Jacob Rees-Mogg hints at Brexit olive branch as he says PM's deal better than no Brexit

Posted On: 
20th January 2019

Jacob Rees-Mogg has dropped a major hint that his group of hardcore pro-Brexit Tory MPs are willing to strike a deal with Theresa May on Brexit.

Jacob Rees-Mogg was behind a plot to topple Theresa May in December
Credit: 
PA Images

The prominent Tory MP, who leads the rebellious European Research Group, said the deal the Prime Minister clinched with Brussels “would be better than not leaving at all”.

The ERG has been a leading voice in the criticism of the Withdrawal Agreement, which last week was overwhelmingly rejected by the Commons, and has been pushing for a no-deal departure.

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It was also the guiding force behind an attempt to topple Mrs May in December - but she clung onto power.

In an article for the Mail on Sunday, Mr Rees-Mogg said he hoped the Prime Minister was “prepared to compromise” on Brexit and called on the Tory party to “come together in the national interest”.

“If I had to choose between no deal and Mrs May’s original accord, I would have no hesitation of opting for no-deal Brexit but even Mrs May’s deal would be better than not leaving at all,” he said.

“Even at this very late stage, I believe that with commitment and effort we can avoid such a choice.”

And he added: “I hope that if Mrs May were prepared to compromise on her plans, she could win over her party, get a revised deal through the Commons and secure agreement from Brussels.

“It is high time for the Tory party to come together in the national interest.”

Mrs May this week invited prominent ERG members to Downing Street to listen to their concerns over Brexit as part of her efforts to reach out to MPs after her deal was defeated.

Elsewhere, Sir Graham Brady, the chair of the powerful 1922 committee of Tory backbenchers, said in an article for the Sunday Telegraph that the Withdrawal Agreement was “deeply flawed and virtually friendless”.

The Altrincham and Sale West MP said the EU had “run rings” around British negotiators - which will be seen as a veiled swipe at Downing Street after it took charge of the process.