- Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg accuses David Davis of being “weak” in Brexit negotiations.
- Rees-Mogg told the Brexit Secretary to be honest about what transition means.
- “Be honest about it. We are de facto staying in the EU for two more years,” he said.
- Brexit committee chair, Hilary Benn, told BI transition could go beyond two years.
LONDON – Jacob Rees-Mogg strongly criticised Brexit Secretary David Davis during a sitting of the parliamentary Brexit committee on Wednesday morning.
Rees-Mogg, a leading pro-Brexit voice in Parliament, accused Davis of giving “weak” answers and turning Britain into a “vassal state” by planning to keep it closely-wedded to European Union institutions during transition.
Conservative MP Rees-Mogg was quizzing Davis on the government’s policy of continuing with the current terms of the single market and customs union for a period of up to two years after Brexit day in March 2019.
“If on the 30th March, 2019, the UK is subject to European Court of Justice, takes new rules relating to the single market, and is paying into the European budget, are we not a vassal state?” Rees-Mogg asked Davis.
“We are only going to be out at the end of transition. That is a big shift in government policy and a big move away from the vote in June 2016.”
Davis said he did “not accept” Rees-Mogg’s description, which prompted the MP for North East Somerset to say: “Isn’t that a really weak answer?
“To say that the EU has been slowly implementing new laws in the past and therefore will be slow in future. It will have 21 months where it can implement new rules.
“Be honest about it. We are de facto staying in the EU for 2 more years,” Rees-Mogg later added.
“Aren’t we just still acting as if we are still in the European Union, we’re bound by the European Union, we are lackies of the European Union? Can’t we be a bit bolder?”
“We are acting as a law-abiding country,” Brexit Secretary Davis responded.
Watch Rees-Mogg corner Davis:
“If on the 30th of March 2019, the UK is subject to the ECJ, takes new rules relating to the single market and is paying into the European Budget, are we not a vassal state?” asks @Jacob_Rees_Mogg pic.twitter.com/65c7x9Xovc
— BrexitCentral (@BrexitCentral) January 24, 2018
In his latest appearance in front of the Brexit committee, Davis suggested that removing Britain from the jurisdiction of the ECJ during transition was never a “red line” and accepted Britain may have to accept new EU laws.
In an interview with Business Insider this week, committee chair Hilary Benn suggested that the post-exit day transition may have to be longer than the two years currently proposed.
“It raises a big question. What happens if at the end of the transitional period, this negotiation hasn’t been completed? My answer is to prolong the transition,” Benn said.
“My view is that the transitional agreement ought to include provisions for an extension if necessary. I think that would be a prudent thing to do.”
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