Might the Tories split? “I think this is up to the Prime Minister,” Jacob Rees-Mogg explains. Why it was improper to bypass Davis’ White Paper. And apologies to Popes Urban IV and Urban VI.
the mocha cast a fortnightly conversation with Jacob Riis MOG about the topics of the day welcome to another edition of the mock cast this is Paul Goodman editor of conservative home in conversation with Jacob Riis MOG Jacob I'm fighting myself ourselves in the position of the Red Queen wasn't as you know Alice in Wonderland who had to run to standstill because but the time our listeners hear this mock cast tomorrow morning I dare say more people will have resigned Scott man resigned as a PPS this morning I wanted to ask you these resignations are they being coordinated not by me and not as far as I know I think what is happening is that people have been reflecting on the white paper on the checkers deal and they've been speaking to their constituents I was campaigning on Saturday morning in the couch on High Street and everybody who came up to me was against the checkers deal some of them were against leaving the European Union altogether two of them actually and everyone else felt it wasn't delivering what had been voted for even if they had voted remain in the referendum they be come back to that I wrote I just wanted to stick with the resignations for a moment not coordinated by you and as far as you know not coordinated at all but they are coming out as a remarkably steady and spaced rate yes indeed but they're not coordinated by me and nobody said that he or she is coordinating them to me so if they are coordinated I don't know who is doing it all the customs bill amendments which again will have been tabled and debated and voted on by the time our listeners hear this mock cast could you just give a description because people will be listening to this tomorrow morning and catching up with the news could you explain what you're trying to do yes well the four amendments to some extent helped government policy two of them are completely in line with government policy that is to say the one that says that nor none and mustn't be in a different customs union from the rest of Great Britain that it must be part of a single United Kingdom whole that his government policy and it's just a suggestion that this should be in clear legislation rather than a government promise the next one that his government policy is on v80 and the v80 arrangements with the European Union a very particular and that that should not be replicated once we've left that again is government policy the third is not strictly government policy but is in line with what the government has done before in terms of Henry the eighth clauses so that should the government wish to remain in a customs union it would have to legislate for it with primary legislation in new Act of Parliament rather than using secondary means the fourth is not government policy but probably ought to be it's a demand for reciprocity so it says if we're collecting the –use taxes then EU Member States must collect our taxes when Goods enter the European Union and the reason for that is it will be very difficult to run an independent trade policy if any goods that come to us via the EU with a lot of goods coming into a spa the Low Countries particularly would be subject to any new tax and not a UK tax to make it very difficult to apply anti-dumping duties should we wish to do that and so this is to ask that what's good for the source for the goose is sauce for the gander would you have tabled these amendments were it not for the white paper the white paper has been very significant in the decision to table amendments because the real difficulty with checkers in the white paper is not so much the policy though I don't think the policy is a good policy but that it's moved so far away from what we were told would happen before and it's the issue of is it better to have things in legislation run simply rely on earlier speeches and so on because things have changed so much as you said a moment ago that these amendments are either in line with government policy or the government could adopt them but just to be clear doesn't sound to me as though you would have tabled them were it not for the white paper bill seeking a degree of surety that you weren't seeking before that is correct and let's therefore discuss the white paper the reaction to it can I just pick you up on something you said because I've seen your colleague Paul Masterson has tweeted that his association membership over the weekend has gone up now I'm sure that I mean we know from conservative home that lots of people are very angry and disappointed about this proposal because we're getting the emails that were intended to sit before CC HQ and which come through to us but could it be that party members are less angry about this than we think because a lot depends on the local MP so if the local MP is strongly opposed to the proposals in the background to them he or she tends to pick up the noise of opposition whereas and I've spoken to one or two who support the government wholeheartedly and support the white paper they claim they've had very little knocking on their door at all and there is always in any anecdotal evidence a confirmation of one's bias to some extent because people are on balance more likely to come up to you and say I agree with you completely than not I find it very interesting talking to some of my remain supporting fellow MPs who have been absolutely astonished by the reception they've got from their associations letters coming in from people that they respect and whose views they value saying that this is not what we voted for so I think it's wider than just leave em he's getting a leave reaction and what I was doing on Saturday morning wasn't speaking only to conservative members it was going up and down the high street with anybody coming up to me who wanted to talk to me and that probably gets you a wider feeling than exclusively talking to one's own membership what do you think of what we read by the way about conservative MPs such as Andrea Jenkins being threatened with having campaigning resources and money withheld from them well this is a confusion between where authority lies but in the Conservative Party that Dana's give money to central office and the whips run Parliament the whips do not run central office funding and these two it's