Jacob Rees-Mogg MP has told students that US-UK relations will improve when the presidency is handed over to Donald Trump in January, whom he described as “friendlier” towards the country than President Obama.
“Obama was no friend of the UK”, he claimed, asserting that Trump had already been making positive noises towards the UK. Obama, on the contrary, chose to focus more on relations in the pacific throughout his time in office.
The talk, lasting just under an hour, was hosted by Exeter University Conservative Association on Thursday evening.
Mogg has been a Member of Parliament since 2010, and currently holds a majority of approximately 12,000 in what was previously a safe Labour constituency seat. He’s recently made headlines for criticising Bank of England Governor Mark Carney over his handling of the vote to Leave the European Union.
The MP for North East Somerset did however express his doubt that he could have voted for new President-elect Donald Trump, despite being critical of Obama.
“I’m normally a Republican but I don’t think I could’ve voted for Donald Trump”, he admitted.
Mogg went on to praise the Americans for “embracing capitalist opportunities” by electing Trump, who has pledged to cut tax regulation that the MP claimed was having a significant impact on people’s lives in the US. The MP specifically highlighted recent executive orders on tax introduced by the Obama administration that, he said, were “introduced by the back door, arguably unconstitutionally.”
“We’ve got to make sure it works”, he said firmly in regards to Trump’s upcoming presidency and US-UK relations. There had been reports in the media in the days following November 9 of a “snub” towards Theresa May when Trump was alleged to have called nine other world leaders before putting the call in to the Prime Minister.
Mogg also stated his belief that now was one of the most exciting times to be on the right of the political spectrum since the Reagan and Thatcher era – particularly as the UK prepares to exit the European Union in 2017.
On the EU, Mogg stated he was “confident we cannot remain the single market”, deeming it a situation whereby the UK would be “Norway minus minus” – a reference to Trump’s “Brexit plus plus” comments in regards to his anti-establishment campaign’s victory.
The MP also reassured students who raised concerns about Nicola Sturgeon’s calls for a second Scottish independence referendum in light of the Brexit vote, claiming that the SNP leader was moving away from such promises now – particularly, he said, now that some Scottish MSPs were admitting to have secretly voted for Brexit.
Mogg rushed off following his time with the Conservative Association to attend an event hosted by Exeter’s Catholic students to talk about his faith.