LONDON (Reuters) – One of the main British politicians pushing for a pointy exit from the European Union, Jacob Rees-Mogg, says he has no real interest in becoming a member of a marketing campaign to disrupt EU operations organised by former Trump White House advisor Steve Bannon.
FILE PHOTO: Brexit campaigner Jacob Rees-Mogg talks to the media outdoors the Houses of Parliament after David Davis resigns from government, in London, Britain, July 9, 2018. REUTERS/Simon Dawson/File Photo
Rees-Mogg, whose picture as an old style, unashamedly “posh” Conservative has endeared him to many citizens disillusioned with extra modern-looking politicians, mentioned he had met Bannon solely as soon as, in 2017.
“Meeting someone does not mean you’re endorsing them,” he instructed Reuters in an interview.
“He is a very well informed man,” Rees-Mogg mentioned of Bannon, however added: “We just had a discussion on world affairs. His world view is not my world view.”
Rees-Mogg, chair of the European Research Group of anti-EU Members of Parliament, is a number one mild of the staunchly anti-EU wing of Theresa May’s occasion that’s urging the prime minister to drop her “soft Brexit” technique which might keep lots of Britain’s shut ties to the bloc.
He mentioned he had had no contact with Bannon because the one assembly in 2017 and had no real interest in supporting a Brussels-based, Europe-wide “Movement” that Bannon is placing collectively to elect right-wing nationalist and populist members in European Parliament elections subsequent May.
In a phone interview on Wednesday, Bannon praised Rees-Mogg as a “very important” British chief.
But he mentioned that because it appeared sure that Britain is leaving the EU, he and his advisors, together with British European Parliament member Nigel Farage, determined a while in the past to not contain Britain in The Movement.
Bannon, who addressed a conference of France’s far-right National Front in March, mentioned he deliberate to talk at an populist gathering this weekend in Rome the place Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini, who lately endorsed Bannon’s Movement, can even converse.
Before returning to the United States to assist assist pro-Trump candidates in Congressional elections, Bannon mentioned he hoped to verify in with different European leaders who may be involved in becoming a member of his marketing campaign. Such figures are more likely to embody Hungarian Prime Minster Viktor Orban, Bannon’s associates have mentioned.
Rees-Mogg is one in every of three British Conservatives Bannon recognized as political contacts in a current Reuters interview right here
A spokesman for Environment Secretary Michael Gove, additionally recognized by Bannon as a member of a “deep talent bench” of potential anti-EU Conservatives, mentioned Gove had met Bannon briefly solely as soon as and that two conferences to debate U.S. politics had been explored however by no means came about.
During a go to to London in July, Bannon mentioned he had spoken by telephone and “texted a lot” with former international secretary Boris Johnson, seen because the more than likely determine to problem May’s management. Johnson has not responded to requests for touch upon his contacts with Bannon.
Rees-Mogg mentioned that he didn’t regard himself as aligned with anti-EU forces on continental Europe.
“What’s going on on the continent is very different” than what is occurring in Britain, he mentioned.
He mentioned that regardless of calls from some anti-Brexit politicians for a second referendum on Britain leaving the European Union, “I think there would be real anger” if important strikes have been made to reverse or cease Brexit.
Reporting By Mark Hosenball; Editing by Robin Pomeroy