Brexit supporters have long argued that the UK’s exit from the EU would present new business opportunities and trigger increased economic activity and entrepreneurial fervor. Today, warehousing is a sector that seems to be reaping the rewards of Britain’s decision to leave the EU. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said new orders for warehouse construction amounted to £5.6billion in 2021, more than any year since 1985.
The ONS said the trend was both for “adjustments to the supply chain being made after leaving the EU”, as well as a boom in online shopping due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Online purchases as a proportion of all purchases have increased during the pandemic, reaching 38% at the start of last year.
Although it has since fallen to 28%, this compares to 8% at the start of 2011 and 19% just before the first lockdown.
Jacob Rees-Mogg, who was appointed minister for Brexit opportunities earlier this year, argued it would help “unleash the economy”.
In an appearance before a parliamentary committee in March, the North East Somerset MP said it was his duty to get rid of ‘gold-plated’ EU regulations.
He told the panel of MPs: ‘What is the vision in terms of Brexit opportunities is that we should have a more efficient economy, we should have supply side reforms, we should get rid of the useless, often gold-plated regulation that the European Union has imposed on us.
“A lot of times we’ve been outvoted in the cabinet, we’ve got things passed by supermajority, or we abstained on things because we knew we’d lose at that stage.
“It’s about freeing the economy.”
It was not the first time Mr Rees-Mogg had spoken of rolling back European regulations.
In another appearance before a parliamentary committee in 2016, shortly after the referendum, he suggested the UK could adopt India’s emissions standards.
He said: “We could, if we wanted to, accept emissions standards from India, America and Europe.
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He said: “In the long term, it is true that Brexit has a bigger impact than the pandemic.”
Already, the UK economy is lagging behind most other major economies when comparing its GDP in the third quarter of 2021 to just before the pandemic hit in the fourth quarter of 2019.
Trade with the EU has been particularly affected by Brexit.
According to the OBR, exports of goods from the UK to the EU fell by 45% in January 2021, which is greater than the drop in exports recorded at the start of the pandemic.
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This notice was published: 2022-04-11 17:05:40