Jacob Rees-Mogg’s new cabinet role as the minister for Brexit opportunities will be welcome news for Tory Brexiteers and MPs on the party’s right.
The appointment of Rees-Mogg, a Thatcherite and Brexiteer, in today’s reshuffle shows that Boris Johnson intends to accelerate the government’s efforts to shed EU regulation post-Brexit.
There have been grumblings by some on the right of the party that this process has moved too slowly and that Johnson is not making the most of leaving the EU. There has also been unrest over Johnson’s expansionist economic policy platform since becoming PM, with prominent Tory right-winger Steve Baker labelling the government’s direction as “socialist” in nature.
Rees-Moggs’ appointment as the government’s Brexit tsar may stem this kind of criticism for the time being. The North East Somerset
MP has long been a prominent right-wing MP and is still well respected on that wing of the party. If he can accelerate the programme to cut EU red tape, then Rees-Mogg may buy Johnson some space to retain the support of a key group of Tory MPs.