Defection watch. Betting on Jacob Rees-Mogg to defect to UKIP

Defection watch. Betting on Jacob Rees-Mogg to defect to UKIP


Will Jacob Rees-Mogg defect to UKIP if Mrs May delivers a non-hard Brexit?

Paddy Power have a market up whether some politicians will defect by 2018. On initial glance this looks like a market designed to solely enrich Paddy Power, I did think of backing Douglas Carswell doing a Churchill and defecting back, but given the precedent he has set, he won’t wish to inflict another by election on the voters of Clacton, so that’s that bet ruled out.

But I do wonder whether backing Jacob Rees-Mogg at 12/1 is the way to go. He’s someone who I’d categorise as a supporter of Hard Brexit, a few weeks ago he said the UK should ‘go for a hard white and a runny yolk” on Brexit negotiations.*’

However this week it is looking like the government isn’t aiming for hard Brexit but a flaccid Brexit, with the arch Leaver and Secretary State for Exiting the European Union David Davis talking about a deal that sees the United Kingdom still paying money to the European Union even after we leave and a Trade minister openly talking about the United Kingdom remaining in the customs unions post Brexit, then below there’s this story on the front page of this morning’s Sunday Times.

If those are indicators of the likely Brexit deal, I suspect that won’t appeal to Jacob Rees-Mogg and he will try and do something drastic to stop such a deal and/or do something dramatic to express his displeasure. With Mrs May seeing her majority eroded, any recalcitrant Tory MP can imperil the continuation of the government quite easily, and defection is the most powerful option an MP can deploy.

In the past Rees-Mogg has said UKIP and the Tories are natural allies though he also memorably predicted that ‘Ken Clarke will convert to UKIP before I ever do’ all things considered, I’m going to have a small stake on Jacob Rees-Mogg defecting to UKIP by the end of 2018.


*Rees-Mogg went on to explain the “hard white” part stood for “absolute clarity we are leaving – no European court, no European law, control of our borders, out of the single market..”, and the runny yolk stood for being “as generous in the negotiations as possible”.

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