Brexit: Emily Maitlis eviscerates Jacob Rees-Mogg on Newsnight for 'evoking slavery'

Greg Evans
Friday 29 March 2019 12:00
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To say that Jacob Rees-Mogg isn't the most popular MP in Westminster is a bit of an understatement.

His tendency to use hyperbole and dramatically U-turn on things that he has previously said does not go unnoticed by his critics, yet he somehow remains a politician with some stature.

This means he still gets to go on television, but - while he often gets a free ride from some presenters - the BBC's Emily Maitlis gave the Tory MP a proper grilling during his appearance on Thursday's edition of Newsnight.

The ardent Brexiteer appeared on the show to attempt to rectify his position on Theresa May's Brexit deal, with MPs are set to vote for a part of on Friday.

However, rather than let the MP for North East Somerset sit there comfortably, Maitlis brought up some of his previous quotes on the prime ministers deal which he had referred to as 'turning the UK into a slave state'.

The 48-year-old journalist said to Rees-Mogg:

You’ve taken a principled stance, haven’t you against the EU? You’ve been principled against Theresa May’s deal.

You said it would turn the UK into a slave state. The greatest vassalage since King John. You’ve said all that.

Rees-Mogg replied:

Correct. I think the deal is terrible. We've discussed this before. Remaining in the European Union is worse.

Maitlis then pulled him and told him that he had used rhetoric that had 'evoked slavery'. Rees-Mogg said:

That’s absolutely true. The deal is a bad deal. We paid £39 billion for nothing.

We retain for 21 months, the slave state that you refer to, and we have an Irish backstop that has no specific end date.

This is a bad deal, but it is legally out of the European Union.

Maitlis, clearly losing her patience with the MP, then repeated what he had said in the past.

I’m just going to repeat this because it matters Jacob, you evoked slavery.

Of course, people are allowed to change their mind and we want our parliamentarians to be able to compromise.

But you didn’t say ‘well, I’m not quite sure’ you said ‘it would turn the UK in slave state’ and then you consider voting for it.

Rees-Mogg argued:

For 21 months, our laws under this deal will be made without us having any say over it. That is true and that is terrible.

Maitlis then accused him of whipping up 'fear and hatred':

You whipped up hatred and fear with a language like that. You know what it’s like to face abuse.

Rees-Mogg tried to defend himself:

No, no, frankly, I didn’t. That’s simply not true.

If anyone’s whipping up hatred, it’s the BBC who compared the ERG just last week to the National Front in France, if we’re getting silly language, it’s from the BBC.

Maitlis again came back:

By using language like that you make a mockery of language you make a mockery of truth.

The MP claimed that it was a 'silly way' of looking at the situation.

I think that is a silly way of looking at it quite honestly.

We will be unable to make our own laws for that 21-month period, that is true.

Maitlis replied:

That is not what you said, you said it would turn the UK into a slave state. That’s what that means.

Needless to say, it made for riveting viewing and people were more than happy to revel in it.

HT inews

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