Please spare a thought for Brexit Opportunities Minister Jacob Rees-Mogg because the likelihood of him finding a good thing about the UK’s vote to leave the European Union in 2016 is about as high as Boris Johnson attending an emergency Cobra briefing.
In the latest instance of something a politician said years ago coming back to bite them, Mr Rees-Mogg recalled comments made in June 2018 about the possibility of queues at Dover after leaving the block.
“There won’t be a need for checks at Dover, but it will be an ability to ensure the roads continue to run around Dover, even if there are delays at Calais. The delays won’t be at Dover; they will be in Calais,” the Tory MP told LBC’s Nick Ferrari at the time.
Reader, delays were so severe at Dover in late July that a ‘critical incident’ was declared, with a lorry driver revealing to the PA news agency that he had been queuing for more than 15 hours.
Then there was the warning issued by ferry operator DFDS on Thursday, when it told passengers to allow two hours to “complete the check-in process and border checks” at the border.
Speaking to Mr Ferrari on Tuesday, after airing his 2018 comments, Mr Rees-Mogg said: “The delays are caused by the French. These are delays of French creation.
Register to our free weekly Indy100 newsletter
As the Brexiteer searched for an answer, the broadcaster pressed him to apologize because he had gotten that information wrong.
“Yes, of course I was wrong,” he said.
Yes, you read that right. A minister in Boris Johnson’s government went on the radio and openly admitted he had made a mistake. The one thing many voters are asking for in our politics – a little honesty and integrity – has just been delivered by the most unlikely of politicians: Jacob Rees-Mogg.
“But I was wrong for the right reason,” he added.
Oh! For God’s sake.
Mr Rees-Mogg continued: “What I meant was that the only delays would be caused by the French, if they decided not to allow the British free passage. They decided to do it, they failed to get people to come and that’s what caused the delays at Dover.
“We have juxtaposed border controls, which means we check people in Calais, and the French check people in Dover.
“In fact, that means if the French don’t get their system working properly, we get delays.”
His remarks quickly had Twitter users rolling their eyes and scratching their heads:
And it looks like Mr. Rees-Mogg didn’t watch the clip of The IndependentTravel expert Simon Calder explains why the French aren’t to blame for Dover’s chaos either.
He said Hello Brittany last month: “We said we wanted to be treated like third country citizens. That means instead of just waving the passport out the window when you walk past, or just being completely passed by because there is a queue building up, the French official has to – because we asked to be third country nationals – ask you to see your passport.
“These are all rules that we helped design and integrate.”
We now look forward to Mr. Rees-Mogg’s Tuesday comments being challenged in the near future.
Give your opinion on our topical democracy. Click the upvote icon at the top of the page to help push this article up the indy100 rankings.