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Conservative Party Conference Round UpBack

RMIReport1This week we attended the Conservative Party Conference. Various meetings with a number of MPs have provided us with valuable insights particularly about the issue of mileage fraud as well as the future of the UK after Brexit.

Key MP meetings:

  • Stephen Hammond MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport) (Roads and Motoring) Sep 2012 – Jul 2014 (Wimbledon MP)
  • Ben Howlett MP, (Bath MP)
  • Rt Hon Nicky Morgan MP (Loughborough MP) – has previously held 6 Cabinet positions
  • Dominic Rabb MP (Esher and Walton MP)
  • Chris Pincher MP, Assistant Whip (HM Treasury) Jul 2016 – (Tamworth MP)
  • Rt Hon John Hayes MP, Minister of State (Department for Transport) Jul 2016 – (South Holland and The Deepings MP)
  • Sheridan Westlake OBE – ‎Special Adviser to the Prime Minister – ‎10 Downing Street

Following these meetings, NFDA will be looking to set up constituency visits with MPs and dealers.

As a result of our meeting with Sheridan Westlake and Rt Hon John Hayes MP, we will now be progressing further with our activity to encourage the outlawing of mileage fraud. Sheridan Westlake gave us advice on how to develop our mileage fraud campaign and we will now be putting these points forward to Rt Hon John Hayes MP, Minister of State (Department for Transport) who is in charge for mileage adjustment.

Dominic Rabb MP:       Tariffs discussion

Rabb stated that what will happen is an attempt from the UK to divorce migration from tariffs. Therefore, the UK will say “no” to free movement of people and that this is not negotiable because of the referendum vote, but that the country is open to a discussion on tariffs.

He stated:

  • Just because the EU might impose tariffs on trade with the UK, does not mean the UK will also impose tariffs. Government will not want to penalise UK consumers with an additional rise in consumer prices to absorb tariff costs.
  • German manufacturers do not want higher tariffs than the UK.

NFDA comments:

  • Some manufacturers may have issues because the UK is not penalising EU cars, but UK vehicles going to Europe are being penalised (such as Nissan, BMW).
  • It is important that any help provided to the UK’s automotive industry, does not look like special treatment.

Fringe Event – Beyond Brexit, The Times Interview (Red Box) with Rt Hon Amber Rudd MP, Secretary of State for Home Office

Amber Rudd interviewed by Matt Chorley

Rudd’s priorities:

  • Support for most vulnerable
  • Community integration for migrants
  • Tens of thousands reduction in migrants (“it may take some time”).

Government is still working on who will and who will not be “ok” to migrate to the UK. Assessing the needs of different sectors and of the industry, those who are needed, will have more ability to come to the UK to live and work.

  • If the industry needs movement of labour, it must be raised with the Government.
  • Rudd stated reduction in immigration cannot hinder the economy
  • Business is to be prioritised


Matt Chorley: “What was the big mistake of the ‘Remain’ campaign?”

Rudd, a fierce Remain supporter and campaigner, said she was “not going to waste time working out what went wrong”, instead she said it was important the Government now just looked for the best deal. Rudd concluded that the Cabinet was united on this.

Steve Hawks, The Sun: How difficult is it for a big Remain supporter to now sit in quite a hard Brexit Government/Cabinet?

“I accept the result” was the Home Secretary’s reply. She continued that there was still a lot to be negotiated and discussed at an EU and international level and it was “important to have people like myself there to influence decisions” – remain voices and Brexit voices both need to be heard.

Rudd stated she wanted to be at the table to have influence and represent.

Matthew Parris, Political Journalist: Should Parliament be consulted on Brexit?

Rudd stated there had to be an acceptance from Parliament of the position to make the situation work. She also stated she did not know the answer as to whether or not Parliament will have a vote on Article 50. Rudd added that there is “no point re-fighting the fight”.

Discussion points:

Modern Slavery Act

  • Home Office wants there to be a concentration on tackling the supply chain, which is an essential step to stopping modern slavery.
  • Rudd wants national businesses to step up and start assessing their supply chains, taking an interest and wants to encourage an international adoption of the Modern Slavery Act.

London work visas

London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, has stated that London will have a separate visa system to the rest of the UK following Brexit.

Rudd stated “he’s not right” and there will only be one national policy for work visas.

Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, David Davis MP: Party Conference Speech

Executive Summary:

  • UK is a beacon for trade;
  • “The campaign has finished, the people have voted, the decision has been made”;
  • Brexit has to work for everyone, both the UK and EU;
  • Immigration must be reduced;
  • Easier trade is between UK and EU, better for everyone;
  • Repeal of Communities Act 1972.

Key statements:

UK has to appreciate and respect how European countries view the EU. In comparison to some of their political histories, the EU is a solid democracy.

Davis stated Brexit is an opportunity to create a more “comfortable” relationship “between us and our European neighbours”.


Britain “must and it will remain tolerant” of migrants and immigration. However, he stated that there was a clear message from the referendum that the UK must control its immigration – “we will control our borders and we will bring the numbers down”.

In regards to the Government discussing Brexit negotiations, Davis said “some people are desperate to know exactly how we are going to proceed and think we should provide a running commentary on every twist and turn” of the negotiations. He said this would not be the case and it was not good business practice.

Trade agreements:

On trade, the secretary of state said that no one will benefit from seeing an increase in barriers to trade. Formal process of Brexit, Article 50, will start before the end of March 2016. Davis stated that Parliament will be consulted widely on repealing legislation.

The UK wants to maintain the “freest trade between us”, without betraying instructions of the British people to have more control of immigration.

Davis also stated “if we want to be treated with good will, we must act with good will”.

Employment Law:

The 1972 Act will be repealed and then, as Davis explained, the EU law will be transposed into domestic law whenever it is practical on the day the UK leaves.

The Secretary explained that many people were concerned at the potential consequences of repealing the 1972 Act. He confirmed that Brexit will not “erode” rights in the work place and employment law.

Great Repeal Bill:

The Great Repeal Bill will instantly annul the 1972 European Communities Act (ECA), which gives EU law instant effect in the UK and give Parliament the power to absorb parts of EU legislation into UK law and scrap elements it does not want to keep.

The legislation will be introduced in the next parliamentary session beginning with Queen’s Speech next May (2017).

Posted by Sue Robinson on 07/10/2016