Completely out of the blue I received a letter today from a Government Minister. Not just any old Government Minister, but a Cabinet Minister ! Frequently seen on TV. —- The Secretary of State for Business Energy And Industrial Strategy —— The Rt Hon Alok Sharma MP.
I have to admit I was somewhat taken aback, because I haven’t heard from Alok for ages. In fact never. It is all the more surprising when you think that only a few months ago I was recommending that his Department be abolished. ( See my post in the Archive dated 19 August 2020 )
Here is my reply which I have decided to send as an open letter :-
How nice to hear from you and thank you for sending me “the new rules for business with the EU.” I was beginning to wonder if Brexit would ever happen.
Your letter is addressed to the GrumbleSmiles Trust and I think you may have slightly misunderstood our purpose. Still I will try to respond to each of the paragraphs in your letter.
- New rules on exporting and importing goods to and from the EU. You really don’t need to worry too much about this. The last time I came back from Europe I only had a couple of bottles of wine and some smelly French cheese. I promise I will get them at Tesco’s in future. As for “exports”, the GrumbleSmiles Trust did suggest sending all MPs to Spain, but Outer Mongolia would be another option, if you would prefer.
- New rules for recruitment overseas. We actually don’t have any staff at the moment, they were all furloughed at the time of the first lockdown. If we do decide to recruit from abroad, I have made a note that we will need a license. Will my driving license be okay for this? We will only recruit from New Zealand because of their excellent record with Caronapop and their ability to play rugby a lot better than anyone else.
- Selling manufactured goods. I have grown rather a lot of carrots this year during the lockdown, but I am not sure they would qualify as manufactured goods. Perhaps you could give me a ruling on this ?
- Moving goods into, out of, or through of Northern Ireland. I don’t think I will be sending my carrots to Northern Ireland, but if I do I will be sure to stick to the new Protocol. To be sure.
I must say Alok, that with your 5 Government Ministers, 7 Director Generals, 40 Directors and 4,420 staff working tirelessly for the past eleven months, you have done a remarkable job producing this one page letter. Everything is so much clearer to me now.
Finally, I do like your catchy little slogan :-
CHECK CHANGE GO
I have emptied my pockets and counted my money. Now where on earth can I go during lockdown ?