very important that they're kept separate because I think Dana's would be pretty unhappy many of whom are quite Euroskeptic if they thought that there was an effort to penalize euro skeptic MPs the party chairman was reported in one instance to expect into a back bencher not the whips I'd seen it as coming from the whips I think the party chairman is ill-advised to do that because many of the donors are backers of leaving the European Union and I think any MP threatened with that would find that they would get more than enough from direct contributions I don't think it's a I think it's a proper threat to make and I don't think it's an effective threat to make I'm going to move to this question now it was among the ones I'd planned to us last but we seem to be here anyway could the Conservative Party split I think this is up to the Prime Minister you see I think the Prime Minister had a United Party on the mansion house speech and she then said on the mild program that whether you wouldn't accept it and if I couldn't do that whereas it actually then looks as if she's been planning this common for which read European rule above quite a long time and that is where the split chemistry had a United Party in March on the basis of the mansion house and then as then decided to give in to the EU and this is very unfortunate and it would be very very damaging for the Conservative Party if this unsatisfactory deal were pushed through against the wishes not just of leave supporting MPs but also leave sporting members and leave supporting voters or on the back of labour party votes what's your sage sauce is that she the Prime Minister could if she mishandles this split the Conservative Party yes I think that's right I've kept on saying this this is not a new thing for me to say the Prime Minister has a choice she can either do a u-turn and go back to the mansion house settlement or she can get it through potentially on Labour Party vaids which is very divisive split East in the event of this split she would be and the parallel is in some degrees misleadingly it may be useful she'd be in the position of the pea lights in the 1840s wouldn't she she'd own because if the leadership would own the party the resources the name the money the constitution you'd have to go off elsewhere would you know that's clearly not right and it's not what happened in the 1840s is it isn't it no the pea lights continued being pea lights the protectionists had to go off on no they remained today remain the Conservative Party and Peel remained within the Conservative Party he didn't leave the consumption ah but some of the others did so Gladstone did eventually go over to the launch of quite a time but the you have a period of confusion essentially and you have blocks in Parliament with no one overall party getting a clear majority and that getting governments that are supported by the Whigs and the pier lights and so on so it's it's not as simple as one side ends the party everybody to some extent remains within the party in that period if I'm embrace the one constant was the protectionist of the pea lights would not together after the split yes they wouldn't that's right they wouldn't work together though there are periodic efforts to try and bring them together and periodic discussions of collisions Derby at one point even offers parmistan a post so they try and create quite widespread collisions I don't think one can make precise parallels with the 1840s particularly since now this is the age of mass elections you didn't have mass elections in the 1840s so the inference is you'd have whoever the equivalent of the pea lights is you know let us call the further the may height conservatives standing in constituencies against the protectionists toward israelian conservatives in this case the resmoke conservative now I think this is going too far I don't think this is going to happen I actually don't think there will be this split because I think is more likely the policy change is when you've got a position where neither Peter Mandelson nor Ian Duncan Smith supports the policy it seems quite difficult to get it through now of course Mandelson is doing this for what we would call his own reasons is he not and the phrase he used I think yesterday I saw was the worst of all worlds coincidentally this phrase is also used by Justine greening this morning who's come out in favour for a second referendum seems to be the case doesn't it that what you might call the ultra Mainers believe not without reason that the Prime Minister is weak and whereas you see a way to a different form of leave a pure form of brexit you might call it they draw from the same facts another possibility namely stopping brexit altogether that's what's going on isn't it I think stopping democracy altogether would be a better way of putting it and that that will not work we are fundamentally democratic country and so many people who voted remain according to opinion polls and people at one meets even though they would have preferred us to stay in the European Union recognise and feel strongly that a democratic vote should be followed and so I think this idea that brexit can be stopped and reversed there is a mistake and is a risky mistake I think it would cause great discontent discontent in the electorate you would vote against the white paper proposals were they to represent a deal would you not yes and if that happened and were the deal to be voted down what do you think would happen in Parliament then it depends on the government the government controls the parliamentary timetable and the legislation is in place for us to leave without a deal there is no mechanism for Parliament to introduce legislation and have the time for it unless it is backed by the government it's possible for Parliament to change standing orders to do this but that's a very complex process and the government would have to provide time for that anyway and it would require a lot of contingent votes which then only happen with the program without a program motion which can only be provided by the government say the parliamentary formalities mean that a government that wanted having lost this deal to proceed with no deal would be able to do so you're convinced that's the most likely outcome I think from talking to you about the savory period of time was other people drawing it may not be an exact parallel but they would cite the Norway