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Rees-Mogg’s Ultimatum to May: If Britain Bends to EU on Trade Policy It Will Become ‘Joke Nation’

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Brexit champion Jacob Rees-Mogg has issued a coded ultimatum to Theresa May on Brexit, and chided EU loyalists who treat the European Commission’s pronouncements as “holy writ”.

The leading backbencher used a Telegraph article to lay out “some of the facts the Prime Minister will insist upon in Brussels this week” — which can be interpreted as “some of the facts Brexit-supporting Tories expect her to insist on this week” — ahead of the European Council summit where British and EU negotiators expect a so-called ‘transition deal’ to be signed off.

“The United Kingdom will not accept being a subservient state. In the case of tariffs, once we have left the EU, it is non-negotiable that our trade minister should be able to respond to any threat of increased tariffs from other nations as suits our national interest, not the EU’s,” he remarked — likely a reference to the damaging trade war which the European Commission plans to launch against the United States, which could have serious consequences for British exporters.

“We must be able to negotiate and sign trade deals … If [other countries] think that we are bound by the EU’s ‘duty of sincere cooperation’ or its Common Commercial Policy, then they will rightly not take us seriously,” he added.

Rees-Mogg also took EU loyalists in Parliament and the ‘Remainstream Media’ to task for their habit of treating statements from the European Commission — effectively the opposition in the Brexit talks — as “great thunderbolts of truth”, rather than partisan and negotiable positions.

“When the Commission says something, it is deemed to be infallible, its opinions inevitable and, most intriguingly of all, its approach entirely disinterested. This detached, Olympian body never ‘pushes a line’,” he observed wryly.

“In the words of one country’s frustrated trade negotiator, Britain has to decide if it is a serious country or a joke nation. It would be humiliating for others to have cause to think thus of us,” he stated frankly.

“These are the facts the PM will be dealing in with the Commission this week but there are domestic truths too. If we do not free ourselves from the grip of Brussels, we would walk towards the next general election as a vassal state. What would the public make of this?”

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