Let us, for one moment, give him the benefit of the doubt and presume that Jacob Rees Mogg is not as daft as he looks.
He has inherited, from his father and former Tory MP William Rees Mogg, a Eurosceptic obsession that has had him stomping his feet and throwing his toys out of the pram ever since he arrived in the House of Commons in 2010 about the UKs relationship with the European Union.
He leads the hard- Eurosceptic European Research Group (ERG), and in previous years he has proposed a Conservative coalition with UKIP.
It is therefore at least understandable that he is trying to force a ‘no deal’ Brexit on Britain – claiming it is what 52% of those who participated in the referendum voted for.
Despite admitting that it may take “up to fifty years” for the country to benefit from Brexit, Rees Mogg was happy to hold a gun to the head of Theresa May on the crucial votes relating to the country’s future relationship with the EU just before the parliamentary recess. ‘Either go for a hard Brexit, or you lose my support, along with the support of my ERG colleagues – and with it your job’ was basically his message to the Prime Minister.
In essence, this means no customs union. No single market. And, almost inevitably, a hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland.
There are a range of economic impact studies showing the result of such folly. Rees Mogg and his supporters cry ‘Project Fear’, without ever addressing the very real practical challenges that a ‘no deal’ Brexit will bring.
Others suggest that it will all be ‘alright on the night’ because, well, we managed to survive two World Wars! I’m not sure the good people of Sunderland voted for a return to 1945 to be honest – even if it is accompanied with the issuing of blue ration books.
Warnings about chaos at our ports, a 13-mile lorry car park on the M20, stockpiling of food and medicine, and a shortage of labour in agriculture, animal welfare, and hospitality are just blindly ignored by Rees Mogg.
Of course, will his wealth, the ‘anti-establishment’ toff can afford to be a little more reckless with the country’s future than most of us – but you don’t get to be as rich as he is by taking unnecessary risks, so he has secured himself a nice little safety net by setting up business interests in parts of the EU he so hates – just in case.
No, he isn’t as daft as he looks Jacob, and with news that he has been in talks with Donald Trump’s enforcer-in-chief Steve Bannon, I for one observe Rees Mogg not as a cartoon character like rogue; but a hard-right politician who would take the UK back to the dark ages, never mind World War Two, if he ever got the opportunity to do so.
It is about time Theresa May showed some courage and took him and his acolytes on. For her sake, and for the sake of the country.