debate which was your debate on the German I would say well if the Commons decides it wants something badly enough that will happen so what could happen is not No Deal but the postponement or even the cancellation of brexit there's very little evidence that the commons wants that enough there are people who don't want to leave but how many of them really want to kick the electorate in the teeth I would suggest not enough to make that feasible and yes of course you're right that the government only exists with the confidence of the House of Commons but I don't think any Conservative MPs can't vote against the and innovative confidence I mean I suppose we could look ahead and speculate about what would happen if there is a deal if it's voted down whether you have no deal or the EEA or the postponement of brett's it but we've probably explored that enough to give listeners an idea of how complex this is so let's return to what we know and have in front of us namely the white paper is very interested in what you said about it a few moments ago that you thought it was bad but this wasn't your prime objection to it your prime objection to it was that the government had effectively conceded a whole was a massive ground without really saying so and without really making it clear why it's done that and without making it clear when it did it yes I agree with all those points I think it is peculiar that dexia was charged with drawing up a white paper at the same point without David Davis is not in Ch Downing Street was drawing up a completely separate paper 120 page paper for the cabinet now that doesn't happen in a couple of days there must have been some long-standing aim to get this common rule book idea and for common little book read European Union's rule book idea into play without telling the cabinet minister in charge of the negotiations this is a most unusual approach to cabinet government can I explain the sequence as I understand you sure we can try and work through it together and I say this in the light of conservative home last week having published the home of Dexys white paper in 23 installments so we've had a chance to have a look at it in the mansion-house speech back in March the Prime Minister clearly nailed her colours to the flag of mutual recognition so we wouldn't have ongoing harmonization we'd have mutual recognition and this was consistent with everything that had happened before there'd been a whole discussion at checkers in January or February I think about the form that mutual recognition might take so at some point between march and the emergence of this white paper something changed somewhere but we don't really know when all I know is that the DEXA ministers were aware near the end of the process that as it were they're in one room writing their own white paper all he rob ins his next-door writing his own but this happened very late in the day when do you think the Prime Minister changed her mind well you don't even know that the mansion-house speech was precisely the view of the prime minister at that time that is on mr. Mars show yesterday morning Monday of Sunday morning the Prime Minister when asked when this plan had first been thought about wouldn't give any indication of when it had been and it seemed to have been some time ago March is not that long ago it's very troubling and I think the Prime Minister ought to be clear about this and should tell the electorate what the process was what led to this and why was dexia not told when that was the department's job we're getting into very difficult territory here but in essence you're suggesting that the Prime Minister might not have been being straight when she delivered the mansion-house speech and she might already have had an alternative model now David Davis in his resignation letter and this has been rather missed by most of the media basically said in terms the Prime Minister had not been upfront with him in everything that she did so I'm coming back to where you began this section of the conversation we have a question of trust here and it doesn't seem to me that you now entirely trust the PM there is an issue of trust now there is of course a difference between saying something that is untrue directly and not saying something that if known would be useful for people to know that two are different categories in terms of trust but there's an old joke in the city that when somebody says to you his word is as good as his bond take his bond just in case and that seems to me to be a sensible way to behave which is why I put down amendments to the legislation just thinking about it isn't the Prime Minister entitled if she so wishes to have her ministers doing one thing and be drawing up another proposal in private with her advisers we have cabinet government in this country and what is done ought to be agreed by the cabinet or Tripura and the policy of the cabinet collective responsibility does not mean everybody gets their orders from the Prime Minister that the line about juvey Wellington's first cabinet and he comes out afterwards is a most difficult thing I give all this lot their orders and then they want to sit around discussing them that's not how cabinet government works it is a collegiate position which everybody then has to defend the Prime Minister appoints ministers to certain roles they have the seals of office from the Queen to carry out those roles the Prime Minister doesn't have the specific authority to carry out those roles the Prime Minister has a different role which is to chair the cabinet to set overall policy and to appoint the ministers in the first place if she doesn't think the minister is doing the right thing then the Prime Minister should appoint a new minister not do it behind the minister's back in Downing Street it's also questionable taxpayers money oh you know we're all taxpayers and our money was being spent doing two contradictory things half of that money was therefore being wasted you think it's not a good use of taxpayers money in effect to have what Steve Baker called a Potemkin department that is a very good way of putting it and it's not good constitutional practice for the prime minister not to have confidence in her own ministers to allow them to get on with the job they're appointed to do do you have confidence in the Prime Minister I have confidence in the Prime Minister and do not seek a vote of no-confidence in are not