A significant number of people in the House of Commons have been heavily promoting and indeed demanding for our nation to leave the EU since 12th December 2019 after they got elected with a range of very nice promises such as the image above that promised an Oven Ready Brexit Deal. Indeed most of them have been in the House of Commons and calling for the departure in their working locations from 24th June 2016. Sadly the same group of MPs then waited until the last minute last year to finalise and sign up to a trade deal with the EU which was capable of being a great deal better than it ended up as. However their demands to avoid being too close to the EU in terms of its trading arrangements led us to where we now are. That said they did at least avoid a no deal arrangement even though many of them were calling for that in the last 14 months. That was bound to create a great many more challenges for companies trading between the UK and the EU so thank goodness we got a deal. However any deal which is at the arms lengths of the connection is bound to create many challenges and indeed they claimed they wanted a great many barriers. So for all of these people who include these two Members of Parliament to then begin to unpack the issues, one might hope that they would admit that the trading arrangement needs to be revisited or indeed to admit that the departure for the nation is creating problems and that they need to reflect on that. The alternative I suppose could be to bury the issues deep down in their list of priorities in their conversations in public and yet it appears they are speaking about such things in a way that acts as though they are not angry about the huge challenges and they are not ignoring them, but they are not admitting that things could be better. Instead they are seeming to use a sticking plaster as if it will fix broken structures.
So a discussion took place last week in the Prime Ministers Questions involving Sally-Ann Hart and the Prime Minister
SH: In my constituency, Chapman’s of Rye is acting as an export hub for consignments of local fish going across the English channel, but it is proving extremely challenging, expensive, and time consuming. Mr Chapman is creating an opportunity to develop Rye as a vital export hub for Kent and Sussex fishermen, but he is burdened with red tape. What steps is my right hon. Friend taking to support opportunities such as those in Rye to make exporting easier? Would he accept an invitation to visit that fantastic enterprise?
BJ: I am grateful to my hon. Friend for raising that, because in the last few weeks this has been an issue for many fishing businesses and communities. There has been too much red tape, and we are providing an immediate £23 million to help businesses with the problems they are encountering through no fault of their own. We are also investing £100 million in a long-term programme for the UK fishing industry, to help with equipment and processing, and to enable this country to be in a position to take advantage of the incredible access to our fisheries that we will have as the years go by.
So the £23m and the £100m will not solve these problems but it may temporarily act as if it will do so. Perhaps this week and over the next few months we will get some more questions and answers and then in due course we might finally start to get some admission that a great deal more work is needed if we are to deal in a meaningful way with the EU. However it may take another Government to be able to start to deal with those much bigger challenges.