Oh dear. As anxiety grows about the Theresa May’s customs union stance, Jacob Rees-Mogg has this afternoon told hacks that the government’s mooted customs partnership is ‘completely cretinous’. The Moggster’s tough talk will play out well among Brexiteers who fear May’s own resolve has weakened in recent months. What will play out less well with the Brexit camp, however, is a comment made by a European commissioner appearing to make this very point.
Speaking at a press conference yesterday, Phil Hogan, the Irish agriculture commissioner on the 28-strong executive, broke from the script and made a choice comment when asked about Rees-Mogg’s claim that the UK government should call the EU’s bluff on the customs union as Britain could place tariffs of up to 70 percent on Irish beef if there is no wider Brexit deal agreed.
His response? Bloomberg reports that Hogan said:
‘That’s why we’re very pleased in the European Union that we’re dealing with the prime minister of the United Kingdom, not with Mr. Rees-Mogg.’
Hardly helpful to the Prime Minister…