Jacob Rees-Mogg ridiculed for ‘delusional’ claim that Brexit strengthened the UK
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Jacob Rees-Mogg has attracted ridicule by claiming that the unity of the United Kingdom is stronger as a result of Brexit.

The Commons leader told The House Magazine that he believes support for Scottish independence increased as a result of the UK’s membership of the EU.

“Brexit actually strengthens the United Kingdom, because it makes it more obvious why the United Kingdom works. We can work together as the United Kingdom rather than having decisions coming from outside.

It’s fascinating that the rise in support for the SNP correlates very strongly with the increase in powers for the European Union.”

The evidence he put forward for this is that support for the Scottish National Party has risen since the UK joined the EU in the 1970s.

But enthusiasm for Scottish independence has not begun to drop since Brexit: in fact, it has increased. According to a recent Ipsos MORI poll, 58 per cent of people now support it, compared with 45 per cent in 2014.

SNP MP Mhairi Black reportedly called Rees-Mogg’s claims “delusional”. She said:

“Jacob-Rees Mogg’s comments show just how out-of-touch with reality and the people of Scotland he and the rest of the Tories really are. To say that Brexit weakens the case for Scottish independence is delusional – it has strengthened it.

There are 15 consecutive polls that show the majority of people would vote Yes in an independence referendum. If the Leader of the House doesn’t want to acknowledge that then he is proving what we already know to be true – the Tories are democracy deniers and Scotland is an afterthought at best to them."

Presented with polling evidence during his House magazine interview, Rees-Mogg said:

“Opinion polls are a snapshot of what people are saying at a particular time and not always enormously accurate.”

On top of the boost for Scottish independence, the Tories have deepened divides between the north and south of England through poor communication with local leaders over the tier-based lockdown system.

The emergence of the Northern Research Group, meanwhile, suggests that some MPs don’t entirely trust Westminster to retain their new-found support in the north.

Boris Johnson also damaged relations between the English, Scottish and Welsh parliaments by describing devolution as “Tony Blair’s worst mistake”, despite dubbing himself ‘minister for the union’.

He also risks disrupting trade along the Irish border if he cannot agree to a Brexit deal that fully protects Northern Ireland.

It’s hardly surprising, then, that Rees-Mogg’s comments attracted ridicule.

The UK has not even fully disentangled itself from the EU yet and already Brexit is deepening divisions. 

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