'Only time will tell' - What arch-Brexiter Jacob Rees-Mogg said on bid to oust Prime Minister during Norfolk visit
PUBLISHED: 17:52 29 November 2018 | UPDATED: 08:29 30 November 2018
Arch-Brexiter Jacob Rees-Mogg said Norfolk's agricultural sector would benefit from a "managed no-deal" on a visit to the county.
Mr Rees-Mogg, who has become a figurehead of those pushing for a hard Brexit, spoke to about 110 Tory party faithful at a North West Norfolk Conservative Association fundraiser at Creake Abbey today (Thursday, November 29).
Mr Rees-Mogg, 49, said Norfolk had nothing to fear by the UK rejecting prime minister Theresa May’s deal with the EU.
The North West Somerset MP said: “I think the people of Norfolk who voted very heavily to leave will be very pleased that we actually have left. And it will be delivering on the promise made to them in the referendum and reiterated in the party manifesto.
“The opportunities for agriculture are going to be bigger once we are outside the European Union and no longer subject to its regulations and are able to free our farms from the red tape that stops them farming in the way they want to.”
Norfolk voted 58.7pc to leave the EU in the 2006 referendum.
Mr Rees-Mogg dismissed questions put by North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb to Theresa May at a committee today. He said Mr Lamb’s concerns over Brexit impacting science and researchers’ access to the UK were unfounded.
He said: “That is the very Eurocentric view that assumes the only scientists are in the European Union. There are brilliant scientists in India, China and United States and we should be more open to those scientists.”
Mr Rees-Mogg said he had not abandoned his efforts to topple the prime minister after submitting a letter of no-confidence in her leadership.
He said: “I’ve put in a letter and others have put in a letter. Only time will tell.”
Diana Brocklebank-Scott, Creake Abbey owner, said Mr Rees-Mogg spoke in a “level-headed and calm manner”. She said: “I was very pleased that Jacob spoke so clearly about his view that a managed no-deal is what we should go for.”
Association chairman Elizabeth Nockolds said: “I personally feel we need a good deal to leave Europe. But the important thing today was that the room was full of people, either remainers, Brexiteers, people that are middle of the road, we all met together, had lunch and showed great unity in the party.”