We have now regained our nations independence and fully left. In commemoration of the 5 years since the vote, we’re proposing to go for drinks in what during the campaign became Croydon’s Brexit central, the Skylark.
We don’t yet know what lockdown restrictions we will be operating under. As such we’re not able to book an area, however we propose to be at the Skylark (34–36 South End, Croydon, CR0 1DP) on Wednesday June 23rd from 7pm, and will operate under whatever rules we need to. Feel free to come and join us.
In April 2020 Sir Keir Starmer was elected Leader of the Labour Party and therefore became Leader of the Opposition. He soon appointed a shadow cabinet, who as we pointed out, by overwhelmingly calling for the 2016 EU Referendum to not be implemented, were no respecters of democracy.
Following the loss of the Hartlepool by-election, and other local government losses, Sir Keir has reshuffled his shadow cabinet and we take a look at the new members, since our last review to see if Labour has changed to reflect the will of the British people.
Shadow Secretary of State for Education: Kate Green
Kate believed that democratic vote of the people in 2016 should just be ignored, stating on Twitter in 2019: “Now that #Brexit talks have collapsed, it’s even clearer the only way out of this Brexit mess is to give the public a #FinalSay #Labour4ConfirmatoryVote”
Shadow Secretary of State for Housing: Lucy Powell
Lucy has to be fair been taking note of what the people say. Saying in 2020 to the HuffPost UK:
“It’s not just about Brexit, although Brexit was a big symbolic expression of Labour losing touch with its traditional voter base.
“And we can’t keep putting two fingers up to people if we want them to vote for us again and support us and be part of the agenda that we want for the future.”
This is progress, however it is worth noting the following from her Wikipedia page: “She joined the pro-Euro and pro-EU Treaty pressure group Britain in Europe (BiE), originally in a public relations role and later as head of regional campaigning. She later replaced Simon Buckby as Campaign Director of BiE”
Shadow Chief Whip: Alan Campbell
Remain supporting Alan Campbell, is another so called representative who believed that democratic vote of the people in 2016 should just be ignored. Writing on his own website in 2019 he said: “But before we take that leap of faith I believe we should ask people to confirm that that’s what they voted for.”
National Campaign Coordinator: Shabana Mahmood
Campaigning for Britain to remain in the European Union, as she wrote on her website Shabana has “always believed that to crash out of the EU with no deal would be unthinkable.” Likewise on Twitter she has said: “On top of that, we are unable to properly scrutinise the millions upon millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money being spent on preparation for a disastrous No Deal #Brexit”.
Labour lost the ‘red wall’ in the General Election of 2019, we have seen party voting split increasingly along Brexit voting lines, and seen the working class turn their backs on Labour. These trends were reconfirmed in the 2021 local elections and Hartlepool by-election.
Surely Labour could have found 1 MP who supported the will of 52% of the people to enter the shadow cabinet? For the sake of democracy we need an opposition that looks capable of forming a government. We don’t appear to have an opposition that respects democracy.
Did Brexit get done? I think only technically, but it was a long drawn out torturous process that could have been avoided by (a). Accepting No Deal from the get go. (b). Taking the Norway option. But it is at least a beginning.
How do you hope the U.K. will use the new found freedoms Freedom is a long way off. BoJo and co are doing their very best to comply entirely with the globalist agenda and their record on individual Liberty so far is abysmal. As comedian Geoff Norcott quips when asked if he regrets voting for a conservative government. “No. I regret not getting one.” But one hopes against hope that they will begin to tear up over sixty other international trade agreements that government had no real right to being involved with in the first place. Business should do business with business and make their own agreements.
What constitutional reform would you like to see happen next? I hope to see the repeal of the Equality Act of 2010 and the absolute right to free speech guaranteed in a bill of rights based on individual liberties. In the realms of fantasy I would like to see more regional autonomy within the UK on a confederation model.
What do you think is next for the EU? I think they may do their utmost to frustrate and hamper Britain at every available opportunity especially by using Scotland Ireland and Wales with their pro EU regimes as bulwarks. But I hope it dies a slow painful wasting death.
Did Brexit get done? Yes, although I can’t pretend to have an in-depth understanding of the pros and cons of the deal that was achieved. Meanwhile, as a non-economist and someone with zero experience of the import/export business, I wait with a degree of trepidation to see exactly how ‘things’ turn out. But the democratic will of the people has, finally, been respected, and as one of those who voted for Brexit, I shall own the decision we made.
How do you hope the UK will use the new found freedoms? Again, on economic matters I am a layman, trusting in those whose expertise I find persuasive, according to whom any short-term disadvantages will be superseded by advantages long term, as new cooperative arrangements bed in, we develop home-grown products, and export more widely. However, the EU isn’t the only jurisdiction running on a democratic deficit, and my dearest hope is that this renewed focus on sovereignty will inspire a rise in democratic engagement here in the UK, leading to electoral reform and an end to our present mediocre governing duopoly.
What constitutional reform would you like to see happen next? Abolition of the House of Lords is long overdue. I’d like to see that followed by electoral reform and the reshaping of the devolution settlement, including an English parliament based outside London and the reform of the House of Commons. Details can be found here: https://sdp.org.uk/policies/constitution/.
What do you think is next for the EU? Entropy? Just as with the broader liberal establishment, I don’t see those at the helm recognising the error of their ways any time soon. Therefore sensible reform, increased democratic accountability, the discarding of the federalist project, these things are unlikely to happen. Europeans will become increasingly disillusioned, looking to the UK to see if the alternative is proving preferable.
Anonymous local Brexit campaigner.
Did Brexit get done? Brexit did get done. Technically that was done on 31st January 2020.
How do you hope the UK will use the new found freedoms? I’d like to see the UK cut unnecessary regulations and do more free trade deals, particularly with regards to services. Also, I’d like the UK to not pay welfare to EU nationals.
What constitutional reform would you like to see happen next? I’d like to see the House of Lords abolished or cut in size. Also and I don’t know if this is constitutional related, but I’d like to see the lockdown over.
What do you think is next for the EU? The EU will survive for now but the EU wants more integration and some member states want less. Eventually that will come to a clash and the EU will either back down or carry on. If it carries on other states will leave. If it backs down on integration then it might survive.
Did Brexit Get Done? Yes and no. We have ended the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice and the EU Parliament and the EU Commission no longer govern our country. The free movement of people has ended and we are free to adopt free trade agreements with other nations.
This is excellent news. We who have campaigned hard for our right to national self-government can rightly feel a sense of liberation and victory.
But is this the treaty I would have agreed to? No it is not.
Boris Johnson’s government simply identified and prioritised a set of checkboxes they felt needed ticking to survive in government – namely, the separation from EU institutions mentioned above to placate “Leave” voters, and continued tariff-free access to the Single Market to placate “Remain” voters.
