Red tape outrage as EU forces British businesses into ‘monstrous’ Brexit forms

John Penrose issues warning at EU red tape holding back Brexit

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Speaking in the House of Commons yesterday, on Thursday, Sir Desmond Swayne, Tory MP for New Forest West, scolded the EU for continuing to impose strict checks on traded goods. Coming up to six years after Britons voted to pull the UK out of the bloc, the Brexiteer highlighted the removal of trade barriers around the world has helped to boost economies. He said it was “monstrous” the same was not happening in Britain, which is supposed to be unshackled from the EU.

Sir Desmond told the House: “UK aid promoted trade in Africa by making borders seamless through digitising all the administrative processes.

“Is that on our agenda for trade with the EU at all?

“It is monstrous that we are filling in forms.”

Mike Freer, a junior International Trade Minister, responded that the Government hopes the “best border” will be in place by 2025.

This will be just shy of a decade after the historic Brexit vote.

Some have criticised Sir Desmond for his comments, suggesting he is wrong to complain given “this is what he voted for”.

Writer Edwin Hayward said in a post on Twitter: “It’s like someone fighting to enter a marathon then being shocked that there’s running involved.

“All the clues were there. We helped draft those forms, after all.”

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But for businessman and former MEP Ben Habib, Brexit itself was not the cause.

Instead, he said the Government should hold some responsibility.

He told ministers “lack a post-Brexit vision”, and so have failed to stand up to the EU on key matters of trade.

Mr Habib said: “Going into Covid, the UK ran a trade deficit of £100billion a year with the EU. Germany was using the artificially weak Euro to support its export machine.


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“Brexit gave us the opportunity to curb those exports, balance our trading relationship and to thereby take pressure off Sterling by cutting the deficit.

“But instead of imposing controls on EU good coming into the Country, we waived all controls.

“The EU has had and still has largely unfettered access to our markets.

“On the other hand, as is ever the case with the EU, it has imposed controls on goods we export to the continent. So the trade gap has got worse, not better.”

This comes after members of the UK Trade and Business Commission visited Belfast yesterday, on Thursday, to see first hand the impacts of the Northern Ireland Protocol.

One business told them the post-Brexit agreement with the EU had made it easier to buy goods from within the Brussels bloc rather than from Britain.

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