Redwood says shortage of HGV drivers ‘isn’t a Brexit issue’
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There are many more wins to come from Brexit
Sir John Redwood
Sir John, the Tory MP for Wokingham, was speaking in advance of the Tory Party conference in Manchester – and specifically the “Liberty Zone”, an event being co-hosted by the Bruges Group think tank on Monday. Speaking to pro-Brexit think tank Facts4EU yesterday, Sir John said: “There are many more wins to come from Brexit.
“I will be urging the Government again to make changes that promote greater prosperity at home now we are free to change the rules and spend the money as we see fit.
“We need to grow more and make more in the UK after the damage done by the Common Fishing and Agriculture policies and some unfair rules of the EU’s single market.”
Former Tory MEP David Campbell Bannerman said: “This conference will highlight many core issues and cultural battlefields such as over the outrageous attack on free speech, including cancel culture or shunning.
“Our freedoms are under threat as never before. It is time to take a strong stand.”
Facts4EU chairman Leigh Evans said: “Facts4EU.Org has consistently maintained a policy of free speech and we remain non-partisan.
“In today’s world of ‘cancel culture’ and the systematic personal abuse on social media which passes for ‘opposing arguments’, it is more important than ever that those who wish to express opinions which might run counter to the prevailing orthodoxy in some parts of the media have the opportunity to speak.
“Whatever your points of view on the topics which will be covered at this event on Monday, co-hosted by the Bruges Group, it is beyond doubt that the speakers will be informative, entertaining, and challenging.”
The three were speaking at a time when many were blaming Brexit for the fuel crisis which is currently gripping the nation.
Speaking today, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps admitted Brexit has been a “factor” in the current situation.
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Mr Shapps insisted the primary cause of the shortages had been the cancellation of HGV driver testing last year due to the pandemic.
However, he added: “Brexit I hear mentioned a lot and it no doubt will have been a factor.
“On the other hand, it has actually helped us to change rules to be able to test more drivers more quickly.
“So, it has actually worked in both ways.”
Mr Shapps also condemned motorists who tried to fill up plastic water bottles with petrol as the panic buying continued.
He said: “It is dangerous and extremely unhelpful.”
Labour, meanwhile, which is staging its own annual conference in Brighton this week, is also trying to “reset Labour’s position” on Brexit and its future relationship with the EU, shadow Foreign Secretary Lisa Nandy has said.
Speaking at a fringe event organised by the Delegation of the EU to the UK, Ms Nandy said the UK and the EU did not need to have a “needlessly antagonistic relationship with each other”.
She explained: “We think that is a nonsense.”
Labour would “seek strong close bilateral relations with our friends and neighbours, particularly starting with Ireland given the challenges that we face on the island of Ireland to ensure that we never again use the Good Friday Agreement as a bargaining chip”, Ms Nandy added.
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