Politics

‘Desperate to stop Brexit wins!’ MP launches furious tirade at officials BLOCKING progress

Brexit: Sammy Wilson reveals how VAT on energy is impacted

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In the latest Cabinet reshuffle, Jacob Rees-Mogg was made Brexit Opportunities Minister and was set a brief to take advantage of the benefits of Britain withdrawing from the EU. But senior Brexiteers have warned he has a lot set against him due to the number of officials who are “determined we get no wins” from Brexit.

Wokingham MP Sir John Redwood said these figures are intent on proving their pessimism ahead of the 2016 vote was justified.

The job of taking advantage of Brexit was made all the more difficult, he added, by those who simply want to see Britain mirror the EU “as they like what it does”.

Almost six years after Britons voted to leave the Brussels bloc, Sir John said it was “extraordinary just how much concerted pressure among the official and legal establishment and the House of Lords there still is against the whole idea of Brexit”.

Both before and since the referendum, a host of Brexiteers have cited slashing VAT rates off certain products as an obvious Brexit win.

But Sir John wrote in Conservative Home: ”The Treasury has stuck to EU VAT rates like glue…

“The UK still refuses to suspend VAT on domestic fuel which should be a no brainer given what is happening to the price of gas and electricity.”

He added: “It should be suspended until gas and oil prices have fallen back again.”

Sir John noted the Civil Service has also pushed back against certain attempts to make the most of Britain’s EU withdrawal.

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He suggested the Northern Ireland Protocol has been used as “another excuse” not to change VAT across Britain because of the belief the Government cannot change it in Northern Ireland.

Instead, Sir John insisted this should act as a “stimulus” for officials to clarify to Brussels the UK Government does have control over such measures at home, and not just in parts of it.

Some Brexiteers have argued British negotiators must trigger Article 16 in order to stop the country being divided from within over the Protocol.

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Former Brexit Party MEP Ben Habib recently told Express.co.uk officials had been “cowed” to the EU’s threat of sanctions if the article is triggered.

But he insisted: “Article 16 is not, as it is so often described, a nuclear button.

“It is a legitimate safeguarding measure within the Northern Ireland Protocol entitling the UK to suspend part or all of the Protocol if it is doing societal, environmental, or economic damage and/ or there is a diversion of trade. The grounds to invoke it exist.”

Sir John highlighted that attempt to block the benefits of Brexit go further still.

Fishing soon became one of the major themes in the debate around the 2016 referendum, but the former Wales Secretary said there was a “marked reluctance” in the halls of power to take advantage in this field of our freedom from the EU.

As a result, he wrote: “Our fishing industry still remains damaged by a further, needless, transition designed to help large predatory foreign vessels.”

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