UK 'hasn't properly Brexited yet' says Ben Habib
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The former Brexit Party MEP insisted the deal Boris Johnson signed in December 2020 has left the UK still enmeshed with the European Union’s regulatory system instead of fully independent. He claimed the failure to negotiate a better deal means the country is unable to take advantage of all the freedoms voters wanted to secure by voting out of the EU. Speaking to GB News, Mr Habib said: “I would argue that we haven’t properly Brexited yet.
“One of the things the Government is very shy of is admitting that the deal that was done with the European Union in order to effect what it calls Brexit actually ties us in the EU regulatory framework in a very significant way.
“First of all, Northern Ireland has to a very significant extent left behind in the European Union.
“And for the rest of the European Union, we’ve signed up to a level playing field, which means we can’t deviate easily from EU state aid laws, competition laws, employment laws, and indeed the environment.”
Mr Habib continued: “So when we talk about deregulation, for example, we are committed by international’s treaty to the European Union not to regress from our drive towards net-zero.
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“And we’ve all experienced what a regulatory constraint that particular drive has been, enormous cost is placed on our economy already.
“We haven’t got total independence from the EU yet and I don’t think we’ll be able to take advantage of the Brexit freedoms of which, by the way, there are many but you have to cut the apron’s strings with the EU in order to take advantage of them.”
Brexit has remained a contention issue for the Government, which has been trying to push the EU into agreeing changes to the Northern Ireland Protocol.
Following months of failed talks, Foreign Minister Liz Truss tabled the Northern Ireland Bill to provide UK ministers with sweeping powers to effectively unilaterally change the protocol.
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Both Ms Truss and fellow Tory leadership contestant Rishi Sunak had kept relatively quiet on the subject during their hustings.
But Mr Sunak broke his silence this week to hit back at claims suggesting he is “not Brexity enough” to lead the country.
Speaking at the Tory hustings in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, hosted by the Telegraph, Mr Sunak said: “It does puzzle me, because somehow I keep reading that I’m not Brexity enough in this leadership race.
“It does puzzle me, because I think, I was the one that actually voted and campaigned for Brexit in the first place.
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“I radically set up new freeports in this country, an idea that I came up with, that right now, are attracting jobs and investment to places that desperately need it.
“It’s why as chancellor I also set out radical reforms of all our financial services regulation, scrapping the EU laws, replacing them with new British ones, to make sure that this is the most dynamic economy in the world.
“My business experience means I can lead our economy into the future and seize those opportunities that are there waiting for us if we are prepared to be bold and ambitious about grabbing them.”
And Liz Truss dismissed people citing her support for Remain in the 2016 Referendum to suggest she would be an unsuitable leader, pointing at her record as International Trade Secretary to show her commitment to see the UK succeed outside of the EU.
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