Everything else important was wrongly deprioritised. It is why Northern Ireland remains attached to the Single Market, why the EU still has shared access to our fishing waters, and why in this treaty we have agreed to common rules on employment, competition, state aid and the environment.
These would not have been agreed to if the Prime Minister had a full understanding and a loyal devotion to the principles underlying our independence in the first place. The whole point of leaving is for us to have our own internal conversations about all matters under the sun and to decide for ourselves what we want to do – it’s called democratic self-government.
But yet again, the Conservative Party have agreed to a treaty which is simply supposed to be about trade, but actually includes other policy agreements which it shouldn’t.
The good news however is that we can cancel this new treaty and walk-away in the future, or renegotiate the terms, if we so wish.
Theresa May’s appalling “Withdrawal Agreement” meant that both parties, the UK and the EU, had to agree to its termination before it could be terminated. We effectively came very close to national imprisonment, such was the naivety and insensitivity of that period in our political history.
In summary, having left the European Union a year ago and now agreeing to this new treaty, we are finally an independent and sovereign country again.
But the fight for enhancing our freedom and our liberty further still, with respect to this treaty, as well as Westminster itself and policy matters across the board, is still well and truly on the agenda.
How do you hope the UK will use the new found freedoms? First and foremost, now that the dilution of our democracy has been reversed, I expect us to discuss as a nation and decide at our general elections what our trade, fisheries, agriculture and immigration policies ought to be.
We haven’t had an open discussion on these matters in recent decades due to Westminster outsourcing them to the European Union, but now our elected politicians are responsible for these matters again, the people will rightly expect robust debate on these vital issues for them to make an informed decision.
On the subject of trade, we should unilaterally withdraw all import tariffs. Tariffs in the end are self-harming. The EU’s Customs Union only succeeds in forcing millions of EU citizens to buy and sell goods at highly inflated prices. We should abandon import tariffs so we can reduce consumer prices and give everyone, the poorest in particular, a well-earned break and more money left over to save or spend on their own priorities.
Moreover, and this is where Boris Johnson’s treaty will hold us back, my ambition would be to look very closely at our industries and identify heavy-handed and counterproductive EU regulations, and indeed UK regulations, that are unnecessarily disrupting economic growth.
Government does need to regulate the markets and there are plenty of areas where constraint is justified, the environment being a sound example. But over recent decades our free market system has become less and less free and we are worse off as a result.
For example, the EU’s gigantic and overly-complex GDPR data protection regulation ought to be abolished, in favour of something far lighter and less burdensome on small businesses. Our archaic Sunday trading laws should also be abolished and we should allow businesses to trade on any day at any time.
Let’s free business to do what they do best and focus on giving the consumer the freedom to choose. This will allow us to grow the economy, expand our manufacturing base and create more jobs across the board in the long-term.
What constitutional reform would you like to see happen next? After 47 years of our membership of the European Union, with the democratic injustices throughout, such as the signing of treaties that damaged the nation’s capacity for self-government without the consent of the people, the refusal to grant the people their say for so long, and the attempts by Parliament to subvert our decision to leave at the first chance we got, the obvious question is – how do we prevent this from happening again?
The answer is to introduce a Sovereignty Protection Act that prevents Parliament from severely diluting our national sovereignty without the consent of the people.
No policy may be implemented or law passed that would render our Parliament subordinate to any other. Politicians elected in other countries must never again be empowered to make our laws. We should forever have our own independent trade, immigration and defence policy. Our territorial waters shall remain ours to regulate, police and enforce. We shall forever remain economically independent with our own currency and our Supreme Court shall remain supreme.
Never again shall politicians have the unilateral right to change any of the above without explicit permission from the British people, expressed in a referendum, first.
Moreover, we also need a Referendum By Petition Act to allow referendums on constitutional matters to be triggered by popular petition.
If the people are unhappy with a given policy, we simply wait until the next election and vote for a change. But if we are unhappy with how the Government and Parliament works, and what powers over us they have, suiting the politicians but not the people, we must have a route to change.
When a petition on a constitutional matter obtains at least 10% of the voting population, a referendum for the people to adjudicate the matter must be held whether the politicians like it or not.
What do you think is next for the EU? The direction of travel for the European Union is clear – more centralisation, command and control by the EU’s undemocratic institutions.
Frontex, the “European Border and Coast Guard Agency”, has this week become the EU’s first uniformed service.
This anti-democratic centralisation of power is the irreversible direction of travel of the European Union. This particular reform allows the EU to step closer towards a centralised immigration and border policy, which it has always wanted, and which was accelerated as a result of the EU migrant crisis in 2015.
In that same year, Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor of course, and then-French President François Hollande, both appeared and spoke at the EU Parliament.
They openly stated in explicit terms, and indeed this was one of the very reasons why I decided to campaign for our exit from the European Union, that the EU must have a common defence and common foreign policy.
This dangerous and anti-democratic ideology of centralisation towards a single state called Europe, without the people of Europe’s consent, is at the heart of the true purpose of the European Union.
Now that Britain has left, the authoritarian and paternalistic ideological zealots of Europe’s political elite, who hate the notion of the democratic nation state, will now have a much clearer pathway to their fanatical utopia.
Undemocratic and authoritarian empires that hide from accountability and democratic consent do not last forever. They all come to an end. And so in time will the European Union.
We are joined by Chris Mendes, the leader of The Foundation Party and local Brexiteer Duncan Forsyth, as we discuss the Post-Brexit Trade Deal with the EU and the latest Covid Lockdown. We then consider the planned May local elections and the latest developments in US politics.
Did Brexit get done? We have clawed back a fair degree of sovereignty, but the government’s hands remain tied in important ways. For me, this is a “minimum Brexit”. The Full Brexit’s full analysis of the deal is here: https://www.thefullbrexit.com/uk-eu-deal
How do you hope the U.K. will use the new found freedoms? Two main things. First, we need wholesale reforms to increase democratic control over economic, political and social life. Brexit has exposed the UK constitution as fundamentally broken. Second, we need a proper industrial strategy capable of developing economic sectors fit for the 21st century, de-financialising the economy, and spreading prosperity beyond the Southeast. We will also need to develop a strategy for maximising our room for manoeuvre under the Trade and Cooperation Agreement and for defying it where necessary.
What constitutional reform would you like to see happen next?
Abolish the House of Lords, the royal prerogative, the monarchy, and the Supreme Court.
Increase the size of the House of Commons to one Member for every 50,000 voters, elect MPs by proportional representation, and permit recall of MPs.
Outlaw corporate donations to political parties and limit the maximum individual donation to £1,000 per annum.
Abolish all restrictions on political speech (except that which directly incites a specific criminal offence).
