Lord Frost says 'bad dream' EU membership is over and hails start of 'British Renaissance'

4 October 2021, 12:57

Lord Frost will declare the beginning of the "British Renaissance"
Lord Frost will declare the beginning of the "British Renaissance". Picture: Alamy

By Daisy Stephens

Brexit minister Lord Frost will declare that the "British Renaissance has begun" as the nation struggles with staffing issues linked to its departure from the European Union.

He will tell the Tory party conference on Monday the "long bad dream" of EU membership is over, as he challenges Brussels to be more "ambitious" to solve separate issues over Northern Ireland.

But the Conservative peer's speech will come as the UK continues to feel the effects of a fuel crisis and faces the prospect of shortages in the run up to Christmas due to a lack of HGV drivers, which many have linked to Brexit.

Read more: Military tankers take to roads to deliver fuel – but Sunak won't say when crisis will end

Read more: Ex-Brexit Secretary: 'Industry didn't act early enough to stop tanker driver shortage'

The past 10 days have seen scenes of desperation at petrol stations across the country, with huge queues, brawls between customers and fuel pumps running dry.

The disruption to the supply chain has affected a number of other industries over the last few months, from hospitality to retail.

Boris Johnson has all but admitted that the issues are part of a "period of adjustment" after the departure from the EU.

The Prime Minister said he would not "reach for the lever called uncontrolled immigration" to tackle the issues, including preventing a feared incineration of 120,000 pigs due to a shortage of abattoir and butchery workers.

'Liberty of motion': James O'Brien solves post-Brexit shortages

Lord Frost will use his speech in Manchester to look ahead to new opportunities presented by Brexit, such as new trade deals and a new immigration system.

"All history, all experience, shows that democratic countries with free economies, which let people keep more of the money they have earned, make their own decisions, and manage their own lives, are not just richer but also happier and more admired by others," he is expected to say.

"That is where we need to take this country. The opportunities are huge. The long bad dream of our EU membership is over. The British renaissance has begun."

Read more: PM won't rule out Christmas shortages saying it's up to industries to solve supply crisis

Read more: Rees-Mogg and Trade Sec blame Covid over Brexit for labour shortage

He will also reiterate a warning that the Northern Ireland Protocol he negotiated risks undermining the Good Friday Agreement and that the threshold for triggering Article 16 to effectively tear up parts of the deal has been met.

The peer will tell Brussels to be more "ambitious" in their approach and warn that "tinkering at the edges" will not fix the fundamental problems with the post-Brexit deal on Northern Ireland.

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