Sir Iain Duncan Smith tonight insisted “big changes are coming down the tracks” to capitalise on Brexit. The former Tory leader said the Conservatives are “getting on with it now” and blamed Covid for delays in reaping benefits from Britain’s departure from the EU.
Sir Iain highlighted new legislation paving the way for a bonfire of thousands of Brussels-derived laws still on the UK statute book after Brexit.
And he pointed to the opportunity to reshape regulation now the country is out of the bloc.
Speaking on Nigel Farage’s GB News show, the Tory MP said: “Well there’s no question we need to get these things done.
“The problem has been that we had Covid for two years and it really bust a huge amount of possibilities for us. But we’re getting on with it now.
“We’ve got the Bill that’s just gone through to get rid of retained EU law that you might have argued should have happened before, it took a while to sort out, but that’s going through.”
Sir Iain added that there is “a lot going on the regulation side” including financial services, farming and the environment.
He said: “So there are big changes coming down the tracks now.
“Yes I would love it to have happened earlier, but I think all things considered the key thing is we get it done so the UK is well and truly and properly out.
“We have Northern Ireland to sort still which is going on but that can only end with one single decision which is no part of the UK can ever be under a law from a foreign organisation, in this case, European law.”
Sir Iain’s comments come after the Retained EU Law Bill cleared its final Commons hurdles last week.
The Bill allows for some 4,000 EU-derived laws to be scrapped by the end of the year, unless they are specifically kept or replaced.
Meanwhile, London and Brussels have ramped up negotiations aimed at securing a resolution to the impasse over the Northern Ireland Protocol.
The protocol was designed to avoid a hard Irish border but it has created economic barriers between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK, with unionists claiming it has weakened the region’s place within the union.
The arrangement has been an ongoing source of tensions between the UK and the EU.
It comes as shadow foreign secretary David Lammy today insisted Labour will seek to “fix the Tories’ bad Brexit deal” if voted into power at the next general election.
In a speech at Chatham House in London, the shadow cabinet minister said Labour would “not rejoin” the EU’s single market or customs union under a Sir Keir Starmer premiership.
But Mr Lammy said the party would take action to reverse the “damage” the current UK-EU trade deal is doing to the British economy, while also restoring European relations.