Monday, 24 Jan 2022

Brexit lift-off: ‘Stage is set’ for Britain to thrive outside EU’s clutches

National Insurance: Proposed increase criticised by John Redwood

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The Tory MP for Wokingham will outline his ideas at an event at the fringe event at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester on Monday, entitled Freedom and Conservatism, being staged within the Bruges Group think tank’s Liberty Zone. The event will consider how Boris Johnson can turbocharge the post-Brexit UK economy and maximise the benefits of being free from EU restrictions.

The stage is set for a post-Covid recovery

Sir John Redwood

Speaking ahead of his address, Sir John told “The stage is set for a post-Covid recovery.

“Adopting a Conservative approach to liberty and prosperity is the best way to promote the greater happiness of the greater number.

“Anti-pandemic policies damaged incomes and jobs and removed many freedoms.

“The first task is to restore all our lost freedoms so the quarter of our economy that was effectively closed down can flourish again.”

The successful vaccination programme should give Britons the scope to relax, leaving it to each individual to judge how much exposure they want to others given the risks, he suggested.

Sir John added: “The second task is to make the case anew for work as the best means to banish poverty and improve lifestyles and chances for families.

“Conservatives have done more than the socialist inclining parties to advance prosperity because we recognise it comes primarily from enterprise and effort by millions of people and hundreds of thousands of businesses.”

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Markets generated choice and opportunity, while profits rewarded those who “venture their capital and put in their effort”, and helped pay for the new investment which both employees and consumers need, he stressed.

He continued: “Prices fluctuate to bring forward more supply where needed or to reduce output where the popularity of the product or service is waning.

“Governments must allow price systems to send their signals.

“Markets are not cold impersonal enemies of the many.

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“They are the way we all have choices of what to buy and where to work. All humanity participates in the market.”

Conservatives believed the state needs to step in to help those in need, to support the ill and disabled, and to prevent monopoly exploitation or market abuse, Sir John stressed.

He said: “Conservatives believe in the rule of law to keep people using markets honest.

“We also know that public sector monopolies that charge customers also need taming to avoid poor service, high cost and no choice that we used to get from nationalised industries.”

The immediate task was to cut taxes, with Sir John calling on the Government to bin the planned National Insurance rise, which he described as a “tax on jobs”.

He added: “Let’s relax the IR35 rules so they do not stop people developing self-employed businesses.

“Let’s take VAT off domestic heating and insulation products.

“Let’s offer a tax boost to those who will substitute homegrown food, home-produced gas and home-produced timber amongst other things for the large import bills we currently pay and all the extra energy cost of long haul transport.

“Let’s help more people on their personal journeys with great education, better training, and easier access to buying a home and setting up your own business.”

As well as Sir John, other speakers at the event, which is being held at Manchester’s Science and Industry Museum, and which starts at 1pm, will be Owen Paterson, Tory MP for North Shropshire, Professor Tim Congdon, Professor Vernon Bogdanor and James Bartholomew.

A statement on the Bruges Group’s website explained: “We are holding our annual Party Conference event this year alongside Time 4 Recovery, a group set up to pressure the government with opposition to lockdowns and vaccine passports; The Conservative Campaign for Democracy whose slogan is Time for the Conservative Party to be Conservative Again; and finally, The Freedom Association who will be holding a panel on how to conquer cancel culture.”

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