Hard to believe!

January 22, 2021 5:06 PM
Originally published by Babergh South Suffolk Liberal Democrats

opde (Photo by Sandie Clarke on Unsplash)There's an old adage in politics. which goes something like "where you stand depends on where you sit"

Politicians are past masters at trying to say what they think the audience wants to hear

Well Conservative MP for Yarmouth and Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Mr Brandon Lewis was on Question time last night defending the disruption to trade and empty supermarket shelves that has come about with the recent trade agreement with the EU. He was probably feeling a bit uneasy because his earlier claims that the problems were all covid related had been contradicted earlier in the day by no other than his colleague trade secretary Liz Truss

Speaking on BBC Question Time, Lewis claimed that Northern Ireland is the "place to invest and grow your business" because it has "unique" access to trading with both the UK and the EU through the single market.

You will recall England, Scotland and Wales left the single market last month at the end of the Brexit transition period, but because of the Northern Ireland Protocol - put in place in light of the Good Friday Agreement to ensure peace along the Irish border - they will stay and continue to follow EU rules.

He said:

"The Protocol means that as part of the United Kingdom, Northern Ireland's going to have this unique competitive advantage in the world, in the sense that Northern Ireland has the ability to trade in and as part of the United Kingdom, as well as through the single market with the EU.

"That's going to mean, if you're a business that deals with the UK and a business that deals with the EU, the place to invest and grow your business is in Northern Ireland. You've got that ability to trade both ways and I think that gives Northern Ireland a competitive advantage and a huge opportunity."

It seems to have completely passed him by that this "unique position" is one that the entirety of the UK enjoyed until Lewis's party pulled us away from it.

Lewis's comments proved "baffling" to those like us who wondered why the UK didn't just retain this same "competitive advantage" by staying in the EU or the single market.