Kemi Badenoch blasts fake conversation of Brexit damage

Jacob Rees-Mogg says Brexit is ‘going well’

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Kemi Badenoch has hit out at the “fake conversation” over damage caused by Brexit. The new Business and Trade Secretary insisted it will “take time” for Britain’s new economic arrangements to take shape.

Mrs Badenoch made the comments after signing a new “trade partnership” with Italy, marking the first with a European nation post-Brexit.

The former Tory leadership hopeful told Sky News: “It is the long-term trend that I need to work towards rather than what happened this year or last year.

“I think that that is actually what I would call a ‘fake conversation’.

“It’s like asking people who just got married: ‘Where’s the baby, where’s the baby?’

“Some things will take time, and some things will happen quickly.

“We lost a lot of time during the pandemic. We lost a lot of time squabbling.

“Now we have a new government that is actually focusing on delivering for the British people.”

Mrs Badenoch, who is hugely popular with Tory members and has been widely tipped as a future leader, added that she understood why some Britons do not think Brexit is going well.

She said: “This is one of the reasons why I’m here. We spent so much time having an argument about whether we should have left or stayed in many years, an entire parliament.

“But we haven’t actually spent enough time talking about what we can do with having an independent trade policy.

“So I’m not surprised a lot of people are feeling ‘Bregret’ because there are many other economic background factors, that have nothing to do with Brexit, which can make people feel bleak.”

Mrs Badenoch, who was international trade secretary, now leads the new joint Department for Business and Trade following Rishi Sunak’s Cabinet reshuffle yesterday.

The Prime Minister carried out a sweeping shake-up of Whitehall, creating four new Government departments.

Mrs Badenoch’s comments on Brexit come after polling by Ipsos of 1,000 British adults, carried out from January 25 to 26, found 45 percent thought Brexit was going worse than they expected three years on from the UK’s official exit from the EU.

Of those, just over one in four – 26 percent – of those who voted Leave in the 2016 referendum.

Just nine percent said Brexit was working out better than expected, while 39 percent said it was meeting their expectations.

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