by the EU to ever shift the UK/EU dynamic.
Mr Rees Mogg therefore concluded that the only way the UK would be completely free from the European Union and the Common Rule Book, that has earned the ire of many Brexiteers, is to move beyond the current plan.
“The answer remains to chuck Chequers and go for a free trade deal that is on offer and works with the ERG’s effective answer to the Irish question.”