Mr Rees-Mogg’s new role will see him oversee Government business in the Commons and announce the weekly debate schedule. Upon his selection by new Prime Minister Boris Johnson, he was interviewed by Robert Peston on ITV Peston. The Brexiteer explained Parliament had already legislated for Britain to leave the EU on October 31 with or without a deal.
He said this meant: “So, just for the status quo to be maintained means we leave without a deal unless a deal is passed.
“So when people say the House of Commons is going to stop it, they are forgetting the House of Commons has already agreed to it.”
He earlier accused opponents of failing to remember the pre-referendum position of some of Mr Johnson’s Cabinet picks: “I think to characterise it as a sort of Vote Leave coup is a mistake and is forgetting that the Chancellor of the Exchequer (Sajid Javid, moved from Home Secretary) and the International Trade Secretary (Liz Truss, moved from Chief Secretary to the Treasury) were both Remainers.”
Mr Rees-Mogg replaces former Paymaster General Mel Stride in the role.
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Mr Rees-Mogg also discussed the chance of a snap election, which could block no deal depending on the result: “The question about a general election is actually about a vote of no confidence.
“The question there for Conservatives is do they want to take the risk of Jeremy Corbyn, it is clearly not the policy of the Government to bring on a general election and it’s worth remembering since the Fixed Terms Parliament Act in 2011, the Prime Minister no longer has the ability to call a general election willy-nilly.
“But it’s impossible to rule out looking at the parliamentary arithmetic.”
Mr Johnson’s over appointments see the returns of Priti Patel and Dominic Raab as Home Secretary and Foreign Secretary respectively, after spending time out of Cabinet.