Jacob Rees-Mogg clashes with host on civil service jobs
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Brexit Opportunities Minister Jacob Rees-Mogg made a direct appeal to Express readers and people around the country for ideas about how the UK can benefit from Brexit. Since his appointment in February, the British public has responded “with enthusiasm” and hundreds of ideas have poured into Mr Rees-Mogg’s office.
The hope was that, free of the EU and interference by the European Commission, the UK could rip up vast quantities of unnecessary red tape and allow the economy to power forward.
Boris Johnson won the December 2019 election on a pledge of “getting Brexit done”, but Mr Rees-Mogg has always insisted that this included making Britain better as a result of Brexit and ensuring the Government “gets out of the way of ordinary people’s lives”.
It is hoped that, by delivering on Brexit, Mr Johnson can revive his Government which had to put its reforms on hold because of the Covid pandemic. It was then hit by the Partygate scandal.
Mr Rees-Mogg’s officials have confirmed more than 2,000 ideas were received. The top nine “most interesting” proposals have now been published.
Ideas include fracking to help solve Britain’s energy crisis, while super powered vacuum cleaners and electric bikes are popular – as is support for the white van man’s preferred vehicle.
In the wake of the pandemic, there is a desire to roll back EU regulations around medicines and vaccines which slow vital new drugs being made available to the British public.
The top nine ideas named from the department are:
- Encourage fracking, shortcut rules on planning consultation via emergency act.
- Abolish the EU regulations that restrict vacuum cleaner power to 1400 watts.
- Remove precautionary principle restrictions (for instance) on early use of experimental treatments for seriously ill patients and GM crops.
- Abolish rules around the size of vans that need an operator’s licence.
- Abolish EU limits on electrical power levels of electrically assisted pedal cycles.
- Allow certain medical professionals, such as pharmacists and paramedics, to qualify in three years.
- Remove requirements for agency workers to have all the attributes of a permanent employee.
- Simplify the calculation of holiday pay (eg 12.07 percent of pay) to make it easier for businesses to operate.
- Reduce requirements for businesses to conduct fixed wire testing and portable application testing.
Mr Rees-Mogg is said to be “delighted” with the response and is shortly set to announce a timetable for the end of much of the EU red tape choking British businesses and innovation.
There are some concerns, however, that it could take as much as 10 years to free Britain of some of the regulations.
Explaining his idea to involve the public, Mr Rees-Mogg said: “Government is not the centre of all knowledge and wisdom. Actually, there is a much greater wisdom with the British people as a whole.
“That is why I am so keen for the British people to tell me what it is in their daily life that the Government does that makes their life harder. And if I can, I will push to get rid of that.”
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Brexiteer Tory MPs are keen for the Government to start showing the public the benefits of Brexit.
Recently, veteran MP Peter Bone succeeded in changing the law to end the EU’s hated lawnmower tax of £50 per motorist.
He called on ministers to “show the cumalitive benefits” amid concerns Rejoiners are giving a false impression that Brexit has been negative.
On Mr Rees-Mogg’s task, one MP told Express.co.uk: “He’s a bit like Jim Hacker as minister for administrative affairs.
“We’ve got Brexit done but we now need to see the benefits of it.”
Mr Rees-Mogg is also looking for ideas on Governemnt efficiencies.
Among his ideas is to reduce the number of civil servants by 90,000 which has infuriated the trade unions.
The minister is still open to ideas from the public.
You can email Mr Rees-Mogg with ideas on [email protected] or send by mail to Jacob Rees-Mogg, Cabinet Office, 70, Whitehall, London SW1A 2AS.
Mark your correspondent “Brexit Opportunity Ideas” and tell Mr Rees-Mogg you are an Express reader.
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