Suella Braverman hailed the opportunities to slash red tape following Britain’s departure from the bloc. But she warned some of the “biggest battles” she has faced over Brexit are with civil servants INSIDE Government rather than with fellow MPs in the House of Commons.
The Brexiteer said she has seen “time and time again” that there is a “Remain bias” in the Civil Service.
She added that civil servants are thwarting post-Brexit reforms as they are unable to “conceive of the possibility of life outside of the EU”.
Ms Braverman made the comments as she discussed the Brexit Opportunities Bill which she said would be “absolutely critical” to make it easier to rip up Brussels’ rules.
She said: “I’ve learnt, not only during my time as Attorney but also during my time as a Brexit minister … Some of the biggest battles you face as a minister are, in the nicest possible way, with Whitehall and internally with civil servants, as opposed to your political battles in the chamber.
“There are thousands of civil servants. In large part, they are brilliant. They work really hard.
“I’m supported, in particular, by a team of brilliant lawyers and officials … Don’t take this as an opportunity to bash the Civil Service.
“But what I have seen, time and time again, [is] that there is a Remain bias.
“I’ll say it. I have seen resistance to some of the measures that ministers have wanted to bring forward.
“Because there’s an inability to conceive of the possibility of life outside of the EU.”
Ms Braverman’s comments to the Daily Telegraph come after Lord Frost said last month that the civil service still “regrets” Brexit six years on from the referendum.
The former Brexit minister told GB News: “I think it’s still there, it’s definitely been weakened since 2016, people have got used to the idea.
“I think what people are finding hard now in the Government and in the civil service is, having to be in charge, when we were in the EU, you didn’t have to think.
“Now, all of a sudden, our destiny is in their own hands, and they’re hesitating a little bit, that’s probably underlining some of the issues we’ve got at the moment.”
In other Brexit news, Boris Johnson’s bid to effectively tear up parts of the Northern Ireland Protocol cleared its first Commons hurdle earlier this week.
MPs voted 295 to 221, majority 74, to give the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill a second reading, which clears the way for it to undergo detailed scrutiny in the coming weeks.
Following the result, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss tweeted the Bill, which gives ministers powers to override parts of the post-Brexit deal on Northern Ireland, “provides practical solutions to problems caused by the Protocol and protects the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement”.
She added: “While a negotiated outcome remains our preference – the EU must accept changes to the Protocol itself.”