Jacob Rees-Mogg: Lords ‘playing with fire’ in attempts to thwart Brexit

Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg. Picture: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire
Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg. Picture: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire
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The House of Lords is “playing with fire” by trying to thwart Brexit, Jacob Rees-Mogg has warned peers.

The Conservative MP, who leads the influential European Research Group, said it was “peers against the people” after the government’s Brexit legislation suffered a series of defeats in the upper chamber.

In a series of warnings to the government over Brexit, Mr Rees-Mogg said giving preferential treatment to EU citizens after Brexit would be a “racist” policy, described Prime Minister Theresa May’s approach to leaving the EU as “enigmatic”, and said her government’s proposals for a customs partnership with the EU were “completely cretinous”.

The government is expected to try to overturn a Lords amendment on the customs union in the Commons and Mr Rees-Mogg warned would-be Tory rebels: “I don’t think it’s fine for people to tell their voters they are standing to leave the customs union and then not to do that.”

Mr Rees-Mogg hailed as “striking” the support for a petition calling for the abolition of the House of Lords, saying: “It would be a shame to burn down a historic house.”