Ahead of the 2016 referendum, the now Prime Minister spent months outlining the ways in which Britain, outside of the EU, could “take back control” – though not until after he reportedly wrote a pro-‘Remain’ article alongside one which favoured ‘Leave’ to see which way he swung. Now he’s actually in the hot seat, Mr Johnson has been accused of shirking his post-Brexit responsibilities.
Brexiteer businessman and former MEP Ben Habib should be all for the Government’s drive to make the most of Brexit opportunities.
Instead, he feels let down by a Prime Minister that, in his words, “congratulates himself” on “Getting Brexit Done” despite the reality being “far from that”.
Mr Habib told Express.co.uk one key area in which this could easily be recognised is post-Brexit trade and customs checks.
He said: “As with so many things Brexit, our Government has shirked customs controls.”
A situation has arisen, he explained, wherein ministers have allowed Brussels to “waive all controls” on goods coming from its bloc into the UK, whereas they had enabled the EU to get away with imposing controls on goods we export to the Continent.
This means individuals and businesses in this country have been disincentivised from “Buying British”, despite the Government’s oft-repeated soundbite.
Members of the cross-party UK Trade and Business Commission earlier this week visited Belfast in the hope of better understanding the impacts of the Northern Ireland Protocol.
One business told them post-Brexit agreements between the UK and the EU had made it easier to get supplies from EU member states than from Britain.
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This, he added, could be pinned on Mr Johnson more directly, despite the Tory leader’s attachment to Brexit rhetoric.
Mr Habib stressed: “The Prime Minister keeps congratulating himself on having Got Brexit Done. The reality is far from that.
“Our Prime Minister has not delivered the Country out of the EU as one United Kingdom and he has similarly squandered a great many of the advantages which should now be flowing to our economy.”
In the Cabinet’s latest reshuffle, Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg was appointed Brexit Opportunities Minister – a position many Britons are likely to be watching closely to determine whether there is a shift in balance in the rhetoric-action divide.
The Government has been approached for comment.