The UK’s trade minister has slammed “scaremongering” ‘remoaners’ as she told the House of Commons that trade with the rest of the world has risen since Brexit.
Nusrat Ghani, MP for Wealden, said that trade is thriving since the UK left the EU. And she dismissed concerns that the nation’s stubbornly high inflation was being exacerbated by our departure from the trading bloc.
It comes as polling suggests more than half of Britons think Brexit is at least partly to blame for UK’s 8.7 percent inflation figure. The Minister of State at the Department for Business and Trade, however, is having none of it.
Ghani said: “Having regained our regulatory sovereignty now that we have left the EU, we are now able to ensure that our regulation is tailored to the UK economy, supports our businesses and protects our consumers and having left a single market we can focus on UK trade with the world, where trade is up 24 per cent.”
“So the answer to this question is the effect is total trade is up post Brexit.”
Her remarks came in response to a question about the impact of Brexit on business and trade in the UK from Alba Party MP Neale Hanvey. However, Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath MP Mr Hanvey said “resilient and effective routes to market are essential for trade”, arguing “the congestion that’s currently being experienced in Dover is a significant barrier to effective trade”.
He went on: “Will the minister meet with me to discuss how we reintroduce direct links from Scotland to mainland Europe and ensure trade is friction-free from Scotland?”
Responding to the Alba MP’s concerns, Ms Ghani reiterated her stance, dismissing them as an exaggeration.
She said: “I don’t think he heard my answer. Trade is up. The reality is this scaremongering just has to stop. The scaremongering is basically a cover for petty nationalism and I would ask him to remember to be passionate about the market that matters.
“That is between Scotland and England and if he was passionate about Scottish businesses and Scottish jobs, he would be passionate about the single market that matters.”
Tory MP Philip Hollobone also commended the benefits of Brexit during business and trade issues, claiming that dire predictions made during the Brexit referendum have all proved wrong. The Kettering MP said: “Here in 2023 with us outside the European Union employment is at record highs, unemployment at record lows, the eurozone is in recession, we’re not, and our exports to the EU are at record levels.
“Isn’t it now demonstrably true that we were always going to be better off out?”
Business minister Kevin Hollinrake replied: “Well as Churchill once said, the pessimist sees a crisis in every opportunity, the optimist, like him, sees an opportunity in every crisis. The UK’s total exports are now recovered to pre-pandemic levels. Measured against 2018, in 2022 UK exports were £815 billion, up 21% in current prices, and up 0.5% once adjusted for inflation.
“There is no doubt UK exports continue to excel and will continue to do so.”