Jacob Rees-Mogg conjures Thatcher during Brexit extension debate

PUBLISHED: 17:10 04 June 2020 | UPDATED: 17:29 04 June 2020

Jacob Rees-Mogg during a debate in the House of Commons. Photograph: Parliament TV.

Jacob Rees-Mogg during a debate in the House of Commons. Photograph: Parliament TV.

Archant

Commons leader Jacob Rees-Mogg has quoted Margaret Thatcher as he dismissed calls for a Brexit extension.

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The former European Research Group chair evoked the former Tory prime minister when he flatly denied any hopes of an extension, telling MPs: “No, no, no.”

Quoting sections of the Thatcher’s 1990 speech amid calls for greater central control in Europe, he said: “Ensuring we leave the transition period successfully in full by the end of this year is one of the government’s and, even more importantly, the British people’s highest priorities.

“An extension to the transition period would be neither in the UK’s nor the European Union’s interests.

He went on to say: “To quote Margaret Thatcher - will we have an extension? No, no, no.”

Rees-Mogg’s speech came as SNP home affairs spokeswoman Joanna Cherry urged cabinet minister Michael Gove to “swallow his pride” and seek an extension before the end of the June deadline.

“The deadline at the end of this month is a very real deadline because after the end of this month it won’t be possible to extend under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement, and no other plausible route to an extension has been put forward,” she said.

Liberal Democrat Brexit spokesman Alistair Carmichael said new trade deals could mean food produced to a lower standard - like chlorinated chicken - may end up on British supermarket shelves.

He said: “Now in fact we hear that as a consequence of the so-called dual tariff process it is quite possible we will see such products being imported to this country.”

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