What do you think is next for the EU? If the UK makes a real success of Brexit, this will revive desires for leaving the EU, which have dampened during years of stagnation and difficulty. Possibly the “two-speed Europe” we are seeing emerging (between Eurozone/non-Eurozone) could further intensify in a formal bifurcation. The TCA seems to offer better terms than EFTA/EEA membership, so it may be that more semi-detached countries like Norway, and maybe even non-Eurozone members like Sweden, see it as a better option. The Eurozone part could then integrate further. But I also think the fundamental economic contradictions of the Eurozone will persist – it simply doesn’t work as a monetary union without a fiscal union. We’re seeing some efforts to fudge this with some new taxation powers for the Commission and the COVID-19 “fund” (which is really just a permission to rack up national debt). But it doesn’t overcome the basic contradiction, and Germany simply isn’t willing (or really able) to take on the costs and responsibility of centralised fiscal policy for the whole EU. So, all the basic contradictions and tensions will persist, and the EU’s neoliberal constitution will continue to curtail economic growth and exacerbate social inequality. In 20-25 years I doubt the EU as it currently exists will still be around.
James Bradley local Brexit Campaigner.
Did Brexit get done? Bill Cash believes it truly makes us an independent country and I have trust in him, so yes. I do, however, really regret the painful unnecessary ‘long and winding road’ we have had to go through but onwards and upwards now!
How do you hope the U.K. will use the new found freedoms? To become the wealthiest, most successful, inventive, happy and free major country in the world.
What constitutional reform would you like to see happen next? Reverse Tony Blair’s disastrous devolution, reduce MPs to about 200-300 and Lords to have time limited terms, not for life. Lower taxes.
What do you think is next for the EU? Initial greater centralisation, then resistance from the east and then eventual scaling back of the organisation when the price becomes too high for the Germans to justify, possibly to a level we could have been comfortable with in 2016 (or am I a dreamer?).
Did Brexit get done? Yes, take the win. It’s not perfect, but nothing is. We have faced a huge fight to ensure our country remains a democracy, after much of the political class, judiciary, and media, lined up to overthrow our vote. It’s been a hell of a 4 years, but most us would have taken this position 4 years ago, let’s enjoy it now. My main concern now is over Northern Ireland, and we need to work to ensure that the UK not just GB fully leaves the EU.
How do you hope the U.K. will use the new found freedoms? On trade, lets use this opportunity to ensure we have the lowest possible tariffs with the developing word. We should trade more with the growing economies, this will allow us reduce costs of basic foodstuffs, and other products for the poorest in our country, and through trade help grow the economies of developing nations spreading wealth and freedom to those most in need across the globe.
Domestically we should:
Undertake a massive set of deregulation to allow jobs to grow.
Reduce or remove green taxes to help industry.
Start an immediate rollout of free ports
Undertake a phased withdrawal of the Common Agricultural Policy subsidies.
What constitutional reform would you like to see happen next? I’d like to see much more devolution, with powers residing at the most local possible level (when they can’t be held directly by the individual). We see locally with Labour’s bankrupting of Croydon Council and nationally with the ineffective Scottish and Welsh governments, devolution in this country hasn’t work well. The reform I’d like to see is tax raising as well as spending powers moved locally. The authority that has to spend the money should also need to raise it, critically with this change we need to the ability to borrow money for anything but the strictest criteria removed from all except central government.
The Scottish and Welsh governments, and local councils will suddenly be forced into a position of justifying their poor spending decisions no longer able to hide them by taking on debt or by blaming central government for a lack of grants. In the case of Croydon if the people wanted to buy a hotel or shopping centre the council would need to raise taxes to do so (I suspect that would have stopped these ridiculous schemes). In the Scotland and Wales the governments would be forced into building more business friendly environments if they wanted to raise the taxes for their spending plans. We would see governments compete for their tax base, benefiting businesses and us as individuals.
What do you think is next for the EU? The Euro simply doesn’t work. Southern European economies locked into the single currency, can’t currently compete with the productivity levels of the a Germany or the BeNeLux countries. They can’t grow their economy and skills base, in part because they can’t lower the value of their currency to encourage export led growth. They can’t flout away some their government debt through inflation, to allow the tax burden to be reduced. Worst of all, their young and least skilled workers don’t have their opportunities for entry level work to gain skills, stopped by mass unemployment and limited opportunities in economies that operate with what is frankly the wrong currency. I don’t know how or when the Euro will break but it has to, as the breaking of the Euro is the best hope for millions of Europeans and many countries future economic prospects.
Sean Finch former Libertarian Party Parliamentary Candidate.
Did Brexit get done? No. It was a BRINO. Boris & the Conservative Party were never going to deliver an independent Britain. It would always be skewed where the EU would have more authority in some parts. This is because the Conservatives have always been a pro EU party. Remember, they were the party which entered the ECC in the first place and also the party to sign the Maastricht Treaty creating the EU.
So the logical question to ask is; why would a party which campaigned for years to remain in the EU, has more Remainers MPs & CCHQ officials in it than Leavers (including the current Cabinet), only gave the 2016 Referendum not because out of the kindness of their heart or that the Tories were die-hard Brexiteers but because of pressure from UKIP, ever be trusted to deliver a true Brexit? The logical answer is of course; they can’t be trusted and they won’t deliver it.
How do you hope the U.K. will use the new found freedoms? They will do nothing. I believe they will at minimal attempt to mirror almost all laws to the EU and at maximum will quietly campaign to re-join the EU, as they are a pro EU party. In fact, it is ironic to think that the old party emblem of the Conservative Party was the liberty torch. It is right they no-longer use it as they as the governing party (as well as with the assistance from all the parliamentary parties) have currently robbed us of our liberties in this current expired pandemic.
What constitutional reform would you like to see happen next? A full written civil liberty focused constitution detailing the individual citizens are sovereign, not Parliament or the Monarch. Preferably this document will be an updated version of the Bill of Rights 1688/1689.
What do you think is next for the EU? It’s market and GDP will continue to decline. It will essentially quietly crumble due to mainstream media outlets not properly reporting on it due to political bias.
Did Brexit get done? Brexit in its most pure & perfect form was never going to happen; not just because of the bureaucracy of political negotiations, but because there were an array of subjective & political visions of what Brexit “should” look like. Personally as a Libertarian (to some degree a “Bleeding Heart Libertarian”). I was saddened by the removal of free movement & the introduction of a points based system; giving the government central power over the planning & shaping of the international labour market. However, the dangers of being with an intergovernmental system of central planning, managed by a large bureaucracy, with the ability for MEP’s from Spain to vote on bills which can affect people in Britain & vice versa, was far too much political power for any system to hold for the benefit & liberty of free movement. Hopefully free movement can return without bureaucrats being in control of it in the future, but in terms of the fundamental aspect of leaving an intergovernmental bureaucratic system; yes, Brexit got done.
