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Jacob Rees-Mogg to face protest at University of Kent during visit

Pro-EU students will greet hardline Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg with a giant banner reminding him of his comments suggesting support for a second referendum tomorrow.

The Conservative MP for North East Somerset is speaking at the University of Kent's Canterbury campus about Brexit and his "vision for the future".

Almost 300 people have paid to attend the event, hosted by the UKC Liberty Union, Kent Conservative Association and Canterbury Christ Church University's Conservative Society.

Jacob Rees-Mogg. Picture: Wikimedia Commons
Jacob Rees-Mogg. Picture: Wikimedia Commons

But a group of students who support Remain are planning protests, saying the university is already experiencing "negative repercussions" from Brexit.

Members of Young Europeans Canterbury will unfurl a banner quoting the prominent MP, who has declared there is "nothing to fear" from leaving the EU with no deal, saying it might "make more sense" to have a second referendum when more details are known.

A "counter-event" with Femi Oluwole, the chief spokesman for Our Future, Our Choice, which is demanding a People's Vote, has also been organised.

Iva Divković, secretary for Young Europeans Canterbury, said: "As a European University, we have already experienced the negative repercussions of Brexit with professors leaving and a decline in student applications.

"It is incomprehensible why university societies are interested in favourably accommodating a person like Jacob Rees-Mogg, whose perspectives will lead to the downgrading and further deficit of our university."

Students are planning to display a banner suggesting Jacob Rees-Mogg's support for a People's Vote
Students are planning to display a banner suggesting Jacob Rees-Mogg's support for a People's Vote

The group's president, Alex Elliott, claimed that the MP's opinions are "outdated, misogynistic and intolerant," adding that "with his cabal on the extreme right he has done more than most to strip us of our rights and freedoms including to live, work, study and fall in love in any of 27 other European countries".

"Other students will no doubt want to express their feelings about his outdated misogynistic and intolerant opinions.

"I'm sure a majority will not share his view that the increase in foodbanks is in any way 'uplifting' or that the conditions in the Boer War concentration camps were the same as in Glasgow at the time."

Proceeds from the event will go to the charity Tostan, which campaigns against female genital mutilation in Africa.

A People's Vote march last year. Picture: Wikimedia Commons
A People's Vote march last year. Picture: Wikimedia Commons

The talk has been organised by the Liberty Union's secretary, Christopher Barnard, who wrote personally to the MP last summer.

"This reactionary approach sadly denotes a lack of willingness to listen to, and debate with, important figures and topics that shape the future of this country," he said.

Tom Colsy, president of the Liberty Union, added: "This this isn't about Brexit. It isn't about Remain. It's about allowing people and speakers a fair hearing.

"Attending tomorrow will be members of the local public in Canterbury and Kent, foreign and national students from all political sides, curious to hear what he has say.

"They may not necessarily agree with what he says but giving him and his arguments a fair hearing is what the majority of us find to be mature and important.

"People can then judge themselves whether they are convinced or not convinced by what he says."

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