Jacob Rees-Mogg has said that if the result of a second referendum was a preference to remain in the EU, he’d demand a ‘best of three’.
Speaking to James Whale on talkRADIO, Rees-Mogg said that this weekend’s March for the Future, organised by People’s Vote, should not lead to a second referendum being held.
“There could be hundreds of thousands of people on the streets on Saturday taking part,” said Whale.
“Will that sway you to let people make the final decision?”
'How many referendums do they want?'
A van promoting March for the Future drives through London. Image: Getty
“You say there may be hundreds of thousands, but there were 17.4 million who voted to leave,” Rees-Mogg responded.
“If we get 17.5 million on the streets… they’re not going to get a number that compares. We’ve had the referendum, how many referendums do these complainants want?
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“Do we go on voting until we get the result they want? The decision has been made, it needs to be implemented.
“I hope people have a fun time taking to the streets, but I don’t think this should overturn what 17.4 million people voted for.”
'Best of three'
Whale asked what Rees-Mogg and other Brexiteers would do if the government backtracked on its position not to hold another referendum.
“Well, we’d clearly vote against any such legislation,” he said. “It would be very hard to get that legislation through parliament.”
“If it happened anyway and the decision to leave was overturned, would you accept that and just get back to normal life?” Whale asked.
“If there were a second referendum, and it were 52/48 in the other direction, then people like me would immediately demand it were the best of three,” said Rees-Mogg.
“That’s why a second referendum doesn’t solve anything.”
November summit cancelled
Theresa May has been in Brussels this week talking to EU leaders, but chief negotiator Michel Barnier said the Irish border was still a sticking point.
A summit planned for November was cancelled, with sources saying they could meet in December instead if Barnier feels enough progress has been made.
“I think it makes it more difficult to get a deal,” said Rees-Mogg of the cancellation.
“A deal not only has to be agreed at European level, but it then has to be passed into UK law, and the process of passing a law is not necessarily swift.
“So yes, delaying it until December makes it harder to complete the legislative programme.”
No deal 'better than purgatory'
Watch: Jacob Rees-Mogg tells James Whale no deal is 'better than being stuck in purgatory'
He also stuck to his stance that a no-deal exit was better than drawing out the negotiating process.
“I think are some people who don’t want us to leave the European Union and therefore they want to drag things out for as long as possible,” he said.
“On the other hand, we might find that we’ve left on the 29th March next year, without having formed an agreement.
“And though that’s not the best outcome, at least we’d be out and we’d have the opportunity to make our own way and our own decisions.
“There are many things we could do to help the economy, to free up trade with the rest of the world.
“Leaving without a withdrawal agreement is not the end of the world, and it’s certainly preferable to being in purgatory forever.”