Speaking in Brussels following a meeting with the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier, Mr Rees-Mogg said: “Mr Barnier was, as you would expect, was extraordinarily charming and well informed. He and I found that we were in a considerable degree of agreement that Chequers is absolute rubbish and that we should chuck it and what we should have is a Canada-style free trade deal.
He seemed to think that was the way forward and has published charts showing that. So, interestingly eurosceptics and Michel Barnier are in a greater agreement than eurosceptics and the Government or Michel Barnier and the Government, it was very encouraging.”
Mr Rees-Mogg has previously spoken out against Mays Chequers proposals saying: “The Chequers plan is deeply unsatisfactory and basically means that we wouldn’t be leaving the EU. We would still be subject – de facto – to the European Court of Justice, and we would be a rule-taker from the European Union. We would have no say and no votes over those rules. That makes future trade deals with other countries extremely difficult. The whole point of leaving the EU is that we’re free to make our own rules, not that we’re a vassal state of the EU.”
Mr Rees-Mogg told the Financial Times’ UK politics podcast: “Chequers tore up Mansion House. The Prime Minister referred to it as an ‘evolution’ but it was one of her big U-turns. This is so craven, weak and feeble. When you’re in a negotiation and one side disagrees with you, it’s not a reason to give up
It’s a reason to point out the benefits they are getting from what you are offering them. We are offering the European Union £39bn – we expect something in return. It is impossible to imagine Margaret Thatcher would have got the British rebate from the EU if he had behaved in such a fashion.”
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