written one of the letters and I would always support the government in the terms of the fixed term Parliament act I would always support a conservative government let's just qualify just in case in ten years time we have some government digs oh yes yes can we just roll events forward a little again in this way that we have a sort of pattern of concession in these talks Downing Street would say and I think quite rightly there being concessions from the EU too but now we have a very major change of direction from mutual recognition to ongoing harmonization this isn't the government's final position is it this is merely an opening bid there were briefings to members of parliament on behalf of by the prime minister's advisers and this question was put very directly is this the final offer and the answer was no they don't like to portray it as an opening offer but it was cleared it was not a final offer and therefore you would expect that the EU would come back with some demands of its own well you would indeed because in some ways I think it's unfair to call this a soft brexit proposal it's some really a bit of this and a bit of that proposal in the sense of that the ease down to come back on free movement and say look you can't possibly try to have access to one part of the four freedoms without access to all of them they're bound to come back on services for exactly the same reason and they're bound to come back on the court therefore it's possible to imagine isn't it that the Prime Minister in a few months finds herself saying about the present position what she said on Sunday about mutual recognition she might find as I say it wasn't negotiable in which case further concessions would be proposed isn't that the power the regrettable problem became clear in the interview with Prime Minister with mr. Mara when she made that point about how people voted with their heart and basically her job was to get on deliver it with her head and this had come up similarly similar words in the briefing from her advisors and the problem with that is that it means that the government at its highest level does not believe in brexit see people like me who campaigned for brexit think it is this wonderful opportunity that its heart and head together it's constitutionally right it's economically advantageous it will create a real opportunity of this country to be a global nation rather than tied into the failing European economic model but Prime Minister thinks that leaving is costly and therefore of course she's not arguing for the best brexit because she wants to be protected in this failing fortress Europe and that is at the heart of the weakness of the negotiating position the primacy is scarcely surviving the publication of these proposals she wouldn't survive further concessions would you well I suppose the hope from unity of the conservative party point of view and the interest of the country point of view is that European Union turns around and says we are not accepting these we want more and the Prime Minister recognising the political reality says okay then it's got to be a completely different deal basically a free trade deal on a Canada basis and you put up a board in Ireland if you feel like it I just note in passing that Downing Street is no longer stressing no deal is better than a bad deal again look at the interview with mr. Mar and the Prime Minister seem to think that any deal was better than a bad deal but also there's a very interesting important song that said that Gavin bar wall had said Ireland isn't that important and the Prime Minister always wanted a soft brexit now that's fine that's not a dishonorable position but the Prime Minister should have said so from the outset and then we would have known where we stood she should have said so to the voters say to people who say to you you were being purest and doctrinaire about all this that you could bring down the Prime Minister in effect you might even bring down the government and we will have mr. Corbin I've said very clearly that I will not fight against a Conservative government under the fixed term Parliament's act facial confidence which is the only way of bringing government down and getting to mr. Corbin I would dispute that I've been doctrinaire I have been willing to accept any number of compromises that I'm not enthusiastic about so giving the EU 39 billion pounds which it's more than I think we need to pay them accepting a transition period which is not an implementation period the Prime Minister initially called for and the two are different accepting that we might belong to certain agencies accepting the very widespread compromises under the mansion-house speech which weren't her pure in every form brexit were compromised that brought everybody together the point at which people like me have dug our heels in is when we become simply a rule taker in perpetuity for our goods and Agri foods severely limiting our ability to do trade deals with the rest of the world and de facto subject to the European Court of Justice on that point Donald Trump was telling the full Candide unvarnished truth first time round that his interview with the son wasn't he under the terms of this proposal the government white paper any trade deal with America would be off whatever he said in a press conference at checkers afterwards what he said in the press conference at checkers if you look at it carefully confirmed what he said in the interview with Tom Newton down at the Sun he said you do whatever deal he want that's up to you I just want to deal that's good for trade there was a conditional so he showed his good manners at checkers by not being unhelpful directly in front of his hostess but he didn't actually change his position do you think we should sue the you know I think we should be much tougher in the negotiations and it's quite tempting isn't it to say look we've put in whatever it is half a trillion pounds since membership and we're not gonna give you any money we'd like some money back instead of course you Shapiro Busters always be with you in negotiations you should do two things one is you should be generous on issues that are going to be settled in one direction anyway where we should have been over people from EU Member States living in this country and the other is on the things that matter to you should be as hard as nails we've been hard on the issues a day matter at which we're going