Brexit Hangovers

These are indeed the strangest of times when books like Animal Farm, a fictional novel with the moral that power always corrupts, appears to be playing out.  We now have the toxic stench of our politicians combining self-serving with dishonesty and corruption. Their lack of moral fibre has served to manipulate the national narrative, divide our country and damage our economy.  

Each day brings another announcement or headline that would have been unbelievable before the rise of the politicians we have running our country.  Politicians oozing rank hypocrisy, incompetence and loathing of constructive debate or suggestions.

On Thursday 28 April Jacob Rees-Mogg, in his role as Minister for Brexit Opportunities and Government Efficiency, donned a high vis jacket and headed down to the Eurotunnel terminal at Folkestone where he jauntily announced that the government was delaying yet again the imposition of post-Brexit border checks on imports from the EU. He celebrated that this decision would save £1bn a year and help hard-pressed consumers by avoiding an increase in the cost of imported food. This cultish supporter of Brexit said checks would be “an act of self-harm”.  You heard that right!  In the alternative reality we appear to be living in, one of the Three Chief Brexiteers is parroting lines from the remain campaign and admitting that implementing their oven-ready Brexit deal in full, would lose us control, cost our economy and be an “an act of self-harm”.

But the damage is already being done.   

The Government have decided that from the 1 July, their will be no checks of foods/ agri-imported from the EU, whilst UK exporters will still incur a heavy burden of additional administration and costs exporting to the EU.

Not only will this be a huge competitive disadvantage for our UK farmers and food processors, but the Government is opening up the UK to risk of importing disease such as African swine flu that could severely impact our animal and human health, just as we’re coming out of covid. 

Port operators are also up in arms having spent £100 million preparing for checks from the 1st July that the Government have now put into the ‘too damaging to deal with’ box.  These operators are understandably now seeking government reimbursement for their vast waste of time, effort, and money.  Reimbursements which are yet another result of the present Government’s total ineptitude,

On the 6th May up popped Transport Secretary Grant Shapps saying he will remove Brexit restrictions for UK hauliers moving equipment between Britain and the EU for British bands and Formula One, music concerts, and sports and cultural events. 

Shapps, who has also taken to making odd videos, blamed EU bureaucracy even though his Government signed up to British specialist hauliers being limited to visiting just three stops per tour in the EU under the Brexit Deal. 

He tweeted “From music artists to Formula 1, Britain is at the heart of the cultural business. Today I have announced a new ‘dual registration’ option for specialist hauliers to ensure that all British talent can freely tour between Great Britain and the EU #LetTheMusicMove.

The unfairness of this reactive, shallow thinking from our Government Ministers is deeply worrying.  Why should only UK Companies providing contract agency haulage services to F1 Teams and Musical Performers be given unrestricted access to perform their business activities in the EU?  What about exporters across all other sectors?

We spoke to a small business owner, Justin Steele, who set up Agency agreements with some local Spanish companies to sell their Solar Panels to UK ex-pats in Spain.

Post pandemic as he looks to reconvene his business, he finds that as a result of Brexit, he has to pay for the setting up and all associated running costs of a Spanish Limited Company. And provide a certificate or degree equivalent to satisfy the Spanish Authorities that “I can sell” in order to “apply” for a work visa.

Clearly what Grant Shapps is doing by granting unlimited access to specific and limited sectors is completely discriminatory, unfair, and possibly illegal. 

What is needed are grown up conversations between the EU and the UK governments and officials.  Against the backdrop of the damage caused by Covid and the ongoing Illegal invasion of the Ukraine we need competence and careful planning not faux wars and political game playing.

There is a cost to gross incompetence that has become endemic within the present Government.  By ignoring common sense and practical solutions to problems and by their refusal to listen to experts (unless they are large Tory donors), they continue to waste billions of pounds every year.  They continue to damage our economy.  There are so many key issues which need urgently addressing and financing, not least the cost-of-living crisis, and every pound wasted is a pound that could be spent bettering the lives and futures of people across our Great Britain.

Gina Miller - Leader, True & Fair Party