Jacob Rees-Mogg has hailed scrapping EU regulations on vacuum cleaners as one of the “most interesting” ideas it has received for how to make the most of Britain’s post-Brexit freedom.
Following his appointment as minister for Brexit opportunities in February, Rees-Mogg launched an appeal in the Daily Express for readers to come forward with ideas on how he could fulfil his new role.
“Government is not the centre of all knowledge and wisdom. Actually there is a much greater wisdom with the British people as a whole,” Rees-Mogg said, vowing to get rid of “what it is in their daily life that the government does that makes their life harder”.
The government reportedly received around 2,000 ideas in response – and the top nine “most interesting” have now been published in the Express.
Second on the list of ideas, handpicked by Rees-Mogg’s office, was a suggestion to “abolish the EU regulations that restrict vacuum cleaner power to 1400W”.
Top of the list was a nudge to “encourage fracking”, on which the government placed a reluctant moratorium in 2019.
Third on the list was a suggestion to “remove precautionary principle restrictions (for instance) on early use of experimental treatments for seriously ill patients and GM crops”.
Other suggestions included abolishing rules around the size of vans requiring an operator’s license – and the limits on electrical power levels of electric bikes.
Readers of the Express also urged the government to allow medical professionals such as pharmacists and paramedics to qualify in three years, simplify the calculation of holiday pay, and reduce requirements for businesses to conduct fixed wire testing and portable application testing.
It comes as the expansion of the UK’s manufacturing sector slowed to a seven-month low as inflation ate into household spending and exports dropped in part due to Brexit.
According to an influential survey, the sector struggled to keep up its growth in May.
Businesses blamed weaker growth in demand from within the UK, fewer export orders, troubled supply chains, rising costs and the war in Ukraine.
As a result the S&P Global/CIPS UK Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) hit 54.6 in May, down from 55.8 in April.