JACOB REES-MOGG: I WOULD be delighted to back Theresa... if the Irish backstop ...

On Tuesday evening at the London Palladium, I was surprised and flattered that so many people turned out to hear me talk about Brexit.

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.

It was a joy to meet so many people and hear what they had to say about the issue that has dominated political life for the best part of two and a half years.

I got the strong sense from everyone I spoke to that they wanted Brexit delivered as soon as possible.

Jacob Rees-Mogg spoke at a Spectator event last night at the London Palladium. The leader of the European Research Group writes that the Northern Ireland backstop in its current form would last indefinitely and needs to be changed 

Jacob Rees-Mogg spoke at a Spectator event last night at the London Palladium. The leader of the European Research Group writes that the Northern Ireland backstop in its current form would last indefinitely and needs to be changed 

The Northern Ireland backstop has always been the biggest sticking point in the negotiations – and for a very good reason. 

I am as determined as anyone that the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland should remain as peaceful and problem-free as it is today.

However, in its current form, the backstop – which would allow for an open border between the two countries, leaving Northern Ireland subject to certain rules of the EU's single market – would last indefinitely.

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.

If this issue can be resolved, then I would be content to support the Prime Minister's Withdrawal Agreement.

Geoffrey Cox, the much-respected Attorney General, is in Brussels trying to persuade the EU to agree to a legally binding date to the backstop.

Geoffrey Cox, the Attorney General, is trying to secure concessions on the backstop 

Geoffrey Cox, the Attorney General, is trying to secure concessions on the backstop 

It would be wrong to jump the gun, but if he can achieve this it would mark a fundamental change to the agreement

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