How do you hope the U.K. will use the new found freedoms? Already a small good has been made with the elimination of the tampon tax which was brought about by the EU, & we continue to negotiate free trade deals with other nations; India, Turkey, Japan, Australia & New Zealand; I remain hopefully that a free trade agreement will be reached with the USA, but even if we are unsuccessful with our American neighbours & other nations, we should look to eliminate all tariffs on imports regardless of any deals present. Tariffs in the end hurt the citizens of the nation which imposed them, forcing consumers to pay higher prices for goods they value & that bring a higher living standard. Removing all tariffs also show good faith that we are against protectionism & for freedom on entry into competition, in addition to putting pressure on foreign governments by their citizens to lower or remove their tariffs, since their governments would be forcing them to pay an artificially higher price while we pay the actual market price.
What constitutional reform would you like to see happen next? The next step that should be considered seriously, is now that we’ve seen that we can remove ourselves from an intergovernmental bureaucracy, we should look to show no exception to our own bureaucracy. Make reforms by reducing if not removing our own bureaucracy; the nanny state in all its forms, & moving towards a system of decentralised political power, by devolving power from Westminster to local councils. Finally, we should not show hypocrisy in the face of those wishing to leave a political union. There appears to be growing desires for Wales to seek independence, & if this is a serious desire, then it should be listened to; with a warm hand outstretched to say goodbye to a housemate, but hello & good luck to a friend.
What do you think is next for the EU? It all depends on the outcomes of Brexit in the future & the attitudes of the citizens in remaining EU nations, but I think it likely more nations will follow in leaving, I think it’s possible that Italy will be the next to leave. Originally during the yellow vest riots I would’ve said France, but this is heavily unlikely as if France left it would likely be the end of the EU for good; bureaucracy & political power doesn’t die that easily (sadly).
Did Brexit get done? Yes, the UK has officially left the EU, the legalism and stalling that followed has been the result of inadequate and inept politicians from the UK and aggressive negotiation tactics from the EU.
How do you hope the U.K. will use the new found freedoms? A move towards further devolution, for many libertarians Brexit was the first step towards dissolution of big government in all its forms, I would like to see a second referendum in Scotland, however there are simple Monetary policy changes I would like to see first and legal restraints on fiscal policy.
What constitutional reform would you like to see happen next? Having a real constitution would be a start! A move towards a constitutional republic with federal states who agree to be in the union voluntarily if at all.
What do you think is next for the EU? With Biden in power they should have their NATO bills covered, but I think that Germany is aware that they need to up their military defences, some concessions will have to be made to Hungary and Poland in terms of this as well. The focus should be on protecting Europe from Russian influence. That is the should, what they may do is fall into their increasingly overburdened administration and red tape, with more rules and regulations for every aspect of life while ignoring the real global threats on their doorstep.
Did Brexit get done? Yes, despite everybody and everything tilting against it, Brexit was done. We managed to make a deal, which won the UK some welcome trading stability for now, at a time when we’re feeling bruised by the physical and economic effects of the Covid pandemic. But the trade-off sacrificed some of the interests of our fishing communities and our financial institutions. We’ll need to see how these can be managed in the longer term. British people who own properties in an EU country feel short-changed over matters that can surely be ironed out in the short term. But our capacity to make decisions for ourselves as nations and regions has been gained and it’s cause for celebration. Now we, the people, need to make it work for us.
How do you hope the U.K. will use the new found freedoms? The Referendum saw the UK population express its will, in the case of the majority, against the wishes of those in power. I’d like to see the population continuing to speak out and guide the actions of our political representatives. New economic, health and education concerns remain with us, so we all need to be involved in making these work better than before. We also need to find a way of a way of conducting national debates that don’t involve cancelling people we disagree with. Because we’re worth it.
What constitutional reform would you like to see happen next? Electoral reform – I say that with some trepidation. But our current first past the post came about when there were only two political forces in the UK electoral system. Nowadays it encourages tactical voting and overrepresents the two main parties and the regional nationalist parties in numbers that do not reflect the ambitions of the electorate. I’m aware that every voting system has its disadvantages, but I don’t think FPTP can help sustain democracy into the future.
And we need to look again at the use of judicial review to overturn political decisions. Political decisions are the responsibility of the people and its elected representatives: judicial review has taught us to rely on an unaccountable judiciary rather than ourselves.
What do you think is next for the EU? In the medium term, Mediterranean EU countries will continue to struggle with economic decline and fight to make sense of their EU membership – or leave and reorganise. Germany will continue to cultivate its economic and political relationships with its Central Eastern European backyard, with increasing competition from China and Russia. The European Central Bank has a major debt crisis resulting from the structuring of the Eurozone, now exacerbated by current economic crises – it’s looking like a slow motion crash and one that the UK is better off out of. I worry for the people of the EU.
In the longer term, the EU is likely to become a geopolitical backwater, except perhaps as Germany’s merkin as it remilitarises. Only the USA will have the economic and military might to challenge Chinese global ambitions, as India and perhaps Brazil continue to find and assert their voice on the global stage. Our historical close relationship with America is likely to gain in significance as China looks to extend its economic and military power. The UK will need to box clever to retain its position as the fifth largest global economic power, developing and extending its relationships with African and Asian nations previously locked out by EU trade policies and tariffs.
Now we have left the Transition Period we asked Brexiteers if they feel Brexit is now complete, for their hopes and their predictions for the future. Part 4 below more (parts 5 and beyond) to follow….. You can also read Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.
Did Brexit get done? In my mind yes and no. We are out of the SM, CU and mostly out of control of the ECJ. While I am not sure of all the ins and outs of the Level playing field, yet.
No, would be that Northern Ireland who are still locked into the EU, which is an utter disgrace. I don’t believe there is any end game, so how does this play out.
Closer to home is the fishing industry. They once again have been shafted according to my local fishermen. The Supertrawlers have raided every part of the channel. There are 5 trawlers based out of Belgium. They spend 5 days a week scooping up every single fish they can get. Last year in an area where mackerel have thrived for centuries the local fishermen caught none, not even one box load. It has never been heard of before.
According to the fishermen it will take many years to restock the seas. Fishermen going out recently for cod. One boat use to get around 40 boxes a go each time. With being in CFP and quotas, they would return with about 5 boxes. Last time this boat went out he only managed to get 1 box which is not sustainable. It doesn’t matter that Boris says he’s going to give grants there is no fish left. Fishermen won’t spend or invest when they cannot make a living. Lots of fishermen were Brexiteers and voted for Boris to get Brexit done. They are very angry and more people are about to throw in the towel. The foreign vessels have still been allowed to fish right up the 6 mile mark. So basically Britain has not got its waters back at all.