to give away anyway and soft on the ones that really do we've had the whole negotiation upside down not necessarily endorsement of the proposal that we should see the EU but leaving that aside for what's your view of Trump I'm fascinated by him as a political phenomenon I'm impressed by the things that he manages to get done in a way that most politicians wouldn't dare that they are much more cautious they're much more likely to follow the norms whereas he throws the norms up in the air and sees where they fall but he's done something remarkable in terms of his meeting with Kim jong-un and potentially begun to unlock a very long running problem that nobody else managed to do anything about his Iran policy may turn out to be rather more successful and people initially thought so I think he is an underrated politician because people don't realize about the way in which he needs to appeal to his electoral base and remarkably he delivers on his promises he's done things that previous Republican leaders had promised and didn't do and he's got in he's done them and I think either you shouldn't promise things to voters or you should do them and to that degree I think he is proving rather more successful than many people anticipated yes I met him six months ago or so very interesting man to speak to very well-informed obviously was very close to Donald Trump I've only met him once so I don't know him that well but he is very very well-informed and with very strong views some people would say call a spade a spade Valon flirts with and helps to drive the alt-right and trump's attitude to putin is a danger to the west I'm very suspicious of Putin I think we should treat Putin extraordinarily carefully and we should remember that he has invaded countries or participated invasions of independent sovereign nations and he's murdered people in the United Kingdom I mean this is really serious he is not a friend of ours and when you stop with the devil you should use a long spoon save Trump's attitude to Putin does he worry you at all I want to see what happens I I think it's interesting that people have assumed that because there are certain similarities between Trump and Putin in terms of their big personalities that they might get on it could be precisely the reverse they could find that they're actually quite competitive with each other and that the relationship isn't as smooth as people fear I am nonetheless concerned about what may happen between Don Trump and Vladimir Putin I think one should watch it with great caution and see what happens and what about famine the alt-right LBC producer I think quoted Bevin yesterday is saying that Tommy Robinson is a hero well I think that's simply wrong on Tommy Robinson that I think our contempt of court laws are very sensible protection of the right to a fair trial and that freedom of speech is crucial but say is the right to a fair trial and standing outside a courthouse shouting abuse at somebody whose trial is underway has been illegal in this country since time immemorial this is not a new piece of law it's not a restraint of free speech it is the ordinary desire to ensure that people have a fair trial in the United States of course it's different in the United States the First Amendment protects free speech even when people are being prosecuted but juries are sequestered in high-profile cases for much longer than they are in this country very different sort of person Boris Johnson what do you think the future holds for him oh I think Boris Johnson is a very important political figure very powerful charismatic figure popular appeals broadly across the country I'm a great admirer of Boris Johnson's what do you hope he does now I mean after all he is the the leaf politician with arguably you're somewhere in the queue yourself Jacob is arguably got the biggest projection he was the star force of the vote leave campaign what did he do now and we suggested on Khan home this morning he should go out and take the case for leave the case against a second referendum if you like take it out and go campaigning around the country well I was good out I certainly think those of us who want to leave the European Union needs to be more campaigning essentially we won the referendum and then stopped campaigning whereas the other side lost the referendum and started campaigning they didn't try very hard other than trying to scare us witless during the campaign itself so I read your piece this morning I liked the reference to Lord George Banting most interesting figure to two backed Israeli he sold all his horses one of which then went on to win the Derby which he was understandably miffed about because it was his great life's ambition anyway slightly beside the point he didn't die he died quite young he died died quite young yes and Disraeli didn't with a majority I think and no 1874 it's quids it's yeah it's 28 years out of office I don't see that happening to the Conservatives I think we're more likely as I said earlier to reverse the policy than to split the party and the great thing to remember is that pierre was right about the corn laws and the Prime Minister currently is wrong about not leaving the European Union de facto so yes I think some more campaigning its excellency lt's writing for The Telegraph again that's a wonderful platform for him and I think he with somebody who will help ensure breaks it is delivered well Jacob I think we have one more mod cast before the end of term goodness knows what condition will find everything even when we have it it's been a pleasure speaking to you as usual and well there is one important thing I hike a correction from my last podcast I said the last paper to be elected from outside the College of Cardinals was urban the fourth and I checked it afterwards I'm sorry to say it was an urban the sixth I got my eyes and the bees the wrong way around so can I apologize to listeners to the mall car no one's intervened on you in the Commons to make the point no but I holds a journalist chasing you to correct the record which is surprising of course we know how much attention journalist pay to detail on which point thank you very much for paying to do record and for speaking to us I've enjoyed this conversation very much and look forward to speaking with you again in a fortnight thank you very much the Hmong cast a fortnightly conversation with Jacob Riis MOG about the topics of the day