“The past 2 weeks have brought about a great deal of Brexit news, however, what we have seen from the Government is an unwillingness to act with any degree of urgency. There was one bright spot back on Sunday, February 7th, when the Government issued a scathing takedown of a fake news story about the level of goods flowing through UK ports. However, this light soon went out.
“Despite being faced by a plurality of urgent issues which need to be resolved, the Government simply does not seem to be paying attention, choosing instead to solely focus on the COVID-19 Pandemic. This is understandable in the short term, but does nothing to stop the threats coming from the European Union, which could have an even greater damaging effect to our economy and our country in the long-term. These are facts I pointed out to the Prime Minister in a letter which was also copied to all Conservative and DUP MPs this week.
“First among these is the total confusion on the issue of Northern Ireland and the movement of goods from Great Britain across the Irish Sea. Promises made by the Prime Minister about never allowing a border in the Irish Sea, jokes to hauliers (and the media) about throwing any customs forms they receive into the bin – they have all been proven to be totally false.
“Just to show how ridiculous this has become – just last week a contractor was made to ‘wash off all mud’ from a digger when it was returning to Northern Ireland from Great Britain because EU officials demanded British soil could not enter the EU market! And this week, a Northern Irish company had to cancel an order for 100,000 trees from England, Scotland and Wales because of customs restrictions! Northern Ireland is part of this country – however, with the Northern Ireland Protocol in place, this is clearly not the case, and right now little seems to be happening to resolve the problem. The Prime Minister is meant to be the ‘Minister for the Union’, it is about time his actions reflected his job title.
“On top of the Northern Ireland issue, there is yet to be any resolution with the EU on the subject of Financial Services – which are our biggest export – meaning the problems which need to be resolved are not just about trade in goods. This effectively leaves the City and those involved in financial services, without any certainty and an inability to prepare properly for the future, which will undoubtedly limit the speed of our economic recovery from the COVID-19 Pandemic. Right now, there seems to be no urgency on this major issue coming to a resolution.
“Why? If the EU is simply refusing to negotiate reasonably – as appears to be the case – then the Government should come out and tell the public this! A lack of information simply leaves a void to be filled with negative stories and speculation. If the EU will not grant permanent financial equivalence to UK companies because they claim we do not comply with rules (which we wrote), then as the Governor of the Bank of England recently said, the UK “must not be a ‘rule-taker’” and we must grasp hold of the opportunities presented by diverging from the EU market. It is clear the EU has no intention of playing fair, so it is about time we ended this charade and disregarded what the EU says. The future for global economy and our opportunities will come from all over the world, we should not obsess over an economic bloc whose economic strength is diminishing every year”.