In the first 10 days of our departure of the EU it is now becoming clear that Johnson, Gove and Rees-Mogg need to be replaced and a new Government, probably involving people from across the political range needs to be formed to try to repair some of the damage that has already begun to emerge. If the problems caused by and even identified by these two people could be resolved by Parliament, then of course there would be an opportunity for things to get better, but Jacob Rees-Mogg has set out to prevent Parliament from having the opportunity to review matters. Jacob Rees-Mogg is the leader of Parliament and he is a senior Politician with the Government. His approach is as follows from the Independent Newspaper yesterday:
The government has been accused of undermining parliamentary scrutiny of Boris Johnson’s Brexit trade deal after Jacob Rees-Mogg ordered the shutdown of the cross-party committee examining Britain’s relations with the EU. The move blocks a planned six-month inquiry into the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA), grilling key players in televised evidence sessions at parliament before producing an authoritative report assessing the merits and flaws of the deal in rigorous detail. And it means there is no Commons committee with a specific remit to monitor the implementation of the deal and the activities of the plethora of partnership councils, committees and working groups which it has created. Committee member Joanna Cherry said the 21-member panel was being disbanded because “the government don’t want to hear the truth” about Mr Johnson’s deal.
So in many senses this is the most challenging aspect although of course we know that cancelling commitees will simply avoid the scrutiny. If the deal was working one could argue that scrutiny was less of an issue. So here are two of the current elements that have arisen, the first is from The Guardian followed by another one from the Independent. This one came a few minutes ago and it is a report from what was described as an emergency meeting held with Michael Gove on Thursday by British manufacturing and trade organisations.
The prime minister had hailed what he claimed was a “zero-tariff” and “zero-quotas” deal that would allow free and simple access to the single market. Less than a month on, however, Britain’s EU departure appears to be anything but pain-free. One leading figure involved in the talks with Gove described the new rule book as a “complete shitshow”. Another said Gove seemed “very concerned” at hearing reports of problems, after a week in which Marks & Spencer was among leading companies to warn that more bureaucracy would increase costs. The source added: “He [Gove] seemed to realise the full gravity of the situation that is unfolding and about to get worse.” Gove admitted on Friday that there would be “significant additional disruption” at UK borders as a result of Brexit customs changes in the coming weeks.
So here is one from a few hours ago in the Independent. Some people will argue it is far less critical than the one involving Michael Gove. However it is clear that this is one that should have been treated much more positively by Johnson at no cost for us. The Headline is “UK ‘rejected offer’ of visa-free tours by musicians in EU, despite blaming Brussels for permit blow” and the text below the heading includes:
The UK rejected an offer of visa-free tours by musicians to EU countries, despite blaming Brussels for what the industry is calling the devastating blow of them requiring permits. A “standard” proposal to exempt performers from the huge cost and bureaucracy for 90 days was turned down, The Independent has been told – because the government is insisting on denying that to EU artists visiting this country. “It is usually in our agreements with third countries, that [work] visas are not required for musicians. We tried to include it, but the UK said no,” an EU source close to the negotiations said. The revelation comes after the shock threat of visas sparked protests that future tours will have to abandoned, at a time when musicians are already reeling from the impact of Covid-19.
Now clearly if the action by Jacob Rees-Mogg had not taken place, these two themes and indeed no doubt many others could all be assessed by the 21 MPs who would then bring these issues into the public without the need to rely on the newspapers that some people will no doubt argue are biased. After all the 21 member Committee is based across Party memberships. So perhaps what we need is a new Government that involves people from a range of different political parties.