How do you hope the UK will use the new found freedoms? I hope we start manufacturing quality goods like the country use to. The few manufacturers we have are poor quality cheap goods like cheap clothing. We don’t want these sweet shops. Get back to the country being known for quality and good pay. It would be good to see a lot more pharmaceuticals back in the country as well as finance and technologies.
What constitutional reform would you like to see happen next? Have a new British Constitution. Never again should this country be under the control from a foreign party. We must have our own laws and decided how we run our country. We need to ensure that Parliament are accountable to the voters and that civil servants are accountable to our government.
Government must not hold all the power and decision made afar are not good decisions. One law does not necessarily work for the whole country. Foundation Party would like to see power about communities devolved down to the actual people and let them plan how they would like their communities to evolve. The people are the masters not the servants.
Our laws must be strong and bold with tough policing. Law and order must be the backbone that protects our citizens from threat, fear and harm. We would want to live in a country where we know people and where families and children feel safe in their own neighbourhoods.
What do you think is next for the EU? That further countries will want to leave as we did. There are too many poor countries relying on help and the richer ones will get dragged down by the poorer ones. The Euro will collapse and cause mayhem.
But I will still love visiting and travelling all over Europe as the people and countries are wonderful.
Phil Sheppard local Brexit campaigner.
Did Brexit get done? Yes, I believe Brexit got done. In almost all regards, our sovereignty immediately got restored. Although there is a transition deal for fishing, the fact that eventually full sovereignty over our waters will be restored is certainly a positive thing.
How do you hope the U.K. will use the new found freedoms? I hope the UK uses its newfound freedoms to enhance its position as a global trading networks, adding to the many trade deals we have already signed. In an ideal world, I would see it as a beacon for free market economics, a bit like Singapore but pragmatically speaking with more of a social conscience. However, current events have dampened my mood on this with the seeming embrace of Keynesian economics by politicians on all sides.
What constitutional reform would you like to see happen next? The next constitutional reform I would like to see is a loosening of the Supreme Court’s power and to strip it of its ability to decide on constitutional matters, as was unfortunately seen in the Miller cases of 2016 and 2019, which was de facto an attempt to make it more difficult for Brexit to happen. We should re-embrace the spirit of Parliamentary Sovereignty that the people once again bestowed upon this great country. I would also add that a de facto constitutional reform (which cannot be an actual part of our constitution due to the principle of Parliamentary Sovereignty) that I would like to see is a new British Bill of Rights which sets out the right to Freedom of Expression, something that is paramount to the country flourishing as a democracy.
What do you think is next for the EU? I think the EU will further seek to integrate, especially in the wake of the pandemic, with projects like the EU army becoming a reality. Although there is talk of Poland and Hungary being a thorn in the side of the organisation, I do believe that they will trudge along with most things the EU proposes. However, I reckon many in the EU will become jealous of Britain’s success and will seek looser ties with Brussels, especially on the economic front, which may cause a problem. I am not going to be one of those people who predicts a collapse of the EU because for better or for worse, the notion of a common European identity is much stronger on the Continent, even among Poles and Hungarians. If anything, this may hold the EU together in any shape or form. Then again, I could be wrong, just like many experts were with the USSR.
Did Brexit get done? Yes, it did. If you had offered this deal to Brexit supporters in advance of the 2016 referendum they would have bitten your hand off so to fret now about details is simply looking for a way to lose a war that we have already won.
How do you hope the U.K. will use the new found freedoms? I would like to see the replacement to the Common Agricultural policy be really radical. A budget that falls considerably in real terms year on year, with conditions applied to it that are such that landowners begin to decide not to apply for it and it withers away. My ideal is that single farm payments are conditional on the government having an option to buy which would permit the government through local authorities to buy land at agricultural prices then allocate it to housing. If we must have planning law it should benefit society, not speculators or hereditary landowners. Many landowners would not apply for subsidy rather than agree to that. Fine.
Zero tariffs on food imports from the developing world. I hope that EU access to UK fishing waters is reduced over time as our capacity increases. A welcoming economic inwards migration policy for those who apply with no upper limit on numbers, deportation in chains within hours for those who cross from France illegally. We really need a large camp to safely humanely house asylum seekers until they ask to be flown home. Somewhere like Somaliland mighty be happy to undertake that for us in return for recognition.
What constitutional reform would you like to see happen next? I am not really bothered if we have any constitutional change, the changes that need to happen can happen without it. I dream of but have no actual hope of a move towards reducing state interference in society by a noticeable and measurable amount every year. A salary cap in the public sector of £100k so that nobody wants to work there if they are actually worth twice that. (Or the removal of employment rights from staff on over £100k/year.)
School vouchers and for-profit schools. The abolition of Housing benefit which utterly corrupts the housing market. The abolition of child benefit. I would be happy to see the money saved remain within the welfare budget, it’s not about saving money, it’s about removing bad incentives. Legalization (not decriminalization) and regulation of recreational drugs. A rollback on environmental legislation, and an end to subsidy for green energy and carbon taxes, single use plastic straws and free carrier bags if retailers wish it.
What do you think is next for the EU? It’s in a bad place. Further expansion is off the table, it needs a decade of consolidation if the Project is to continue. I think they will pull it off, but the worst-case scenario for the Project is a clash between nationalist governments in the likes of Poland and Hungary and the EU, maybe a post-COVID-19 Euroscepticism in Italy, unrest in France over anything from Fishing to Islam, economic meltdown as usual in Greece, a Mediterranean migrant crisis. The EU remains hugely powerful but they have a staggering range of potential problems.
Now we have left the Transition Period we asked Brexiteers if they feel Brexit is now complete, for their hopes and their predictions for the future. Part 3 below more (parts 4 and beyond) to follow….. You can also read Part 1 and Part 2.
Crispin Williams local long term Brexit campaigner.
Did Brexit get done? My short answer is yes. If you had asked me on 23rd June 2016 if I would have been happy with the exit arrangements we now have, I would have ripped your arm off for them.
If you had asked me on 24th June 2016, I would have been disappointed with the 4½ year delay and the outcomes achieved. If you had asked me in May 2017 or in the months before, I would have been delighted with the current outcome.
So, overall, I am very happy. The 4½ year wait is miniscule in historic terms and will soon be forgotten. And what particularly pleases me is how Boris Johnson and his team have been able to claw back the amount of sovereignty they have from such a disastrous starting point bequeathed to them by Theresa May.
It’s a long way from the perfect Brexit but, given the politics involved and the large minority of dissenters to the whole idea, it is realistically as good an outcome as we were ever likely to get.
