Jacob Rees-Mogg has praised the Institute of Economic Affairs new Brexit report, which lays out a blueprint for a “prosperous” Brexit.
Today (September 24) the free-market think-tank released the report, entitled Plan A+: Creating a Prosperous Post-Brexit UK, which advocates a Canada-style free trade agreement and is endorsed by Rees-Mogg and former Brexit secretary David Davis.
It calls for a new backstop solution to the Irish border issue, a worldwide immigration system that recognises the “benefits and costs” of immigration rather than free movement of EU workers, and removing tariffs on agricultural products the UK doesn’t produce.
- Read more: Jacob Rees-Mogg urges Theresa May to seek a Canada-style deal for Brexit
- Read more: Thousands of jobs would be lost with a Canada-style Brexit deal, says CBI boss
Rees-Mogg, a long-term opponent of Theresa May’s Chequers proposal - which sought to remain in the single market rather than establish a free trade deal - joined Eamonn Holmes on the talkRADIO drivetime show to sing the praises of the paper.
“Brexit is a huge opportunity,” he said.
“What is so exciting about the IEA paper is that it is grasping for the Brexit pride that Theresa May once spoke about and which Chequers ignores.
“It is about the UK opening up, operating on a free market basis, lowering the cost of food, clothing and footwear to the great benefit of the least well-off in our society.”
Macron 'a disreputable figure'
Watch: Jacob Rees-Mogg dismisses Emmanuel Macron
French president Emmanuel Macron was among the EU leaders blasting May last week.
European Council president Donald Tusk told her that her Chequers proposal “will not work” at a press conference at the EU leaders’ summit in Salzburg last week, and Macron branded Brexiteers ‘liars’.
“Brexit has shown us one thing – and I fully respect British sovereignty in saying this – it has demonstrated that those who said you can easily do without Europe, that it will all go very well, that it is easy and there will be lots of money, are liars,” he said.
- Read more: 'Chequers goes pop': Remain and Leave-aligned MPs urge Theresa May to come up with a new proposal
Rees-Mogg had some choice words for the French leader.
“If you think about the difficulties Mr Macron is having, the scandals that are engulfing him and the fact that he has managed to achieve a lower popularity rate than even Mr Hollande who preceded him - I wouldn’t bother listening to him quite honestly, he is a discreditable and rather disreputable figure,” he said.
“If he emerges from the sewer to throw a bit of mess about, I think we should ignore him.”
IEA proposals 'a compromise everyone can unite around'
Rees-Mogg reiterated his opposition to Chequers, but said the IEA proposals, which he dubbed ‘Super Canada’, were a “halfway house” Leavers and Remainers alike could accept.
“I think the starting point is that people voted to Leave and whatever is delivered ought to mean that we leave in a real sense,” he told Holmes.
“Chequers does not deliver that. That is one of the major problems, it doesn’t give us the independence that we would need for trade deals.
“It has the problem that we would be leaving on bad terms and I am very keen that we should be leaving on as good terms as possible between us and the EU as we leave their organisation.
“That is where I think Canada Plus or Super Canada is a very good compromise between not really leaving and leaving very aggressively.
“It is a compromise I think people that have always backed Brexit can live with, and I think people who in their hearts would have liked to have remained but accept the democratic mandate can live with too.
“I view Super Canada as something of a halfway house that is a compromise that everyone can unite around.”