Gove says Brexit prep made UK better prepared for Covid
Anybody who thinks the battle for Brexit is over is being complacent with plenty of commentary from Rejoiners claiming it has ruimed the country and urgently needs reversing.
Already, the pro-EU faction of the Labour Party is sponsoring candidates for winnable seats at the next election and, despite Sir Keir Starmer’s promises that he will not reverse Brexit, there has been chatter about deals with the Lib Dems.
Next month, the European Movement holds its second annual Rejoiner rally on September 23 with support from EU fanatics like Guy Verhofstadt.
Meanwhile, many Brexiteers also complain that the Conservative government has not taken the opportunities of leaving the EU, with Nigel Farage even complaining Brexit had “failed” because of the Tories.
But after a summer which saw a massive £12 trillion trade deal with the trans Pacific group, talks advancing with a huge India trade deal and, today, revelations by the Daily Express that the ability to slash EU red tape will help build 100,000 homes, there is much to celebrate.
So here are 10 reasons why Brexit has already been a success – even if the Tories could do more in government.
1. The EU is still empire building
In some ways this is the biggest bonus for Britain being out of the EU.
European Council President Charles Michel is now actively pushing for an accelerated expansion of the EU by 2030, just seven years away.
This could see up to eight new member states joining the current 27 potentially including Turkey, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Albania, Moldova, Ukraine, and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Some may ask why does this matter now Britain is out? And others may argue more countries joining proves Britain was wrong to leave.
But actually, it proves that the UK was right to leave for two key reasons.
First, is the question of free movement of people. If those eight countries all join that will add a further 169 million people having the right to live and work anywhere in the EU.
If the UK was still a member of the EU it would have had to give all these people unlimited and unfettered access.
If we thought we had a problem with Albanians coming illegally on small boats, it would have been nothing compared to having full legal access as an EU citizen.
Turkey alone counts for 85 million people and while a valued ally also opens the doors to routes for illegal migration as well as security risks from terror groups.
The second issue is that the European Commission argues that expansion should see national vetoes watered down to aid effective decision making.
This happened in the Maastricht and Lisbon treaties and will happen again taking power away from national governments and handing it to unelected bureaucrats in Brussels.
2. The bonfire of EU red tape has begun
This is a sore point among many Tory Brexiteers because Business Secretary Kemi Badenoch has been accused of cancelling the so-called “bonfire of EU red tape” which was promised in the manifesto and Rishi Sunak’s leadership bid.
But, despite the process of getting rid of EU regulations being slower than previously hoped there are positive moves, not least the news on housebuilding today from the Prime Minister.
Mr Sunak has highlighted how getting rid of EU red tape has bolstered plans to build 100,000 new homes.
In defence of Ms Badenoch, her Retained EU Law Bill (REUL) actually made it much easier to start shredding those EU regulations and there are signs the government is finally getting its act together.
There is a lot of work to be done with this, though, not least in tackling the Politically Exposed Person (PEP) regulation which has been exposed by Nigel Farage and the bank account cancellation scandal.
3. Huge trade deals signed and more to come
The second half of August saw major news on a big trade deal with India in the offing which will give the UK fantastic access to one of the world’s fastest growing economies.
An India trade deal (or anywhere else) would have been impossible while the UK was in the EU and if Brussels had managed to negotiate one after years of trying then it would have been filled with compromioses to benefit other EU states.
But even more significant was the accession of Britain to the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) with 11 other countries and a current combined GDP of £12 trillon.
Hopefully, accession to this trade bloc (which does not include free movement of people as the EU did) will close the door on a return to Brussels rule.
But it now allows free trade with countries like Japan, Vietnam as well as Australia and New Zealand (which the UK signed specific deals with) and a group of nations whse combined GDP is projected to rapidly overtake the EU’s.
Added to that though the claims that the UK would spend years just trying to restart the EU’s previous trade deals proved to be false.
Rejoiners often mock Brexiteers for a failure to get the US trade deal so many had hoped for.
This, of course, is because the current US President Joe Biden is anti-Brexit and, many believe, anti-Britain so a trade deal will only happen with a Republican administration.
However, critics also miss the point that the important trade deals are with US states not the federal government – because state government control access to financial services.
So far the UK has negotiated 20 of these state deals which allow access for Britain’s world leading financial services and other service sectors in major economies like California and Texas.
None of this could have happened when the UK was in the EU.
4. “It’s the economy – stupid”
The words of US political consultant James Carville in 1992 ring as true about Brexit as it does about any political matter.
In the end, success or otherwise, is defined by how the economy does.
So it is not surprising that the economic woes of the UK – whether it was empty shelves in supermarkets or high inflation in a cost of living crisis have been a favourite topic for Rejoiners to attack Brexit.
But they have always conveniently ignored the impact of the pandemic and war in Ukraine and the fact that every major western country suffers from the same economic problems.
When a cold, dispassionate view is taken of how Brexit Britain performs compared to other nations, the picture is one of success.
As former Internation Trade Secretary Liam Fox recently put it: “Since 2016 (the year of the EU refrendum) cumulative growth in Italy has been four percent, in Germany has been 5.5 percent, in the UK has been 6.8 percent.