How do you hope the U.K. will use the new found freedoms? Ah, ‘hope’ versus ‘think’! I hope that we will widen our trading sphere, reduce bureaucracy and red tape, lower taxes to make the UK more attractive to invest in and invest the money saved in infrastructure projects that represent value for money. And control immigration so that all incomers are of genuine benefit to the country.
However, I worry that governments of all colours are inefficient, bureaucratically controlled and extremely wasteful of public money. If we can keep a government with the policies of the current one, we will come out much better off than before we left the EU, although probably not as well as we theoretically could. If, however, we get a Labour administration or even, in time, a Theresa-May type government, then I think things would back-slide to the point where we might as well have not left.
What constitutional reform would you like to see happen next? My initial answer is a negative one which is no Scottish independence. Although there seems to be an inevitable march towards demand for this, I cannot see how Scotland could operate as an independent nation; and if you think Brexit was complicated, just imagine how hard Scottish independence arrangements would be. Boris (or whoever) would need the very best negotiators to put Ms Sturgeon in her place as, for all her faults, she is a very shrewd politician.
In common with many people, I would like to see reform of the House of Lords. However, I am vehemently opposed to an elected chamber on the grounds that this would tend to mirror the lower house, it would lead to instability and, more pertinently, it would make it more party political. The Lords’ great strength is that its members can largely act on conscience without the worry of being deselected or voted out.
Below I give some examples of the kind of positions that might comprise the appointment committee. As I say, these are just examples and there can be much further debate as to the final choice.
The Prime Minister and, say, three leading cabinet positions
The Leader of the Opposition and one other Opposition position
The Leader of any other party with X number of seats in the Commons
The Speaker of the House of Commons
The Speaker of the House of Lords
The First Minister of Scotland
The First Minister of Wales
The Mayor of London
The Archbishop of Canterbury
The Prince of Wales
The Governor of the Bank of England
The General Secretary of the TUC
The Director-General of the CBI
The Chair of the Commission for Racial Equality
The Chair of the National Federation of Women’s Institutes
This would lead to a House of high quality people being elected by a committee with balanced views. Clearly, some of the above might also be Lords themselves.
The House of Lords would comprise 250 members, re-appointed on a staggered 10 year basis, with no restriction on the number of times a member could be re-appointed.
However, I would rather see the House of Lords remain as it is than become an elected chamber.
What do you think is next for the EU? I think the EU will stagger on for a long while yet. It will attempt to hoover up as many peripheral nations into membership as it can. The Euro will continue to be propped up until this becomes totally unsustainable. The collapse of the Euro, combined with an increase in nationalist parties being elected to governments, will probably eventually result in the EU’s demise in its current form.
However, I believe that it is in the UK’s interests that the EU does survive for, now we are out of it, it does offer useful advantages in terms of collective co-operation with other countries and, particularly, security from conflicts.
How do you think the U.K. should use the new found freedoms? Don’t fall into “protection” mode. Keep your markets open and get your taxes down.
What do you think is next for the EU? We don’t know really, we are running into a terrible debt (death) spiral. Covid is used to minimize freedom and to maximize what the governments are “allowed” to do. So we are quite sure that the BREXIT was soon enough for GB to not get into an ever larger EU with more laws and much less freedom.
Did Brexit get done? Yes essentially, trade deal is not perfect but considering the unwillingness of Brussels to broker a mutually beneficial deal it is a better outcome than expected.
How do you hope the U.K. will use the new found freedoms?Make improvements to trade agreement with the Commonwealth and other African countries especially. Change some foreign policy especially towards Israel and Iran and other Middle Eastern counties. Talks with Dublin to broker better relationship with them. Give financial incentives for any British industry that needs to improve productivity and can create wealth for us by building new plant.
What constitutional reform would you like to see happen next? Reformation to House of Lords and proportional representation.
What do you think is next for the EU? The UK success will incentivize more nations to leave. Also will need to refinance with major shortfall in their budget.
Did Brexit get done? Yes, legally. This ends the fight to achieve Brexit, leaving the peace to be won. I am mightily optimistic for our future as a global, generous, independent coastal nation.
Much of the government rhetoric is expressed in absolute terms, where it is clear our departure is conditional on significant alignment with institutions of the EU and the risk of an easy path to re-joining.
Practically, politically and subsequently, full sovereignty and control of money, laws, borders and fish were traded as an expedient to achieve the Trade and Cooperation Agreement – which goes much further than trade. Tariff and quota free trade is always the preferred trading understanding, though this should remain open for action in the national interest. With a £100Bn trade deficit with the EU, and wider trade opportunities opening up all the time – especially with Commonwealth Nations abandoned when we joined the EEC – we should not fear a tit-for-tat trade war; such are normal in adjustments to trade and diplomatic relations among sovereign equals acting in their own interests.
Of particular concern to me are:
We did not leave the EU as one United Kingdom. The longer term workings of the Northern Ireland Protocol remain to be seen. I am reassured by the measured approach of the Northern Ireland Assembly and that the Protocol will be subject to review in four years’ time. There are opportunities and risks. Vital self-determination is preserved as are the workings and institutions of the Belfast Agreement – a bilateral agreement between the UK and the Republic of Ireland and no one else, it should be remembered;
Defence, intelligence and security is less than autonomous for the UK. We know this well through our memberships with NATO, the United Nations and the 5-Eyes intelligence network. But, we remain bound to spending on EU Defence Programmes at least through our subscription to EU Horizon Europe. Even if we should refrain from becoming a troop contributing nation, where such may not be deemed to be in the national interest, we are still bound to funding defence, research, communications and other EU defence infrastructure – perhaps to further EU foreign policy with which we do not necessarily agree; Defence contracting remains bound by EU procurement laws. Tenders for UK defence contracts must be shared with the EU, even where this may be prejudicial to UK defence industry and jobs, perhaps even national security;
The UK fishing industry has been let down. Intent to rebuild the UK fishing industry was never signalled during TCA negotiations. £100M to energise the industry is a lame sop;
We remain bound, through the TCA hence international law, to the European Court of Human Rights. Though not an EU institution, the EHCR and the UK supporting legislation in the Human Rights Act have been counter to UK rights, responsibilities and immigration justice; and,
As we leave the EU, in the TCA a raft of new bureaucratic institutions are created. Whilst there is no doubt negotiations will be ongoing, we must be vigilant to their motives and operation, and ensure transparency and parliamentary scrutiny.
Ultimately, we must continue to hold our elected representatives to account and to their word, exactly as I said I would when standing for the Brexit Party in 2019. I meant it.
The barometer on our Brexit future is expressed well by Brexit-Watch here:
They assess the government’s performance on rhetoric and action, currently at 38% and 43% respectively.
