Iain Duncan Smith demands civil servants ‘stop moaning’ and ’embrace’ Brexit decision

Iain Duncan Smith says UK needs to focus on 'growth'

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The former leader of the Conservative Party recently co-authored a report for the Centre for Brexit Policy, which lashed out at the “establishment” for viewing the UK as a declining global power. It argued that if the “ruling elites” were to overcome this “defeatist mindset” and start thinking about how the UK can become a dominant international force once again, Brexit will have much more to show for it.

In an exclusive interview with Epxress.co.uk, Mr Duncan Smith said: “They have got to recognise now (civil servants) that we did Brexit and that means enthusiastically embracing it.

“The thing that I was struck by is that the science establishment has got to this point. Which is ‘We’re out, so let’s embrace the things we can do now which we can do before’.

“And the civil service has got to stop thinking of it as damage limitation and be bold.

“They have to think in a way like a business or a start-up. This is: ‘how can I use this to my benefit, who can I get things done quicker, how can we be more efficient in doing the things that we couldn’t do before – identify them and get them done.

“This is a mindset which says ‘this is a positive’, it is what you make of it.”

This comes after another report which Mr Duncan Smith co-authored with the now Science Minister George Freeman.

As part of the Taskforce on Innovation, Growth and Regulatory Reform (TIGR), the authors identified plenty of opportunities to slash unneeded red tape, as well as lots of scopes to re-write the rules.

Mr Duncan Smith told Express.co.uk: “We’re locking ourselves to Europe, and we have had to accept rules and regulations which are always going to be massive compromises.

“We need to set policy around what works for us, an island nation on the northern end of Europe with a historic global trading mission.

“What we have to do is look at the areas which have regulation involved which do not work for us.”

And science is one area where these changes can be made, and Mr Duncan Smith said UK researchers have taken the initiative.

“Scientists have been very good. During the lockdown, they started realising that they could do things quicker.

“When they were doing the vaccine at Oxford, they changed the rules. They did not just do everything in secret, which takes ages.”

And there is even scope to further build on the UK’s strengths in science.

Mr Duncan Smith said: “First of all, we have some of the greatest scientific universities in the world.

“And we have one of the greatest data sets in the world which is the NHS. Using anonymised data with the best science and individuals in the world, this becomes a very attractive option to invest in and do your medical trails, genetic trails…all these things here.

“What the market needs is a proper set of defining regulations, it is not just about deregulation, it is also about setting the terms of regulation.”

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