The United Kingdom has now been officially out of the European Union for almost two months, and while the Government has spoken a great deal about taking advantage of the opportunities presented by Brexit, they do not seem to be acting with any kind of urgency to help resolve the most crucial issues which remain outstanding, writes Jayne Adye, Director of Get Britain Out.

The UK's official independence from the European Union on December 31st last year, has unsurprisingly not resulted in a Third World War or the end of the world as we know it, as was predicted back in early 2016 during the Brexit Referendum campaign. However, what the past 7 weeks have shown is the need for the Government to take serious action to resolve the outstanding issues which have been left unresolved throughout the negotiations with the EU. Despite this clear need for urgency the UK Government appears to have taken a far more 'laissez-faire' approach.

The prime example of this is on the most basic issue of appointing UK representatives to the various specialised committees which are meant to govern the future relationship between the UK and the EU. This is not just limited to the smaller committees either. It was only announced on Monday of this week (February 15th, 2021) that Michael Gove would be the UK's Chair for the UK-EU Partnership Council. However, to truly demonstrate the confusion in Number 10, Mr Gove has already been replaced by newly appointed Minister of State for the Cabinet Office,  Lord Frost, who will take over all of Mr Gove's Brexit responsibilities. How can the UK be adequately responding to issues during these crucial first few months if we don't have the people in place to undertake negotiations?

While I am a fan of the work Lord Frost did in his role as Chief Brexit Negotiator, ultimately, he is not an elected MP. Rather an unelected bureaucrat in the House of Lords. This means the public has effectively no power to hold Lord Frost to account for his actions in this Partnership Council or in his broader role as the new point-man for Brexit in Government.

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One thing is certain in my mind, those representing the UK elsewhere in the other 19 specialised committees, must be elected Ministers, who the UK electorate can formally hold to account. Those who are securing any ongoing relationship with the EU, must not just be Civil Servants or Special Advisors – as seems to be the case with aspects of control within Number 10 Downing Street at the moment! Brexit was about 'Tacking Back Control', not just transferring decision-making power from one group of unelected bureaucrats to another.

The lack of urgency Prime Minister Boris Johnson seems to be taking over these important decisions, is made more ridiculous when you realise it is through bodies like the Partnership Council that the ongoing disputes over fisheries and Financial Services are meant to be resolved. On fishing – EU vessels are still being giving licences to fish in UK waters, and allowed to catch the very same live shellfish which UK fisherman are now banned from exporting to the EU.

On Financial Services, the Government's inability to provide certainty is reducing the opportunity for a Brexit dividend through deregulation. With the EU playing political games by not granting the UK long-term 'equivalence agreements', we sit at a crossroads whereby continued refusals by the Government to take steps to separate the UK from the EU, mean businesses do not know where they stand. If the EU simply will not behave in a reasonable manner, then the UK must stop the 'Mr Nice Guy' act and take the fight to Brussels. Every week we sit on our hands and not taking decisions, reduces the time for businesses to plan and identify new opportunities.

These failings do not even cover the fact problems relating to moving goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland are yet to be resolved. Meetings and exchanges of letter have taken place, but so far, UK proposals have been rejected and still the Government seems to accept a very real border down the Irish Sea.

The Government stands on the brink of great economic and political success. However, despite facing clear and deliberate obstacles, why is our Prime Minister reluctant to take urgent action to allow the UK to put disputes with the EU behind us and focus on the UK's global future. Simply Getting Britain Out of the EU and its political institutions is not the end of the process. Now – more than ever – the Government needs to ramp up the level of urgency to respond to these and future problems in our relationship with the EU, or else the advantage we currently hold will be lost.

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