Dominic Raab gives Remainers an early Xmas present with ‘mindblowing’ admission
The Brexit secretary has only just learned the importance of trade through the Dover-Calais crossing.
Politicians are frequently called upon to be more honest with voters. But for the current bunch of cabinet ministers, perhaps honesty is not always the best policy if they want to be taken seriously and not gift open goals to their opponents.
Two months ago, Karen Bradley was widely mocked for admitting that before becoming Northern Ireland secretary she was profoundly ignorant of the country’s political divisions. In particular, she told The House magazine that she was unaware of the most elementary fact about Northern Ireland politics - that nationalists did not vote for unionists and that unionists did not vote for nationalists.
Now Dominic Raab has opened himself up to similar ridicule by confessing that, just a couple of weeks away from the end of Brexit negotiations, he has only just learned the importance of trade through the Dover-Calais crossing.
Speaking at an event on Brexit and the tech industry last night, the Brexit secretary confirmed that consumers would lose out if new border rules create delays at the border:
“I hadn’t quite understood the full extent of this, but if you look at the UK and look at how we trade in goods, we are particularly reliant on the Dover-Calais crossing.
“And that is one of the reasons why we have wanted to make sure we have a specific and very proximate relationship with the EU, to ensure frictionless trade at the border.
“I don’t think it is a question so much of the risk of major shortages, but I think probably the average consumer might not be aware of the full extent to which the choice of goods that we have in the stores are dependent on one or two very specific trade routes."
Unsurprisingly, the admission has been seized on by anti-Brexit campaigners with Alastair Campbell calling it “mindblowing” and Labour’s Labour’s shadow Brexit minister Jenny Chapman asking: “How are we meant to trust this government to deliver a good deal for this country when we have a Brexit Secretary who doesn’t even understand the very basics of Brexit?”
And that was just for starters…