Jacob Rees-Mogg: Labour’s new Brexit stance is for metropolitan cappuccino drinkers

Jacob Rees-Mogg: Labour’s new Brexit stance is for metropolitan cappuccino drinkers

Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg has hit out at Labour’s Brexit U-turn, accusing the party of picking “cappuccino drinkers in metropolitan areas” over its more traditional support base.

On Sunday the Labour Party dramatically changed their position on Brexit, with Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer writing in the Observer that Britain should remain inside the Customs Union and the Single Market during a transitional period.

But the MP for North East Somerset attacked the position, saying that it failed to meet three key tests for a transitional arrangement which involved ending free movement and ending the jurisdiction of the ECJ.

“It seems that the Labour Party has chosen its cappuccino drinkers in metropolitan areas over the rest of its voters.” he said.

The popular backbench MP expressed sympathy for Brexit-backing Labour members and in an interview with BrexitCentral denied that Euroscepticism was intrinsically linked to Conservative values.

The fact that there is a large group of Labour Leavers shows that Brexit is about democracy rather than Conservatism, he said, adding that the best person to explain the democratic deficit of the EU was the late Labour MP Tony Benn.

On a post-Brexit immigration policy Mr. Rees-Mogg said the priority was fairness for every country but he also called on the government to tackle illegal immigration.

“The Home Office mustn’t try to use Brexit as a way of covering up the long-standing challenges it has faced with immigration rules.

“They need to ensure that people who are here illegally are removed and Brexit shouldn’t change that.”

But once a level-playing field was created on immigration, he said Australia would be “at the front of the queue” on any free movement deals between the UK and another country.

The Eurosceptic MP said that in the event of a ‘no-deal’ scenario the UK should refuse to pay any financial settlement. Something that would cause complications for EU budget allocations.

When asked if he thought Poland might leave the EU after their government’s on going battle with the European Commission he played down attempts to splinter the Union.

“It’s better not to stir up other countries to leave.”

In the last few months Jacob Rees-Mogg has been the subject of leadership speculation and several ‘meme’ pages have been created in his support including ‘Ready for Rees-Mogg’ and ‘Moggmentum’. In political betting he is currently only second to David Davis as favourite to replace Theresa May.

Conservative MP Daniel Kawczynski praised his “intellect and moral courage” and called on Rees-Mogg to be appointed to the cabinet after he revealed he often goes into the House of Commons chamber just to hear his colleague speak.

However, the MP for Shrewsbury and Atcham stressed that it would be bad for the country if there was a leadership contest any time soon.

Sam Frost, 23, worked for Vote Leave during the referendum and founded the Ready for Rees-Mogg campaign with fellow Vote Leave staffer Anne Sutherland. So far the campaign has raised £7000 which is being spent on targeted Facebook ads.

Frost, who now works outside of politics, is confident the MP would stand in any leadership election and says his recent article in the Telegraph is a case in point.

“He’s obviously not going to say, ‘Yes, I’m putting my name forward’ because it would look like he’s stabbing Theresa in the back.” Frost said.

When asked, Jacob Rees-Mogg said he was enjoying ‘Moggmentum’ but that without any cabinet experience it would “look foolish” if he stood in any leadership election.

He wouldn’t rule out a cabinet position but said that Theresa May had made it clear what her thoughts were when she “giggled” in response to the LBC presenter Iain Dale when he asked the Prime Minister if she would offer him a role.

“I can’t see Theresa May changing her mind,” he said.