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Brexit 'gloom-mongers' predictions have failed to materialise, says Lord Frost

Lord Frost said the UK was "prospering vastly" following the split from Brussels
Nick Lester

Brexit "gloom-mongers" have been proved wrong following the UK's departure from the European Union, Britain's Brexit minister Lord Frost has told Parliament.

The nation was "prospering vastly" following the split from Brussels, Lord Frost said as he stressed the British government's aim to create "a high wage, high productivity economy", rather than one "reliant on cheap labour".

The Tory frontbencher made his comments as he outlined a plan to overhaul retained EU law, left over after the ending of the transition period in December 2020, to ensure rules were tailored to the UK "rather than the average".

Pressed at Westminster after delivering a statement entitled Brexit opportunities, Lord Frost also insisted this would not lead to the erosion of standards.

Leave-supporting Labour peer Lord Grocott said the minister should have should have "listed the things that haven't happened" as a result of leaving the European Union", including opponents' predictions of a sharp hike in unemployment, motorway gridlock and essential medicines unable to reach the UK.

He said: "The exhilarating thing... is that if the government makes a mess of this, then in two or three or maybe shorter years time the British people will throw the government out, (they) will have the capacity to do that.

"When the EU has made laws by the Commission over so many years, many of them very bad, no one's able to do that."

Responding, Lord Frost, the Cabinet minister who negotiated Britain's trade deal with the EU, said: "A lot of things haven't happened that the gloom-mongers said would happen and I don't think are going to happen."

The minister added: "He is right that this is about bringing back democracy.

"We believe we are doing the right thing for the country and the country's going to prosper under the agenda we are setting out."

But Labour frontbencher Baroness Chapman of Darlington accused the government of "letting Britain down", and said: "Instead of sabre-rattling, instead of blaming others, the Government needs to stand up and find real solutions and deliver the opportunities that we were promised."

However, rejecting criticism, Lord Frost highlighted a series of actions already taken by the government, including introducing a new immigration system, agricultural reform and the creation of freeport economic zones offering tax breaks and lower tariffs.

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