Jacob Rees-Mogg finally admits that he got one of Brexit's biggest disasters wrong

Jacob Rees-Mogg finally admits that he got one of Brexit's biggest disasters wrong
Jacob Rees-Mogg says Nicola Sturgeon 'often wrong' and 'always moaning'

Please spare a thought for Brexit opportunities minister Jacob Rees-Mogg, as the likelihood of him finding one good thing about the UK’s vote to leave the European Union in 2016 is about as high as Boris Johnson attending an emergency Cobra briefing.

In the latest case of something a politician said a few years ago coming back to bite them, Mr Rees-Mogg was reminded of comments made back in June 2018 about the possibility of queues at Dover after leaving the bloc.

“There’ll be no need for checks at Dover, but it will be an ability to ensure that the roads keep running around Dover, even if there’s delays at Calais. The delays will not be at Dover; they will be at Calais,” the Tory MP told LBC’s Nick Ferrari at the time.

Reader, delays were so bad at Dover at the end of July that a “critical incident” was declared, with one lorry driver revealing to the PA news agency he had been queueing for more than 15 hours.

Then there was the warning issued by ferry operator DFDS on Thursday, when it told passengers to allow two hours to “complete the check-in process and border controls” at the border.

Speaking to Mr Ferrari on Tuesday, after being played his 2018 comments, Mr Rees-Mogg said: “The delays are caused by the French. They are French-created delays.”

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As the Brexiteer fumbled over an answer, the broadcaster pressed him on whether he would apologise as he got that information wrong.

“Yes, I of course got that wrong,” he said.

Yes, you read that right. A minister in Boris Johnson’s government went on the radio and openly admitted he had made a mistake. The one thing many of the electorate have been crying out for in our politics – some honesty and integrity – has just been delivered by the most unlikely of politicians: Jacob Rees-Mogg.

“But I got it wrong for the right reason,” he added.

Oh, for God’s sake.

Mr Rees-Mogg continued: “The point I was making, was that the only delays would be caused by the French, if they decided not to allow British people to pass through freely. They have decided to do that, they failed to get people to turn up and that is what caused the delays in Dover.

"We have juxtaposed border controls which means that we check people in Calais, and the French check people in Dover.

“Actually, that means that if the French don’t operate their system properly, we get the delays.”

His remarks soon got Twitter users rolling their eyes and scratching their heads:

And it seems Mr Rees-Mogg hasn’t watched the clip of The Independent’s travel expert Simon Calder explaining why the French aren’t to blame for the Dover chaos either.

He told Good Morning Britain last month: "We have said we wanted to be treated as third country citizens. That means instead of just waving the passport out of the window when you breeze past, or just being completely waved past because there’s a bit of a queue building up, the French official has to – because we asked to be third country nationals – ask you to see your passport.

“These are all rules that we helped devise and build in.”

We’re now looking forward to Tuesday’s comments from Mr Rees-Mogg being challenged in the near future.

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