According to Jacob Rees-Mogg, visiting the Northern Ireland border is not needed to understand the possible impact of a hard Brexit on the Irish island.
In an interview with Mark Carruthers, presenter of The View, on BBC Northern Ireland, the MP for North-East Somerset who also heads the hard-Brexit European Research Group admitted that, although the Exiting the European Union Committee (of which Mogg is a member) had organised a visit of the Irish border, which he missed, he did not see such a visit to be necessary for him in order to get a “greater insight” on the issue.
In the interview, Mogg said that he had not ‘recently’ visited Northern Ireland and that, anyway it was rather pointless since he had been able to “speak to people of Northern Ireland who deal with the border,” although when pressed by Mark Carruthers, he admitted he had only spoken to Northern Irish MPs at the House of Commons (in fact, he meant the DUP MPs), which the journalist insisted would not tell him anything about the Irish border situation he would not have heard before.
Jacob Rees-Mogg’s then responded: “I don’t think my visiting the border is really going to give me a fundamental insight into the border beyond what one can get from studying it.”
Who needs to talk to local residents? Who needs to talk to local businesses? Who need to talk to politicians involved with the Irish border issue? Who need to talk to experts... when one can find all necessary expertise to understand everything in Jacob’s favourite books: The History and Antiquities of the County of Somerset, Captain Pugwash and the Bible?
Watch Jacob Rees-Mogg’s interview in full: