Jacob Rees-Mogg blasts Remainer ‘obstructionism’ over key Brexit move to break from EU

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Jacob Rees-Mogg has accused Remainers of “obstructionism” over a bonfire of retained EU laws. The Tory MP’s comments come as doubt has been cast over the deadline for scrapping thousands of pieces of Brussels legislation from the UK statute book by the end of the year.

But the former business secretary – who spearheaded a Bill to remove the EU-derived laws during his time in Government – claimed the civil service and House of Lords were undermining the move as it would make it harder for a future government to bring Britain closer to the EU.

Brexiteer Mr Rees-Mogg told GB News: “The problems around it have been exaggerated.

“All of these laws will have papers around them, would have required information when they were brought in, all of that is on file.

“Some of them will be kept as domestic law and just need rewording to make them UK law, for want of a better term.

“Others we’ll be able to get rid of, to scrap, to have the Brexit bonus. And I don’t think this is a particularly complicated process.

“There is obstructionism. Remainers hate it because it is the key divergence from Europe, that it would make it very much harder for a government with a different policy to shadow Europe quietly once we’ve got rid of retained EU law.

“And that’s why there’s so much objection and obstruction from the blob and from the House of Lords which has an overwhelming majority of Remainer peers.”

Mr Rees-Mogg insisted that the end of 2023 deadline for ditching the EU-derived laws is achievable.

The North East Somerset MP added: “It’s very straightforward.

“Bear in mind 1,400 of them had to be dug out of the National Archive because they were essentially not being used.

“So that’s just clearing things out. It’s mucking out the stables.

“Then you’ve got 2,400 of them or so that cover a wide range of things, some of which you might want to continue with, some of which you may want to change.”

Mr Rees-Mogg’s comments come as questions have been raised about the feasibility of combing through thousands of pieces of legislation accumulated during the UK’s decades in the bloc by the end of the year.

The Government has committed to removing around 4,000 EU laws from the British statute book by December.

But earlier this month it was reported that Rishi Sunak will be forced by the House of Lords to abandon the move.

A senior government source told The Times that it was “inevitable” the PM would have to extend the deadline when the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill reaches the Lords.

But the move risks the fury of hardline Brexiteer Conservative MPs.