U.K. to Hire External Adviser to Find Post-Brexit Opportunities

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The U.K. government is recruiting an external adviser to identify new opportunities created by Britain’s split from the European Union, as Prime Minister Boris Johnson seeks to prove the value of Brexit.

“We have high hopes of outside input into this process,” David Frost, the minister in charge of the U.K. post-Brexit relationship with the EU, said to a committee of MPs on Monday. “We’re all fully behind making things happen.”

Nearly five years on from the divisive Brexit referendum, Johnson’s government is still struggling to demonstrate the benefits Britain has gained from being outside the EU. A task force set up to assess how Britain can re-shape its economy led by former Conservative Party leader Iain Duncan Smith has yet to publicly make any suggestions.

Frost said the government is looking at areas such as financial services regulation, reform to agricultural subsidies and speeding up clinical trials of drugs. He also identified subsidy control, changing procurement rules and freeports as areas where the government is planning to imminently bring legislation.

“It’s a huge advantage to a country to be able to design its own laws,” Frost said. “It is really important that we exercise that freedom in as useful and productive a way we can.”

Britain’s post-Brexit relationship with the EU has been rocky so far, with the two sides clashing over issues such as fishing rights, trade flows into Northern Ireland and access for U.K. financial firms into the bloc’s single market. Frost said he is working with the EU on seeking solutions to discontent over the situation in Northern Ireland, though discussions have been difficult.

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