03:50 GMT +316 August 2018
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    British Conservative Party Member of Parliament (MP) and Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg arrives to speak to the media on Embankment Pier without boarding a fishing boat that went on to take part in a protest stunt with fish being thrown off it into the River Thames outside the Houses of Parliament in London, Wednesday, March 21, 2018

    Rees-Mogg Blasts May's EU Customs Plan as 'Cretinous'

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    The Conservative Party’s arch-Hard Brexiteer has made his most publicly critical remarks to date on the Prime Minister’s commitment to taking the United Kingdom out of the European Union.

    Jacob Rees-Mogg has issued a stark warning to Prime Minister Theresa May saying that Britain forming a customs partnership with the European Union after Brexit would amount to a "betrayal" of the June 2016 referendum result to leave the European Union.

    At an event for the think-tank "Open Europe," Rees-Mogg went as far as to label the Prime Minister's putative plans as "cretinous" and would be no different to the United Kingdom remaining in the EU.

    His comments represent the harshest criticism yet of the Prime Minister by the conservative right-wing of the party amid continuing threats to replace Mrs May with a figure who will pursue a harder line with Europe.

    The Conservative MP for Somerset has consistently advocated the most complete version of Brexit in which all institutional ties to the EU would be severed, along with Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, International Trade Secretary Liam Fox and Agriculture Secretary Michael Gove.

    On April 18, the government lost a crucial vote in the House of Lords where a majority voted down the Prime Minister's stated plan, outlined in her 2017 Lancaster House speech to pull the UK completely out of the European Customs Union as well as the Single Market.

    The PM's reported alternative, a partnership with the Customs rather than membership of it would potentially alleviate the problems posed by erecting customs checks on the border between the UK and the Republic of Ireland which consistently figures as one of the key stumbling blocks to a final Brexit agreement between London and Brussels.

    Electronic tracking of goods and services crossing the border would be easier under such an arrangement.

     

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    Tags:
    Brexiteers, soft Brexit, customs union, Hard Brexit, Brexit, Conservative Party, European Union, Jacob Rees-Mogg, Michael Gove, Boris Johnson, Liam Fox, Theresa May, Europe, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
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