“In May last year, British exports to the EU were not just the highest since Brexit but since records began.
“The UK had the highest growth in any G7 country in 2021 and 2022. The eurozone is currently in recession, we are not.
“Is it not time we heard more good news talking Britain up.”
5. Companies investing in Britain (not despite Brexit)
According to the Rejoiners, as soon as Britain left the EU then major companies would be heading to the UK’s exit door to invest elsewhere.
Just before MPs left for the summer recess Jaguar Landrover became the latest major company to prove this piece of Project Fear was total nonsense at best and a maliscious lie at worst.
The multi-billion pound gigawatt factory in Somerset will bring 9,000 new jobs and came against competition from Spain and the EU.
It was just the latest example of big business expressing confidence in Brexit Britain.
Perhaps most notable among the car manufacturers was Nissan which expanded its operations in Sunderland after Remainers claiming they would be off.
But it is not just manufacturing which is booming. Financial services are also doing well out of Brexit.
Recently, Chris Hayward, policy chairman of the City of London Corporation, revealed that there are now “thousands of extra jobs” and billions in investment in the City as a result of Brexit.
Where Britain is losing out is not because of Brexit but due to the Conservative government hiking taxes and making Britain less competitive.
This is why Astrazeneca chose to locate in Ireland not Britain, largely over the hike in corporation tax from 19p to 25p in the pound.
6. The Ukraine response
This is always a hard one for Rejoiners to swallow, but the chances are that had Britain not left the EU then support for Ukraine after Russia’s invasion may never have happened – or certainly not to the extent it has done.
It is difficult for Remainers to admit because of the reluctance of Germany, in particular, to back Ukraine initially and support full sanctions but also because it was Boris Johnson’s international leadership which galvanised the world response.
Let us not forget that French President Emmanuel Macron tried to get a grubby compromise deal with Vladimir Putin as well.
What has this got to do with Brexit?
While foreign and defence policy is reserved to nation states in theory there are plenty of agreements which effectively straightjacket EU member states into a shared foreign policy.
Only Poland would have stood by the UK in those negotiations and so it was only through being out of the EU that Britain was able to embarrass the EU into acting properly – as well as America because it was outside the EU.
Senior figures in the EU have acknowledged this, as has President Zelensky.
7. No longer sending wads of cash to Brussels
The most famous part of the EU referendum campaign was Vote Leave’s bus suggesting that the £350 million a week sent to the EU could be spent on the NHS instead.
The image still infuriates Rejoiners, but the figure going to Brussels was accurate although some of it was given back in the rebate and some subsidies which the EU decided how to spend.
The fact is, though, that billions were going out annually from the UK to Brussels in supporting the EU bureaucracy.
Added to that billions more were being exported in benefits (particularly child benefit) through the free movement of people rules.
But the biggest one came after Covid when the EU decided it needed a massive bailout fund.
Had Britain been tied to Brussels at the end of Covid, it would have been forced to pay out tens of billions into the massive EU bailout fund.
8. The Covid vaccine
Talking of Covid, still the best benefit of Britain leaving the EU was not being tied to Brussels shambolic handling of the vaccine.
The UK was ahead of the EU in rolling out the vaccine and had a much clearer in its approach and getting it to the population.
Who can forget the EU prioritising members of the European Parliament? Or the bungled attempt to stop the vaccine going to Northern Ireland in revenge over the British government getting its contracts in order more quickly.
The benefit of the vaccine rollout being speedier was also the UK coming out of Covid measures more quickly.
In truth it did not take long for the EU to prove that Brexit was the best thing for Britain and Covid highlighted it better than anything else.
Even Michel Barnier admitted this as a truth.
The idea of freeports always scared the EU and were championed by the Prime Minister Rishi Sunak even before he became Boris Johnson’s Chancellor.
People are not talking about the freeport revolution enough but they are supercharging economic revivals in regions around the UK, using tax exemption status and encouraging investment.
Earlier this year the initial freeport rollout of ten in England was expanded to two new freeports in Wales.
Freeports work by being places where goods can be landed, stored, handled, manufactured or reconfigured and re-exported without being subject to customs duty.
They are not tariffed until they enter the domestic market and no duty is due if they are re-exported.
Any raw materials processed in the zone attract duties only on the final product while businesses can also benefit from streamlined customs procedures.
They will provide the infrastructure for Britain being a high-powered economy and provide bases for new industries including green technology.
In years to come they will deliver an economic revolution.
And, of course, they only happened because of Brexit.
10. We have taken back control
The “take back control” slogan was a central plan to the Brexit debate in returning sovereignty to Britain.
For many it is linked with controlling the UK’s borders and immigration which has not exactly been a roaring success so far with 20,000 illegal migrants coming over on small boats and record figures on legal migration.
But even with the failure to take advantage of Brexit, there is a Brexit success which is true for all areas not just border control.
That is that we no longer are having to deal with EU rules and unaccountable bureaucrats to get these issues sorted out.
The British government, MPs and Whitehall are now properly accountable for their failures.
So, if we are unhappy with what is happening we can influence change directly at the ballot box.
No longer can MPs and ministers shrug and say: “I’m afraid that’s the result of rules from the EU.”
Source: Read Full Article