Brexit: EU’s stance on state aid is ‘nonsensical’ says expert
The Prime Minister has been told he must utilise the UK’s Brexit opportunities and further free itself from the shackles of the EU. It comes as the bloc’s popularity took a major hit this week after a new poll found the case for its existence had weakened. It has been particularly criticised for its role in the slow vaccine rollout, blamed on Brussels bureaucracy.
The UK, meanwhile, has managed to stride ahead with its mass vaccination programme, becoming a world leader.
Its ability to prove itself in the field is one of a number of reasons why the country should further itself away from any ties to the EU and pursue domestic endeavours, a leading trade unionist and Labour member has said.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, he said while he couldn’t see any serious changes immediately in the short term around state aid with the current Government, any future UK Government might use the Brexit process to implement radical change.
Mr Embery said: “Brexit was a necessary but insufficient step.
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“Coming from a left-wing position, leaving the EU but with a Conservative Government still in charge in Britain is not necessarily going to see the kind of radical economic programme that I would want to see, like investment in industry.
“For me, it’s always been a much longer-term project, it’s about freeing ourselves from the shackles of the EU which I believe to be an explicitly anti-socialist institution which is very much in favour of market forces and pro-austerity, and against public ownership and against state aid.
“It’s about getting back control, it’s about the repatriation of these powers to the UK so that in the future, if a radical Labour government was to come in, it would be free to do those things.
“That’s why I’ve always described Brexit as a necessary but insufficient step.
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“Now, at least we’re free to do those things in the future if we want to, and I think that’s a key point.”
Post-Brexit freeports were at the centre of Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s Budget announcement earlier this month.
Goods that arrive into freeports from abroad aren’t subject to the tax charges – the tariffs – that are normally paid to the Government.
Now, the taxes will only be paid if the goods leave the freeports for other areas in the UK.
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It is hoped that the introduction of more freeports, made possible because of Brexit, will help regenerate deprived areas.
Mr Sunak announced freeports will be located in East Midlands Airport, Felixstowe and Harwich, Humber region, Liverpool City Region, Plymouth, Solent, Thames and Teesside.
And while the Government has made positive moves, Robert Tombs, the renowned British historian, said it must continue on the same path.
He told Express.co.uk: “The Government has to make sure this idea of levelling up, this idea of improving education and training, improving infrastructure is done.
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“But, really, we have to be out of the pandemic before you can actually see what’s being done.”
The Government has elsewhere started on its levelling up programme.
Analysis by the Financial Times found that Tory areas in England, some in the North, are more likely to be given “priority one” status under a new funding scheme.
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However, the Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer accused Mr Johnson of “pork-barrel politics” over how they had categorised local authorities under the new £4.8billion fund as it emerged that already prosperous constituencies appeared to be given considerable sums.
Prime Minister Johnson has pledged much of his support to the north of England and Midlands regions after many of those communities voted Conservative for the first time in their history in the last election.
Those regions also largely voted to leave the EU in 2016, and became disenchanted with Labour’s pro-Remain, pro-EU stance.