Jacob Rees-Mogg: ‘Brexit will be better for young people than staying in the EU'

Andy Wells
Freelance Writer
Jacob Rees-Mogg believes Brexit will be better for Britain’s youth than remaining in the EU (Rex)

Prominent Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg has said that leaving the EU represents ‘the best opportunity’ for young people in Britain.

The high-profile Tory backbencher spoke after reports that organisations representing Britain’s students have joined calls for a second Brexit referendum.

Mr Rees-Mogg said in his weekly phone-in on LBC that Brexit would be better for young people than if the UK stayed in the EU.

The Tory backbencher is a prominent Brexiteer (Rex)

He said: ’I think in terms of the Brexit debate that the great opportunities for everybody, but particularly the younger generation, are in leaving and looking to the broader horizon of the rest of the world rather than the narrow closed protectionist European field.

‘For younger people, leaving is the best opportunity that they could have.’

Mr Rees-Mogg went on to describe Prime Minister Theresa May as the ‘Geoffrey Boycott of negotiations’, saying: ‘She is playing a straight bat, she isn’t giving a great deal away – I probably know as much about her approach as anybody else does.

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‘But I think this steady, stable approach is the right one to be taking and is in the national interest.’

The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator was briefing ministers from the 27 remaining member states on the progress of talks at a meeting of the General Affairs Council in Brussels on Monday afternoon.

Arriving for the meeting, Germany’s foreign minister Michael Roth said: ‘As before, we are concerned that there is no clear attitude and no clear position from the British side.

Mr Rees-Mogg described Theresa May as the ‘Geoffrey Boycott of negotiations’ (Rex)

‘Time is passing. We must now make substantial progress, and that is yet to come.

‘What preoccupies us above all is the question of Northern Ireland, where we are still awaiting a substantial approach from the British side.’

Dutch foreign minister Stef Blok added: ‘Brexit is an unwise decision which we regret, but we respect of course the outcome of the referendum.’

Norway’s prime minister Erna Solberg said her country was open to the UK remaining in the European Economic Area (EEA) after Brexit.

All the key events leading up to Brexit (PA)

The House of Lords last week voted in favour of the UK joining Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway as non-EU members of the EEA, which would allow Britain to stay in the European single market.

Ms Solberg told the Financial Times: ‘I think we will cope very well if the Brits come in.

‘It will give bargaining power on our side too. And it would ease Norway’s access to the UK.’

In an apparent reference to the UK’s unwillingness to maintain the freedom of movement required by the single market, Ms Solberg said there would be ‘costs and benefits’ to British EEA membership.