Jacob Rees-Mogg hailed the Prime Minister as a “heroine of our times” compared to other British leaders for her work during the Brexit negotiations. The North Somerset MP insisted Theresa May is “clearly better” than some politicians who held the role of Prime Minister before her from both the Tory and Labour camp. Speaking to ITV Peston, the eurosceptic politician said: “She is clearly a better Prime Minister than quite a number of the occupants of 10, Downing Street since the war.
“I think she’s done a better job than John Major or Ted Heat. I think she’s done a better job than Anthony Eden on the Conservative side. I think she’s done a better job than Gordon Brown or Tony Blair or Harold Wilson.
“Actually, Theresa May turns out to be a great heroine of our times.”
Asked why he still refused to back Mrs May’s proposed Brexit deal despite his support for the Prime Minister, Mr Rees-Mogg replied: “Because I disagree with her European policy.”
The Tory MP, who chairs the eurosceptic European Research Group (ERG), in December led a group of rebellious MPs seeking to oust Theresa May over her perceived capitulation to the European Union with the divorce deal she secured.
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He later congratulated Mrs May after she won the confidence of the Conservative Party to continue leading them but remained firm on his opposition to the deal over fears the backstop clause included could be exploited to keep the UK closely aligned to the EU.
Theresa May tried to break the parliamentary deadlock this week holding a series of indicative votes to test which Brexit option could win the support of a majority of MPs. None of the options won enough support to emerge as the favourite.
Brexit Secretary Steven Barclay said the results of the indicative votes strengthened ministers’ view their deal was “the best option”.
Mr Barclay said a “wide variety of options” had been considered and it was clear there was no “simple way forward”.
Most expect the Government to put Theresa May’s deal to a third meaningful vote at some stage soon after she announced she would resign if it was delivered.
Sir Oliver Letwin, the backbench rebel Tory MP whose indicative vote option for a second Brexit referendum received the most support in last night’s indicative votes, has said no deal on April 12 is the “most likely” scenario as things stand.
On Thursday morning, Sir Oliver told BBC radio: “I think that at some point or other we either have to get a deal across the line or accept that we have to find an alternative if we want to avoid no deal on April 12, which I think at the moment is the most likely thing to happen.”
He added if Britain decides to hold another referendum or an election it would require a long extension to Brexit but he was unsure whether parliament would agree to a further delay.
The Prime Minister is hoping to offer Arlene Foster’s DUP a ‘Stormont Lock’, a mechanism which could appease the party which holds the key to passing her deal.
Senior Conservative and DUP figures have been discussing the plan which would guarantee Britain and Northern Ireland following the same rules in the event the hated backstop was entered into.
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