Lord David Frost will declare ‘the long bad dream of EU membership is over’ amid punch-ups on petrol forecourts, empty supermarket shelves and warnings thousands of pigs will be dumped in skips
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Boris Johnson’s Brexit minister will declare a “British renaissance has begun” despite punch-ups on petrol forecourts, empty supermarket shelves and warnings thousands of pigs will be dumped in skips.
Lord David Frost will tell the Tory conference on Monday “the long bad dream of EU membership is over” and Britain can now look forward to sunlit uplands outside the bloc.
In a speech to a scaled-down main hall in Manchester, he will declare: “The British Renaissance has begun.”
It comes despite warnings of a winter of discontent after a shortage of HGV drivers caused supply issues to supermarkets and panic-buying of petrol.
The pig industry has also warned animals could have to be shot and dumped in skips, rather than turned into bacon and sausages, due to a shortage of abattoir staff.
Industry chiefs have blamed Covid for permanently realigning the labour market as many HGV drivers quit their jobs during the pandemic.
However, chiefs have also blamed post-Brexit rules which class EU lorry drivers as ‘unskilled’ – with minsters having to offer 5,000 temporary visas to Europeans between now and Christmas.
Boris Johnson appeared to admit 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 prevent a feared incineration of 120,000 pigs due to a shortage of abattoir and butchery workers.
Yet 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.”
He will also challenge Brussels to be more “ambitious” to solve separate issues over Northern Ireland.
He will 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.
His speech will come after days of lengthy queues and petrol stations running dry.
Pig farmers have also warned that up to 120,000 growing animals will have to be slaughtered and incinerated because of an acute shortage of butchery and abattoir workers.
In an interview on Sunday, Mr Johnson said the “great hecatomb of pigs that you describe has not yet taken place, let’s see what happens”.
He told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show that “what we can’t do is in all these sectors simply go back to the tired, failed, old model, reach for the lever called uncontrolled immigration, get people in, low wages”.
“There will be a period of adjustment, but that is, I think, what we need to see,” he added.