Jacob Rees-Mogg: Brexit Celebrations At Tory Conference

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By Jacob Rees-Mogg | 7:34 am, October 3, 2016

The Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham this year is meeting with a sense of purpose and a buzz that has been absent in recent years. Normally the most exciting conferences are those before an election that a party expects to win, so 2009 had a good atmosphere but in 2014 there was uncertainty. After an election victory there is usually a feeling of celebration but now it is one of anticipation of the important business that has to be done.

This mood is undoubtedly helped by the problems facing the Labour Party. Its conference in Liverpool seemed more interested and focused on its own internal affairs, such as elections to the Shadow Cabinet, rather than the political challenges the nation faces.

This leaves an open field for the Tories to develop and address ideas in a political environment that has been transformed by the vote to leave the European Union.

The Prime Minister’s speech to open the Conference, which set out her views for Brexit, was electrifying.

Although what she said follows naturally from the vote in June it has not previously been set out in such clear terms by so senior a figure.

As Theresa May said “our laws will be made not in Brussels but in Westminster. The judges interpreting those laws will sit not in Luxembourg but in courts in this country. The authority of EU law in Britain will end.”

This is exciting because British politics becomes more important again. What is promised in election manifestos may be delivered without the excuse that Brussels will not allow it.

Regulations that hit businesses or individuals and make life more expensive or less convenient will have to be justified or removed.

At every level of British political life, from parish councils to Parliament, there will be a reinvigoration of authority and relevance to daily life. It is said that to govern is to choose and the choices are being repatriated.

Mrs. May also outlined the opportunity for the United Kingdom in the world at large rather than in the narrower European sphere. She explained Britain’s strong position in the world, the size of the economy, the armed services and the intelligence ones, the levels of inward and outward foreign investment. As she said, “we don’t need… to punch above our weight because our weight is substantial enough already.”

This repositioning of our nation is the most important constitutionally since the 1867 Reform Act and economically since 1846 and the repeal of the Corn Laws.

In just over one hundred days a new leader has set out a path that it previously would have been illegal for us to follow.

At the same time she has united the Party which recognises, with few exceptions, the need to obey the will of the people. No wonder everyone in Birmingham is going around with a smile on his face and a spring in his step in anticipation of the important work that needs to be done.

It is a professional mood but one bolstered by optimism and hope.

  • Jacob Rees-Mogg is MP for North East Somerset