Jacob Rees-Mogg has been handed a new role in government as minister for Brexit opportunities, as Boris Johnson carries out a cabinet reshuffle in what some suggest is a move to reassert control.
The reshuffle, which follows weeks of revelations that Johnson repeatedly broke lockdown rules during the first wave of the COVID pandemic, is seen as an attempt by the embattled prime minister to shore up his position amid the calls for his departure.
Elsewhere, Chris Heaton-Harris, a former MEP, has been named Chief Whip, while James Cleverly, also a staunch Brexit supporter, becomes Europe Minister.
Last week, Johnson was forced to reshuffle his private office after the resignation of four senior advisers, including his chief policy officer and chief of staff.
Rees-Mogg is one of the Conservative Party’s most committed Brexiteers and has campaigned for the UK to trade with the EU on World Trade Organization terms.
It’s not immediately obvious what “opportunities” will be available to Rees-Mogg. The Government last week surprisingly decided to drop plans to introduce a Brexit Freedoms Bill designed to ‘reform, replace and repeal’ EU law, meaning it is likely to retain the vast majority of EU regulation in UK law for the foreseeable future.
(Benjamin Fox | EURACTIV.com)