Speaking to Andrew Marr on LBC, the Brexit Opportunities minister refuted claims Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union had created more bureaucracy and complicated trade barriers. He said Britain was “reducing red tape” in relation to countries outside of the EU, such as India, and that there would not have been access to these “fantastic” opportunities had Britain remained in the union. Mr Rees-Mogg added that the operative issue when it came to soaring coasts and high inflation was the “lack of Chinese semiconductors and cities in China still being closed” due to their zero-Covid approach to the pandemic.
Mr Rees-Mogg said: “We have taken control of our borders, so we now decide who comes in here. That seems to me to be a pretty important gain from Brexit that people wanted. We do not have to take any person from the European Union who wishes to come.
“And I think in terms of people’s concerns economically, these are headwinds faced across the world.
“The government is tackling a global economic problem. It is an inflationary problem and it is a supply chain problem.
“Supply chains are not working across global economies and this is to do with a lack of Chinese semiconductors and cities in China still being closed.
“It is to do with shipping being in the wrong place. It has very little to do with Brexit.”
Mr Marr said: “Let me ask you this: If I am an exporter to the EU, has bureaucracy and red tape increased, decreased or stayed the same as a result of Brexit?”
Mr Rees-Mogg said: “Ah, the EU does not want to buy our goods, so this is a matter for the EU.
“The EU wishes to harm its own consumers but we are looking at the broader global consumer market.
“So, we are reducing red tape in relation to other countries and that is really important. We could get a trade deal with India by the end of this year.
“That is more than a billion people. That is a really fantastic opportunity, which we could not do in the EU because it was too slow and sclerotic to get its act together in negotiating.”
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Speaking after the announcement of his plan to “make Brexit work” today, Sir Keir Starmer said Labour would eliminate “most border checks created by the Tory Brexit deal”.
He said the “starting point” of Labour’s plan for making Brexit work is to “sort out the Northern Ireland Protocol”.
It would also work with business to put in place a “better scheme” to allow low-risk goods to enter Northern Ireland without “unnecessary checks”, he said.
The Labour leader admitted Britain would not be able to deliver “completely frictionless trade” with the EU outside of the bloc, but said there are “things we can do” to ease the process.
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