Politics

Brexit chief Rees-Mogg pledges to blow away EU ‘regulatory barnacles’

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This week, Boris Johnson’s official spokesman said “a small number of changes” would be made as he continues to shake up his team as part of an attempt to “reset” his premiership. Mr Rees-Mogg has left his job as Leader of the House of Commons to be appointed to a new role aimed at maximising the opportunities of Brexit.

Based in the Cabinet Office, the North East Somerset MP would be tasked with looking at which bureaucratic EU legislation can be torn up now Britain is free from the block in order to unleash the UK’s full potential on the world stage.

Now in his latest column in The Sun, Mr Rees-Mogg vowed to remove any “regulatory barnacles”.

He wrote: “Competition, innovation and deregulation sit at the heart of my mission.

“The immense talent and ambition across the whole United Kingdom is our greatest national asset and I firmly believe that the Government should never stand in the way of its flourishing.

“Simply look at the success of the vaccine procurement programme to see what Brexit opportunities can look like.”

He went on to blast the “suffocating EU procurement laws” which were torn up by the UK’s Vaccines Taskforce.

Mr Rees-Mogg praised the Prime Minister for “taking such a great risk on this against huge opposition”.

He added: “There is hardly a better example of why Britain must forge ahead with a deregulatory agenda and diverge from EU rules, which prioritise process over results and protect incumbents instead of letting new businesses thrive.

“Brexit opportunities and government efficiency have the same ambition: Making the lives of British people easier.”

Mr Johnson is currently facing pressure to resign after it was revealed he attended one of the many parties held in Downing Street during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Conservative Party’s popularity has plummeted over recent months following the partygate scandals.

But Mr Rees-Mogg has said it is vital the Tory Party “shows that it remains the party of prosperity and enterprise in Government”.

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He added: “This is why we are using Brexit to introduce great changes like a new procurement regime so small businesses find it easier to gain access to public contracts.

“There will be a new approach to data, removing the EU’s cumber-some one-size-fits-all policy which makes a sole trader comply with the same heavy regulations as a multinational company.”

Towards the end of his column, Mr Rees-Mogg urged the British public to write to him with “regulations you want abolished”.

Mr Rees-Mogg has loyally defended the Prime Minister amid the ‘Partygate’ scandal that has marred the Government’s public image in recent weeks.

The new Minister for Brexit opportunities is no stranger to having Mr Johnson’s back amid controversy.

In August 2018, he waded into the row over Mr Johnson saying Muslim women wearing burkas “look like letter boxes”.

Speaking to The Sunday Times that month, the prominent Tory savaged the Conservative Party over what he perceived as a heavy-handed response to Mr Johnson’s burqa comments.

At the time, the party had launched an independent investigation into the remarks, which later cleared Mr Johnson of breaking the party’s code of conduct.

However, Mr Rees-Mogg claimed the overall reaction amounted to a “low-grade abuse of power”, which only increased Mr Johnson’s power.

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