Jacob Rees-Mogg has hit back at claims that Brexiteers are acting like Russia in vetoing Theresa May's plans for a customs arrangement.

Former Cabinet Minister Justine Greening has accused her fellow Tory MPs who are members of the Eurosceptic European Research Group or ERG, of behaving like Russia by vetoing the PM's customs partnership plans.

In a Sky News exclusive with Kay Burley, the leader of the ERG, Jacob Rees-Mogg said he had no power to veto, only the wish to see the government stick to its manifesto pledges.

"I have no authority to veto anything. He told Sky News.

"I'm a backbench Tory MP.

"The Conservative manifesto said that we would leave the customs union and we would leave the single market.

"I believe that politicians should implement the promises that they've given in manifestos."

All that the members of the ERG have been doing, he said, was to encourage the Conservative government to hold to its manifesto commitments.

"So we are very consistent with government policy, we are supporting the government implementing its policy in the face of a lot of opposition from other sources, particularly at the moment the House of Lords." He said.

I say keep at it! Make sure the likes of Greening do not get their way of keeping the UK within the clutches of the EU.

And now some more on the Galileo satellite system shenanigans.

Writing a powerful piece in Briefings for Brexit, professor Gwythian Prins and Sir Richard Dearlove former head of MI6, say that an independent UK satellite system provides an exciting and optimistic moment.

As far as they are concerned all this talk of the UK crashing out of the defence and technological benefits of being part of the Galileo project is total hogwash.

In fact as far as space goes the UK is the dominant partner they say.

"We are not the supplicants here and Government should indeed stop acting as if we were." They write.

They say firstly that the UK does not need Galileo, unless we allow the EU to lead us into queering our pitch with the US. In fact they say, staying in Galileo would lead to that damage in UK/US relations, with the reason being that the EU will only look after its own interests and that also includes doing whatever damage it can to UK interests in the process. Now there's a surprise!

And secondly they say that Galileo is not viable without UK participation on both technological grounds and the fact that it needs the use of the UK's globally located ground stations.

Further though the authors say that the UK must understand that there are no compromises to be had with the EU – it is set up that way and the sooner we come to terms with that the sooner we can break away and look after our own defence, security and industrial interests.

The more you look into the EU, the more you see that they need us more than we need them!

Moving on. Some people are wondering what if last Thursday's local elections had been a general election, who would now be in power – would Jeremy Corbyn by now be sat in Number Ten?

The first point to note is that these latest elections only took place in England and the second is that turnout is much lower in local elections than in general elections.

Therefore any guidance that these results give us, as a true snapshot of the mood of the nation, is never going to be that accurate.

However, the BBC and Sky News had a go and they came up with their assessments of what the political landscape would look like had Thursday been a general election. And the two projections came up with different results, albeit the outcomes were both hung parliaments.

Bearing in mind that to have a true majority in the House of Commons a party would need a minimum of 326 seats, at the moment the Tories have 316 and Labour has 258. Only the deal with the DUP is keeping the Tory's head above water at the moment.

Now, under the BBC projection, the Tories would drop to 280 and Labour would become the largest party with 283 but far short of the 326 they would need to govern.

Under the Sky projections the Tories would still be in the lead but with a reduced number of seats at 305 with Labour securing 261.

So in both cases the Conservatives lose seats and Labour gain seats. But neither could govern without forming a coalition or entering a confidence and supply agreement with another party.

And this is where it would get sticky. Both May and Corbyn have said that they will respect the will of the electorate with regard to Brexit, but the most likely targets as coalition partners, the Lib Dems and SNP, would overturn the referendum result in a heartbeat and would insist any joint Brexit policy, at the very least keeps the UK in the customs union and the single market.

Just looking at this would surely stop Theresa May contemplating another general Election – even in her wildest running through wheat fields dreams.

But the results are giving the Brexiteers in her party the ammunition to push the PM for a true clean break from the EU.

Far from the local election wipe-out they were expecting, the Tory vote held up in what was, given the political situation, a strong night for the Tories.

And as the Telegraph says:

"With the Labour leader facing questions over whether “peak Corbyn” has now been and gone, Tory grandees said Mrs May had a stronger mandate than ever to press ahead with a clean break from the EU."

And the foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, Tweeted:

"Jeremy Corbyn has been abandoned in many leave areas – his pledge to stay in the customs union means he is not trusted to deliver Brexit. PM’s clear Mansion House vision for leaving the single market and customs union a key part of Tory electoral success."

Will this give the Brexiteers the confidence to now really push the advantage and get the PM to go for the clean break we need?

But, are we about to be completely screwed over by the Irish border question in the process?

According to the Guardian, officials have been quietly drawing up plans for a border between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK post-Brexit to ensure there is no hard border in Ireland.

"Despite the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) angrily rejecting any suggestion of a border 'in the Irish Sea', a leaked paper reveals that officials have been working on a blueprint 'to be deployed as necessary in the negotiation process'." Says the 'paper.

The document is being drawn up by senior officials in the Northern Ireland executive working on Brexit.

Now, not that I'm suspicious or anything but, the UK government could turn around when the report is finished and say, "well, if the Northern Ireland executive is happy with this proposal, then so are we"! You have to wonder exactly where the idea came from for the Northern Irish to write the terms of their own separation from the rest of the UK, don't you?

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