Liberal Democrats

Brexit: Two years on

Today, 31st January 2022, marks two years since we left the European Union.

By Layla Moran, Jan 31, 2022 2:01

The union flag flying next to the EU flag.

Two years on, and what do we have to show for it?

Right now, the queues at Dover stretch for hours. Our supply chains are experiencing disruption. Supermarket shelves are empty. Critical sectors like healthcare and agriculture do not have enough staff. British firms, farmers and fishers are facing such higher charges and bureaucracy that many of them have given up on exporting altogether. And UK citizens no longer have the freedom to be together with their loved ones, to work, to study, or to retire anywhere in the EU.

It’s time for the Tories to drop their dogma, and get real."

And the Government refuses to recognise this.

On what they are calling ‘Brexit anniversary’ day, they could have set aside their dogma, and decided to take a pragmatic approach - prioritising a trading relationship with Europe which works for Britain.

They should have begun the process of renewing our ties of trust and friendship with our EU allies, ties which have been worn down by years of acrimonious haggling. It might please Tory backbenchers - but we need to stand united in the face of Russian aggression.

But instead, they’ve doubled down. Their approach is resulting in shrinking real wages and a growing cost of living crisis for millions of households up and down the country.

This Government’s ‘Brexit Freedoms Bill’ is yet another case of the Government prioritising press releases over policy.

How many changes will it deliver? Absolutely none. This is a review of EU legislation so poorly managed that the person who launched it - Lord Frost - resigned due to his lack of faith in its processes.

All we’re looking at is - another - executive power grab. The Conservatives want to make it easier to ride roughshod over the will of Parliament.

This Bill will entrench more power in the hands of Downing Street, at the cost of our democratically elected representatives. Ministers will be able to overhaul legislation which has been enshrined in law by our Parliament, with little scrutiny and barely any accountability.

Two years on, and what do we have to show for it?"

The Conservatives are simply incapable of making the choices that will improve people’s lives. Their dogmatic approach is damaging our economy and impacting our standing on the world stage.

Liberal Democrats have a better way. We have a way forward which works for Britain - that cuts down red tape, reduces costs for businesses and makes people better off as a result.

Fine-tuning and tinkering on the edges of our trading relationship with Europe won’t be enough. It will not provide the long-term stability which will boost the British economy.

That’s why at our Spring Conference, I’ll be proposing a motion which sets out our comprehensive plan to reconnect our political and trading relationship with Europe. Keep your eyes peeled for more details very soon.

But in the interim, there’s nothing stopping this Government from taking immediate action to start fixing the many problems which have resulted from Boris Johnson’s bungled deal with the EU.

It’s time for the Tories to drop their dogma, and get real.

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