The leading Brexiteer gave a rousing speech, likening diehard Remainers to “Japanese soldiers still fighting World War Two” years after the conflict had ended.
Marking the anniversary of the Prime Minister triggering Article 50, the influential backbencher jabbed Remainers’ last-ditched attempts to thwart Brexit and block the UK’s European Union departure.
The central London event was hosted by Brexit pressure group Leave Means Leave and gave Mr Rees-Mogg an opportunity to fire back at Remainer Grandee Chris Patten.
Renewing Conservative infighting, Lord Patten said Mr Rees-Mogg was a “caricature” who eats “dogma pie”.
Mr Rees-Mogg hit back: “It has taken us some time to reach the many opportunities of a truly global Britain with a few cave dwellers still wanting to stop the process.
“But, with 367 days to go the United Kingdom will be free.
“I’ll reflect on where we came from, but more importantly look forward to the world of opportunity that awaits the freshly unbound United Kingdom.”
The speech, despite containing stern messages from Mr Rees-Mogg, remained light-hearted. He joked about the UK emerging from its hiding place “behind Merkel’s skirt” as he talked triumphantly of the EU divorce.
Mr Rees-Mogg said: “With one year to go before the technical date of departure, this is the challenge to the decreasing number of Remainers who model themselves on Mr Hiroo Onoda, the Japanese soldier who finally surrendered in 1974 having previously refused to believe that the Second World War had ended.
“There is a world of opportunity ahead of us. Economically, leaving the European Union by getting rid of unfair, anti-competitive tariffs and by controlling our borders will help the least well off in society the most.
“Constitutionally, we will be in charge of our own destiny, protected by our own laws, and with no more excuses for our politicians. In international affairs, we will be setting our own direction, not hiding behind the skirts of the German Chancellor.”
He added: “Restoring our constitutional order should lead to better government.
“Politicians will no longer be able to evade the blame if things go wrong by saying it was decided elsewhere, they will have to take responsibility for their actions.
“Equally it will not be possible to pretend that if it was not for a remote bureaucracy we would not make mistakes. Power and responsibility go hand-in-hand and will be reconnected once we have left the European Union.
“Leaving will also restore our global standing.”
March 27th, 2018: Express