The Corner


Jacob Rees-Mogg: May’s Deal Is the Lesser of Two Evils

“I think that it is better to leave in one way or another than to remain,” Jacob Rees-Mogg, member of British parliament for North East Somerset and ardent Brexiteer, told National Review last December.

At that point, Rees-Mogg believed that Theresa May’s negotiated deal with the EU was not the only way of leaving. But judging from an interview he gave this week with Conservative Home, he seems to have modified his position. The chance of leaving without a deal looks bleak, Rees-Mogg said:

The prime minister does not want to leave without a deal, the cabinet doesn’t want to leave without a deal, and the British parliament doesn’t want to leave without a deal. It is therefore very difficult to see how you get to leaving without a deal.

His conclusion?

Is this deal worse than not leaving? No, definitely not. If we take this deal we are legally out of the EU… Being legally out is of great importance. It restores our independence.

Although this is technically consistent with his position last year, it is notably less optimistic. It remains to be seen how many other Brexiteers will retreat, as Jacob Rees-Mogg seems to be doing, and back May’s deal out of fear of no Brexit at all.


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