The lawyer who recently negotiated Canada’s trade deal with the EU has ridiculed Jacob Rees’ Mogg claims about the benefits of a hard Brexit.

Christophe Bondy, who was the senior counsel to Canada on the CETA negotiations, couldn’t contain his contempt for Rees-Mogg’s bid to take Britain out of the Single Market and Customs Union during an interview with Sky News today.

Bondy didn’t mention Rees-Mogg by name but made reference to an exchange with an MP during his appearance in front of the Commons Brexit committee on Wednesday.

He said:

“I heard an MP on Wednesday say: ‘Well, one of the reasons to trade outside of the Common Market – to enter into trade deals – is that we’ll have access to cheaper tropical fruit.’

“I sat there thinking to myself: Is it better for the UK economy to have access to cheap tropical fruit or to have unhindered access to the EU market?”

A quick check of the record of Wednesday’s committee hearing shows Bondy is referring to this exchange in which Rees-Mogg:

Rees-Mogg’s made the choice in the next phase of Brexit negotiations very clear.

It’s workers’ rights, food and environmental standards, freedom of movement and tariff-free trade with our neighbours that maintains more than million jobs or a couple of pence off the price of oranges.

You can use them to try and get rid of that funny taste from your chlorine-washed chicken…

MORE: Jacob Rees-Mogg’s plan for post-Brexit trade puts 1.4 million jobs in jeopardy

  1. We really do have to question the validity of degrees from Oxford University when a twat like this makes such stupid and I’ll founded statements repeatedly.
    I heard the fool on the radio this weekend extolling the virtues of being outside the EU and cried when I thought why has this idiot and his like been allowed to destroy the country.
    Conservatism is dead as a political idiotology and prats like Mogg make this clear.

  2. Low hanging fruit is a way of saying ‘there are advantages which are easy to pick’. It’s not about tropical fruit. (Much as I dislike the Brexit lot, this is not what he meant. Was Mr Bondy a French Canadian and , maybe, not aware of the idiom?

  3. Yup, old Jake muddied the waters by referring to “low-hanging fruit” and “citrus frauit” in the same sentence, thereby making interpretation a tad tricky. Also, I suppose, it could give him the opportunity to walk back his idea if the criticism became too harsh. An opportunist of the highest order, imho.

  4. Ian Stevenson,
    Re-smog goes on to say ‘removing tariffs on citrus fruit’
    I think he thought he was coining a bon mot by using a young persons idiom with reference to citrus fruit, probably the sort of construction that got him extra marks in English Compisitoon at Eton

  5. I think the point is that apparently putting fruit of any kind ahead of mass market access, workers and social rights etc… is crass and dowright stupid. Mrs. May is killing the conservative party, but Rees Mogg would bury them for ever.

  6. There should be a serious inquiry into whether trade can be improved by Brexit. Brexit should be out on hold while we decide.

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