If we do not trust our elected representatives, or do not like the direction they are taking us locally or nationally, we must change them. With so many available alternatives, I shall be advocating for people you can trust – so a vote other than for any established or establishment party currently represented it is then!
How do you hope the U.K. will use the new found freedoms? Cancelling VAT on sanitary products and banning electro-pulse fishing on Brexit Day One were low hanging fruit, showing a lack of government ambition and boldness. Pulse fishing was already banned by the EU other than for “scientific purposes’. Banning supertrawlers would have signalled far greater intent, protecting our single biggest natural and sustainable resource. Fishing protection was, and remains, the acid test for Brexit if, practically, Brexit is to be other than in name only.
Particularly in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic, I would like to see aggressive moves on economic stimuli; reducing taxation and funding enabling national infrastructure, such as broadband, nuclear energy (especially fusion energy), transportation, ports and housing.
Our parliamentarians, hitherto so used to EU initiatives, will be required to come up with their own. We can look to alternative media, such as Unlocked to lobby ideas:
What constitutional reform would you like to see happen next? Reclaim of reason, tolerance, manners, fairness, and common sense in our institutions; local government, education, civil service parliament and established church. For too long we have seen the rise and rise of the precautionary principle (better safe than sorry and just in case) with politically correct wokism stifling reasoned dissent and free speech. So-called social justice warriors have been polarising and divisive, leading to a situation where to be anti-racist is actually to be racist in one of the most tolerant and inclusive countries in the world.
The interview below with Laurence Fox, whom I have been supporting, makes the challenges clear:
The House of Lords, with over 850 unaccountable members must be reformed or abolished. Enough said there! Then there is the NHS…
What do you think is next for the EU? I am watching the progress of leave campaigns in other EU countries and supporting the French bid for a referendum (https://twitter.com/CH_Gallois & https://twitter.com/ReferendumUE). As the EU comes under increasing pressure by member states to be democratic, fair, effective and efficient – operating to their advantage, on balance, in the national interest – I see the EU having to reform enormously or fail as a project. This should not be feared, and those who claim the EU to be the only stabilising factor in post war peace are peddling a fear-mongering fallacy.
The institutions of the EU remain bloated and anti-democratic.
Did Brexit get done? Only so far. The agreement did NOT fully support our demand to become a totally independent nation again. For example fishing rights should NEVER have been on the table. They are OUR territorial waters and they hold our fish. In addition, as an independent nation we must have the right to help any new industries in the UK and encourage new industries to set up here.
How do you think the UK will use its new found freedom? I hope the UK will rapidly unravel EU laws and demands. For example, abolish VAT, restore Royal Mails right to deliver all post, remove foreign control of our utilities by nationalising them and making electricity, gas and water much cheaper for our consumers and industry.
What constitutional reform would you like to see happen next? I hope that this note will summarise my answer to this one:
We have to keep Boris, and the Conservative Party out of government for evermore. Likewise for Labour and the Lib Dems. ALL three parties got us into the EU and were determined we stayed in the EU. This meant that UK taxpayers paid the EU a net total currently costing us over £300 billion in budgetary contributions and a balance of trade deficit with the EEC/EU currently costing us well over £2 TRILLION. Is it any wonder the EU was demanding a “level playing field” and other rights so they could keep milking us?? In addition, we the UK taxpayers, were liable for £1.25 trillion to the EU’s financial mechanisms and for financing the EU’s pensions hole of over £30 TRILLION for us and the next generation of UK taxpayers! The fact is that the Conservative, Labour and Lib Dem parties were ALL aware of these horrendous costs to which UK taxpayers were liable BUT did nothing about it. As far as they ALL were concerned we HAD to stay in the EU. For what reason God only knows! So would ANY sane UK taxpayer ever vote again for parties that let them in for such large and useless liabilities???
What do you think is next for the EU? Complete disintegration!
Peter Kirby long term Brexit campaigner.
Did Brexit get done? To a large extent yes, but I await an analysis of the small print. However I would have preferred to have gone to a no deal settlement. This is because of the following facts: 80% of UK GDP consists of internal transactions; 20% is foreign trade; of that 20% the EU consists of 9% and the rest of the world is 11% (which is already done on WTO rules so the necessary systems already exist). Those figures overstate the EU volume because of the Rotterdam effect. Accordingly if our trade with the EU falls by 10% our GDP will fall by 0.9 % which is within normal variation taking one year with another. Having regard to the opportunities which open up e.g. Free Ports and free trade agreements with Commonwealth countries it is likely that there will be no fall in GDP due to Brexit. I expect a fall due to the effects of Covid 19. With regard to the penetration of EU directives and regulations incorporated in UK law affecting the very fabric of our culture and society I have always held the view that it will take at least 20 years to shed the pernicious influence of the EU.
How do you think the UK will use its new found freedom? Apart from the two elements mentioned above I would look for a departure from the EU code of practice on tendering for government and defence contracts. The question of fishing has received a lot of discussion but it was never on the cards that on day one we would have 100% control of fishing. This is because in the past the government applied the quotas strictly insisting on the destruction of fishing boats not needed to fulfil our quota. And the reduction in patrol vessels in the navy not needed within the EU. Not to mention the withering away of the processing industry. A delay of five years may not be long enough to put this right. Similarly our defence forces have in the past been quietly incorporated into the defence forces of the EU. This is epitomised by the construction of two aircraft carriers in the UK fleet with no support and protection vessels. Although never stated by the government the implication is that the two ships will be available for EU operations and the support and protection provided by ships from the French, Spanish, Italian, and German navies. Meanwhile our shipyards have been emptied and the skills lost. Here again it will take time to correct this. There are many other ways in which these sorts of things can be corrected to the UK’s benefit. HS2 is the final step in an EU transcontinental railway which is unneeded in the UK.
What constitutional reform would you like to see happen next? The first thing should be the abolition of the regional tier of local government. Most of the responsibilities and duties could be returned to where they were before. Institutions like the Greater London Council could be restructured as they were in the time of the Thatcher administration. A further referendum should be held on proportional representation and UK parliamentary constituencies reassessed for a fairer ratio of voters to seats.
What do you think is next for the EU? In France and Belgium referendums for the EU constitution were lost. It went ahead anyway. Those two should be given the chance to vote again and Poland is also moving to leave. The Euro has been staggering along and with the departure of UK may well fall into the gutter. The EU is playing a leading role in the fraudulent CO2 hypothesis of global warming and climate change. Climate has always changed thank God. If it didn’t we would still have the Thames frozen over at Westminster in January. Leaving the EU could give us the opportunity to avoid the trillions of pounds expenditure which achieving net zero will cost. We need to spend that money on more sensible matters.
Ron West local Brexit campaigner.
Did Brexit get done? Yes, but there are no legal preventions from a future Prime Minister re-joining us without a Referendum.
