Published On: Tue, Jul 3rd, 2018

Brexit News: Rees-Mogg names two cabinet ministers seeking to dilute Brexit at Chequers | UK | News

Jacob Rees-Mogg has revealed the two most vocal figures in the cabinet who are “briefing against the Prime Minister” and trying to frustrate Brexit.

The Brexiteer backbench, who heads up the European Research Group, claimed Greg Clark and the Treasury, led by Phillip Hammond, were trying to “water down” Brexit.

This comes a day after Mr Rees-Mogg drew controversy for saying the government could collapse if the Prime Minister did not deliver on what she promised.

The intervention sparked a backlash from his own party colleagues, including Tory MP Sir Nicolas Soames who tweeted that Mr Rees-Mogg should “shut up” and “put a sock on it”.

Speaking with Julia Hartley-Brewer on talkRadio, Mr Rees-Mogg denied that he was trying to blackmail the Prime Minister – insisting he was wholeheartedly behind her.

He said: “It’s slightly eccentric of some minister to object to this.

“The Conservative party put forward a platform to the electorate a year ago and it should deliver on it and that’s coming out of the customs union, out of the single market and out of the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice.

“This should not be softened at the edges and I support her.”

Instead, Mr Rees-Mogg went after Mr Clark and Mr Hammond as the two key voices in the Brexit trying to thwart what he sees as a true departure from the EU.

Business Secretary and cabinet minister Greg Clark has become increasingly vocal against a hard Brexit.

He recently defended Airbus after the airline company warned it could pull out of the UK in the event of a no deal Brexit.

Mr Rees-Mogg said: “Some members of the cabinet are consistently briefing against her and trying to undermine what she is trying to do.

“Collective responsibility does not seem to be operating in the usual way so I was simply trying to support the Prime Minister.”

Hartley-Brewer repeatedly quizzed the Brexiteer MP on the names of the cabinet ministers he had in mind.

After initially refusing to name the politicians in mind, Mr Rees-Mogg relented and said: “Alright. We know that Greg Clark has been making speeches saying essentially we should remain in the single market and the customs union, and we know the Treasury has been consistently trying it’s best to frustrate Brexit.”

He added: “What they are trying to do is water down and dilute Brexit. 

“Parts of the British establishment have never accepted the referendum result sadly. This is a matter of great concern.”

However, the Somerset North MP refused to say whether Mrs May should sack the ministers.

He said: “It is quite a leap to put myself in Mrs May’s shoes, this is a matter or May to determine.

“But it is unhelpful to her and to the country to have a cabinet that does not abide by collective responsibility.”

In response, a Treasury spokesman pointed to Mr Hammond’s recent remarks at his Mansion House speech.

During the annual speech last month, the Chancellor said: “We need to forge a new relationship with our European neighbours that protects those patterns of trade; those business relationships that have been painstakingly built over decades.

“One that maintains low friction borders and open markets. That does not make the Treasury, on my watch, ‘the enemy of Brexit’.

“Rather, it makes it the champion of prosperity for the British people outside the EU, but working and trading closely with it.” have reached out for comment to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, which Mr Clark heads up.

On Sunday, Mr Clark told Sky News the post-Brexit transition period could be extended beyond December 2020, as he claimed “any reasonable person” would be guided by evidence.

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