Jacob Rees-Mogg ‘had no idea’ about the border in Ireland, according to former Irish prime minister

A photo of former Irish prime minister Bertie Ahern and Jacob Rees-Mogg
Bryan Wall

Former Irish prime minister Bertie Ahern has said British MP Jacob Rees-Mogg doesn’t understand the Irish border. Ahern was speaking at a Women in Media conference when he made the comments. He has previously appeared at committees in Westminster where he has discussed Ireland and Brexit. At one such committee, he said Brexit had “raised tensions” in Ireland.

“No idea”

Ahern told those gathered that Rees-Mogg is a “strange fish”. He also said Rees-Mogg is a “lovely fella when he’s asleep”.

But Ahern highlighted Rees-Mogg’s apparent lack of understanding of Ireland and Brexit, saying:

Start your day with The Canary News Digest

Fresh and fearless; get excellent independent journalism from The Canary, delivered straight to your inbox every morning.




he admitted to me he had no idea of what the border was.

Rees-Mogg claims this is “untrue”, insisting that he has “never had a private conversation with Mr Ahern”.

British politicians

Moreover, Ahern thinks some British politicians believe the Irish border is something with “a gate on it”. He said that “they just didn’t know” the extent of it. Considering that a “lot of these guys went to Oxford, Cambridge and Eton”, he said, “they’re not very bright”.

He also pointed out that many British politicians have used the backstop as an excuse to “have a go” at Ireland.

Ahern was Irish prime minister from 1997 to 2008. He resigned following allegations of financial corruption (which he has long denied).

Brexit and Rees-Mogg

Rees-Mogg, who is chair of the European Research Group, has previously commented that:

If we leave without a deal, the main culprit will be the obdurate Irish Government’s threats about the phantom Border issue.

He has also criticised Theresa May’s attempt to find a solution to Brexit by working with Jeremy Corbyn, saying:

People did not vote for a Corbyn-May coalition Government.

And he has argued that Britain should “be as difficult as possible” with the EU if May delays Brexit. He wrote that:

We could veto any increase in the budget, obstruct the putative EU army and block Mr Macron’s integrationist schemes.

Featured image via Wikimedia Commons – ProhibitOnions/ Wikimedia Commons – Chris McAndrew

Since you're here ...

We know you don't need a lecture. You wouldn't be here if you didn't care.
Now, more than ever, we need your help to challenge the rightwing press and hold power to account. Please help us survive and thrive.

The Canary Support
  • Show Comments
    1. Bertie Ahearn clearly doesn’t understand why people with ambition go to Oxbridge.

      It’s not for the education. It’s so they can rub their money together and make contacts that will support each other in their ignorance. Greased Moggy is a classic example of someone that attended Oxbridge but learned nothing of significance. As a Public Servant he is useless. He’s more accustomed to being served.

      Britain needs a general Election now so that new leadership can return Britain to political respectability. For the Many, not the few.

    Leave a Reply

    Join the conversation

    Please read our comment moderation policy here.