What constitutional reform would you like to see happen next? Eliminate as much friction between Ireland and the UK as possible in case the Irish people (as opposed to the elite) become unhappy with EU membership.
What do you think is next for the EU? Using the Coronavirus as a tool to eliminate any opposition to total unification.
Georgina Guillem Brexit campaigner.
Did Brexit get done? We have in a sorts left, but Brexit is not done. We have a separation not a divorce.
How do you hope the U.K. will use the new found freedoms? This deal has many flaws, to allow us to have the freedoms we desire e.g. freedom, democracy and sovereignty we shall have to ignore EU and its unacceptable restrictions.
What constitutional reform would you like to see happen next? My concerns are still for our fisheries, all is not what it seems. After 5.5 years we still have to abide by certain quotas that we do not control I would like for Britain to once again have complete control of our seas.
What do you think is next for the EU? It will continue for as long as it can, After all these people are claiming huge salaries and expenses. Corruption is everywhere we had 47 years of betrayal of our country by corrupt political class. The British people’s passionate desire to exit this Club could no longer be ignored.
Did Brexit get done? Time will tell, first impressions suggest it’s not perfect but could be called done.
How do you hope the U.K. will use the new found freedoms? To shrink government interference and regulation in individual lives, leading to economic prosperity and greater individual freedom. I hope we will find a way to make CANZUK happen, or something like it, without giving up sovereignty.
What constitutional reform would you like to see happen next? A written constitution and bill of rights which reduces the power of the state, protects individual rights, reduces the tendency of democracy to become mob rule, and makes government more local and accountable.
What do you think is next for the EU? Continued slide to greater technocracy, more regulation, further loss of voice and liberty for individual citizens, expansionist outlook seeking to control more territory.
Did Brexit get done? Yes at the end of the day we have taken back control of our laws, borders and money, though it is a worry that for some reason the UK/EU Trade Deal did not include 80% of our trade with the EU – financial services. One can only hope there is a good reason for this – but it is vital and a big concern. We inevitably had to make some concessions but even with the fish we will have virtual total control in five and a half years. As our economy booms, politically and practically I believe , the EU will not be able to hold us back by increasing tariffs. Even “ Rejoiners” will become “ Rejoicers” as they see the real value of UK sovereignty, freedom to do our own trade deals and controlling our population numbers to better plan future infrastructure – hospitals, school, transport etc and keep us safe from terrorist attacks.
How do you hope the U.K. will use the new found freedoms? It is not a perfect deal but with the return of sovereignty and democracy we are now in a position to make our own trade deals and boom as an independent entrepreneurial trading nation, outside of the declining undemocratic EU. Already we have made over 60 worldwide trade deals and we have carried out more vaccine injections that the whole of the EU put together. The EU will continue to decline and despite safeguards on tariffs that they have built in, they won’t be able to prevent the UK from booming. This will set an example to other EU sceptic member countries and they will be looking for the exit door too. Especially with the Franco/German push even further towards an EU super state that further diminishes local democracy and accountability.
What constitutional reform would you like to see happen next? Most urgent is Westminster and the role of the Speaker – so clearly not fit for purpose and so abused by Remainer Bercow during the Brexit process. Plus MPs must deliver on the Manifestos on which they were elected – not just choose their own personal approach, and ignoring the wishes of the majority of their constituents when they get to the House. Next important is reforming. reducing , possibly abolishing, the ridiculously huge , undemocratic House of Lords. Finally, new rules on the Honours system to stop cronyism and abuse. You don’t get an honour for just doing your job – e.g. an Ambassador.
What do you think is next for the EU? Very interesting and difficult to predict with Merkel and Macron not likely to be around by the end of the year. With the UK gone the Franco/German axis will try to dominate EU policy. If the UK does well and horrendous EU youth unemployment continues then some of the newer Eastern European members may look for an out or major reform.
Did Brexit get done? Yes, Brexit got done, and better than I had expected. Removing the ECJ from the equation was vital. What is now important is to move on and make the most of it. We have already wasted far too much time bickering.
How do you hope the U.K. will use the new found freedoms? I would start with replacing the Common Agricultural Policy by supporting our farmers to use the land in a more environmentally friendly and productive way. This was the most controversial policy when we joined and one which for me, who voted to stay in in 1975, found the most egregious. Reform was promised because it was so disadvantageous to the UK but it came very slowly indeed because it had been designed as a mechanism to subsidise French farmers. That failure was one of the things that changed my mind about the EU.
What constitutional reform would you like to see happen next? A big problem is local government. That’s something that seems to work better in some other countries. Local people understand better than here which politician is responsible for delivering what and vote accordingly. In the UK the vast majority do not and as a consequence vote on national issues. That is in my opinion a major contributor to the mess that Labour has got us into in Croydon. No matter how incompetent Croydon Labour were and how we as an opposition pointed it out, Tony Newman just blamed central government. Too many voters believed him.
What do you think is next for the EU? I hope they do well but the signs are not good. They are refusing to learn the lessons of Brexit. Their solution to failure is always more EU. Criticism of that line is also very muted. The BBC isn’t the only national broadcaster that follows the EU-can-do-no-wrong line.
Did Brexit get done? Yes, sort of. I think time had come to be pragmatic and move on. Despite the Labour party grudgingly voting for the deal, they are clearly positioning themselves to “improve” the deal which in their terms means weaken it and a Labour government would end in BRINO. The government need to prove the benefits before the 2024 election as we may find much of the good work undone. Leavers should learn the lesson of 2016 in that rather than celebrating the referendum result and taking our foot of the gas we needed to close it out. This isn’t the end of the matter.
How do you think the UK will use its new found freedom? This is an area where the current government and I part ways. They are classic neo liberals and will look to turn us into a global buyer of cheap goods whereas the strategy I favour is to rebuild our industries and positively favour UK produced goods and services, we need to put the needs of our own people first.
What constitutional reform would you like to see happen next? As a Social Democrat this is a big issue for us. The Brexit debacle proved that MPs, in this case remain leaning MPs, were not to be trusted and voted against the wishes of their voters, that cannot happen again. We would introduce proportional representation and abolish the House of Lords whilst we were at it. A personal beef of mine is that if MPs choose to swap parties mid-term then they should be asked to stand at a by-election. Whilst all of the switchers were punished in the 2019 election we had to put up with them for the previous 3 years.
What do you think is next for the EU? Tough to say, I don’t see anything happening quickly but the lack of British money and our steadying influence the differences between North, South and Eastern Europe will become more apparent. I really feel for those countries in the Euro as they are well and truly stuffed, our escape was made easier by not having to worry about currency. Watch youth unemployment in Southern Europe, that can no longer be exported to the UK.