Jacob Rees-Mogg MP and Brexit red tape

I read a report in the Sun newspaper that Jacob Rees-Mogg was asking for people to write to him about petty EU regulations that should be abolished. Whether my recent experiences of red tape emanate from the  EU or as a result of BREXIT I am not sure but they are in any event prima facie examples of pettifogging red tape I can do without.

In November 2021 I tried to advertise on Spotify for my Salute to Humphrey Lyttelton Tour. I had worked out a price, researched my target market on Spotify came to post the advert and I was informed that I would need a valid VAT number to submit an advert due to tax regulations in my particular market. As a musician and sole trader, I fall under the VAT threshold. The regulation discriminates against sole traders not registered for VAT. I attach my response to Spotify.

My second example is the Arts Council has had to introduce a section to their grant application that is nonsensical. In fairness to the Arts Council, this is to do with Brexit legislation that they have to impose on applicants for the Government. This particular rule has only just come in and is another burden on people grappling with an application form. The amount of time having to spend reading EU State Aid rules is time-wasting. These rules did not appear in my previous applications before the advent of BREXIT so why are they appearing now? I end up wading through a sea of red tape as a musician and sole trader.

I received a reply from the Cabinet Office that was not exactly helpful:

“Thank you for your email outlining your ideas for opportunities that could be realised as a result of Brexit. Please accept my apologies for the delay in responding to you. Many thanks for taking the time to write in and share your suggestions. Your contribution has been noted. Thank you again for taking the time to write.”

My response was as follows:

Many thanks for your reply. Forgive me if I correct a couple of misunderstandings.

I did not outline opportunities I gave two examples of problems arising as a result of Brexit that will have a deleterious impact on a musician as a sole trader.

If I had a guinea for every time someone responded to me with the words that my contributions have been noted, I would be “rich beyond the dreams of avarice”. I am sure you understand that I would prefer to note what the Government is going to do about these two matters. I would appreciate therefore a concrete memo of what the Government is proposing to do to address these problems.

Thank you for your time

The full correspondence can be read here: BREXIT Red Tape – Sun 9th February 2022

Attached documents (click to download)

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