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Friday, August 19, 2022

The hidden Brexit agenda emerging from the shadows

They sold Brexit on a promise to divert funds from the EU to the NHS., instead, we have a health service in crisis, people unable to see a doctor or a dentist in good time, huge queues at accident and emergency, and a waiting list that dwarfs anything seen pre-pandemic. And now government ministers are calling for massive cuts in public services and a dismantling of the British state.

The Independent reports that Jacob Rees-Mogg has urged the next prime minister to slash back the government’s role as a prize of Brexit, suggesting it should not “deliver certain functions at all”.

His argument that mere cuts in public spending will not go far enough is backed by senior Truss backer, former Brexit minister David Frost, who is expected to be given a leading role in her administration:

The Leave campaign won the 2016 campaign partly on a promise to boost spending, notably by £350m-a-week on the NHS, but Mr Rees-Mogg is pointing to a different agenda.

“Our departure from the European Union necessitates a re-thinking of the British state,” the minister for Brexit opportunities has written in a newspaper article.

“This means going beyond ministers looking for fiscal trims and haircuts and considering whether the state should deliver certain functions at all.”

It comes after Ms Truss vowed to press the accelerator on ripping up thousands of EU regulations if she wins power, which has raised fears that protections will disappear.

The Liberal Democrats said the comments would “raise fears that the worst damage to relations with our neighbours is not yet done”.

Rees Mogg is unsurprisingly non-specific on what he thinks should be done, but the consequences of what he and Liz Truss are proposing are frighteningly clear. The Institute for Fiscal Studies has warned that big spending cuts are inevitable if Truss pursues the £30bn-plus of tax cuts she plans, calling them unrealistic.
It is likely that cuts on that scale will only worsen the backlogs we already have in courts, airports and GPs, leaving people waiting even longer for passports, driving licences, and vital appointments.

Perhaps the new Prime Minister should follow the lead of Layla Moran, the Lib Dem foreign affairs spokeswoman, who says that Truss or Sunak should focus on trying to tear down the huge amounts of red tape which have been erected thanks to the Conservatives’ trade deal with Europe.

Hi Peter,

You write some good articles but when I try to share them on Twitter they just show a box with your blog address.

Try retweeting my tweet on each post https://twitter.com/peterblackwales
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