The chairman of the European Research Group (ERG) had been giving a rousing speech championing life after Brexit during a Spectator event at the London Palladium. During the interval Mr Rees-Mogg even managed to make a profit of nearly £500 as he swapped heated discussions with parliamentarians with cool refreshments for the public. The leading Brexiteer joked he could even retire and take up the job full-time once the “one detail” of the withdrawal agreement – the controversial Irish border has been resolved.
Mr Rees-Mogg told the Mail Online: “I fear I will never be as popular on its famous revolving stage as the great Sir Bruce Forsyth once was.
“But if only we can sort out one detail from the EU Withdrawal Agreement and ensure Brexit, then I could retire to sell ice creams at the theatre – just as I did during the interval.
“And given that I took more than £480, it may, in fact, be my real vocation.”
In more pressing matters, the backbench MP stated he would be willing to change his tune on Brexit and give the Prime Minister a much needed lifeline.
Mr Rees-Mogg insisted he would be “content to support” the deal if the UK could negotiate “a legally binding date to the backstop”.
He stated the “fundamental change” would allow “Brexiteers such as me to accept it”.
He added: “The whole point of leaving the EU is to take back control, not to leave the EU with the potential for lasting effective power over trade and regulations in Northern Ireland, or any other part of the UK.”
The 49-year-old also said other issues with the current withdrawal agreement “such as continued meddling by the European Court of Justice” would be “less problematic” if the Irish border was resolved.
Meanwhile the Brexiteer has dismissed suggestions the ERG has made the Prime Minister’s job more difficult by not voting in favour of the Government in a series of Commons votes.
Mr Rees-Mogg stated “they could not be more wrong” and pointed the finger at Mrs May’s cabinet and instead they had “undermined collective responsibility”.
He said: “Our aim has consistently been to follow the commitments made in the 2017 Tory election manifesto and implicit in the 2016 referendum result.
“That some Cabinet ministers have undermined collective responsibility and tried to thwart Mrs May is hardly our fault.”