VIDEO EXCLUSIVE : The Redwood Interview – Part One
A frank and far-ranging video interview with a man many believe should be the new Chancellor
Topics in Part One: Brexit, the Civil Service, cutting taxes, slashing EU Regulations
In an exclusive and wide-ranging interview for CIBUK.Org and Facts4EU.Org, the Rt Hon Sir John Redwood MP provides his thoughts on the multiple policy challenges now facing the government while the Conservative Party goes about the business of electing a new leader – and Prime Minister.
In a call to arms, the former Cabinet Minister urges the government to slash red tape and taxes and make good on its promises at the 2019 General Election to re-galvanise Britain and make it fit for purpose to meet the challenges and opportunities which now lie ahead of us.
The video is below
We have split the interview into two parts, the first of which is 18 minutes long. Sir John does not pull his punches in his conversation with CIBUK’s Chairman and we highly recommend it.
Under the video below we have summarised some of what Sir John had to say.
1. On delivering Brexit
“We’ve scarcely started, it’s very disappointing…”
On the government’s progress to date, Sir John is withering in his analysis. Unable even to vote for the Johnson deal because it ceded important ground to the EU, notably over Northern Ireland, his overall concern is that the government has not moved remotely far or fast enough on a whole range of Brexit-related issues.
“We’re still working it through…”
Sir John is clear about what still needs to be done:
- Enact NIP legislation to ensure a proper internal market system between NI and UK
- Win back control of our fishing grounds
“The timid Treasury”
He is highly critical of a hide-bound Treasury which still appears in thrall to its former master. Examples include:-
- An unwillingness to back the UK and diverge on EU-VAT related policy
- Reluctance to devise a new agricultural policy around subsidy and support
- Slow to recognise free-trade deals outside Europe
- Unwillingness to promote home-grown food production for fear of upsetting environmental lobby
- Slow to roll out Free Ports – still awaiting proper tax cuts to enable them to flourish
UK Vaccine roll-out – a Brexit success in spite of the EU
Sir John acknowledges the UK’s performance in this field. He identifies that his was because the UK was able to employ its new-found freedoms to roll out the vaccine free of EU interference.
However his underlying message is clear: much more needs to be done.
2. On the domestic agenda
Tax and spend?
As befits a man on the Thatcherite end of the spectrum, Sir John believes the state has grown too large and inefficient. There needs to be a two-pronged approach to tackling the size and scope of the state.
Cut the Civil Service:
- Size of Civil Service too large
- Needs to be cut, through natural wastage and re-deployment
- Duplication of roles needs to stop
- Improved allocation of responsibility
- Need to move to a lower tax model
- Cut National Insurance rise in flagrant breach of its 2019 General Election
- Cut VAT across a range of products especially green products and domestic energy
- Corporation Tax should not be increased. Self-defeating, deters investment
- Ireland has a rate of 15% and gets far more money in as a result
- Challenge Treasury linear model of higher taxes leading to higher revenues: the very opposite is the case
“Fewer taxes and lower rates” – To attract investment leading to growth
“The Treasury don’t seem to get this”
According to Sir John, the Treasury underestimated the tax take they were due to receive by £77bn.
“And why did we get that £77bn in? Because we had a bit more growth!”
3. EU Regulations
“I think we can do a lot more than we have done to date.”
From agriculture to Northern Ireland to fisheries, Sir John had a lot to say.
Sir John’s suggestions include:
- Scrapping the EU ports regulation because there is no need to keep it in place
- Scrapping EU legislation in the art market which has diverted business to New York, away from both the UK and the EU
- Scrapping the fisheries policy and repatriating the industry back to the UK as soon as possible.
Don’t miss Part Two tomorrow
In the second part of this wide-ranging interview with a man recognised as one of the intellectual heavyweights in Parliament, our Chairman asks Sir John if he would consider a role back in Government under (what is expected to be) a Liz Truss administration.
Sir John also answers questions on energy, housing, immigration and defence.
You don’t want to miss this tomorrow!
For the original version of this article, click here: https://facts4eu.org/news/2022_aug_redwood_interview_pt1