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‘A Matter for Them’: Rees-Mogg Warns of More Payouts if UK Sets EU Budget

Rees-Mogg
LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty

Jacob Rees-Mogg has slammed the government’s plan to continue working with Brussels on their budget for almost a decade, insisting the UK must “stand alone” after Brexit.

This Tuesday, it was reported that the European Council had invited the UK to partake in setting the bloc’s budget until 2027, with many central and eastern nations keen to keep taking Britain’s cash.

The UK has accepted the offer and will remain involved in the budgetary decision for long after the agreed Brexit “transition period”, up until 2027.

However, Mr. Rees-Mogg, who leads Parliament’s powerful European Reseach Group, said voters wanted to leave the bloc as soon as possible, and warned the UK could end up paying even more if it was drawn into the budget process.

“We need to be very careful about being in the budget discussions,” the North-East Somerset MP told LBC radio.

“If you are in the discussions, is there a risk that you begin to take responsibility for decisions and then you find that you get a bill at the end of it?

“People want a clean Brexit; once we’ve left, we’ve left the European Union. We may be involved in the Erasmus programme or something like that but that will be a stand-alone issue to which we will contribute a set amount of money.

“But we are not interested in and we have no standing with regard to the EU’s total budget. That’s a matter for them,” he declared.

During the show, he also argued that no further referendum on EU membership should be held for the next 30 years.

Asked by a caller if he would accept a second referendum, Mr. Rees-Mogg replied: “We had the biggest democratic exercise in our nation’s history; 17.4 million people voted to leave and of course that should be implemented.

“If, in 30 years’ time, the UK wants to rejoin, that would be a matter for the electorate then.”

He added: “This result must be respected and it must be implemented otherwise we would find our democracy held in as much contempt as that in Greece and Italy by the EU.”

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