Jacob Rees-Mogg promises to cut red tape and help firms reap benefits of Brexit

The Minister of State for Brexit Opportunities and Government Efficiency, Jacob Rees-Mogg visits the port of Felixstowe. Felixstowe. Picture by Tim Hammond / No 10 Downing Street

As new figures show UK exports at a 22 month high driven by trade to non-EU countries Jacob Rees-Mogg has vowed to help British firms further by cutting red tape to reap the benefits of Brexit.

New Brexit Minister, Jacob Rees-Mogg has visited Britain’s biggest container port this week and asked firms struggling with red tape to write to him.

Recent figures show annual UK goods imports from outside the EU have surpassed the value of those from within it for the first time since ONS records began in 1997.

According to analysis of the latest data from Ebury, the global non-bank cross border finance business for SMEs imports from the UK’s nearest trading bloc totalled £22.2 billion in 2021 compared to £25.4 billion from all other countries.

Although UK exports to the EU fell by 14% between 2019 and 2020, economists and Mr Rees-Mogg were quick to point out UK exports are also at a 22 month high driven by trade to Non-EU countries.

New figures show exports of goods and services from the UK rose 4.6 percent from a month earlier to a 22-month high of GBP 57.1 billion in November of 2021, driven by a 15.2 percent jump in goods exports to non-EU countries.

When challenged about the UK’s drop in exports to the European Union, Rees-Mogg said:

“I think Brexit has been extremely beneficial for the country, I think the evidence that Brexit has caused trade drops is few and far between.”

During his visit to Felixstowe, the former chairman of the Brexit-backing European Research Group said:

“We’ve had containers simply being stuck in the wrong place, being stuck in Chinese ports, being stuck in the port of Los Angeles.

“This has been a global trade issue – and we do have to recover from the problems of Covid.”

Mr Rees-Mogg promised he would help British firms further by cutting red tape. He said:

“We don’t want to replace a European bureaucracy with a home-grown bureaucracy.

“My role is to try and cut through this thicket. My role as the Brexit opportunities minister is to find out where regulations exist that we don’t need, and to try and get rid of them.”

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