End of transition: Brexiteers on Brexit – Part 5

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 5 below more (parts 6 and beyond) to follow….. You can also read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4.

“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”

Josh L. Ascough Libertarian writer.

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).

“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”

Mal McDermott Libertarian.

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.

“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

Yasmin Fitzpatrick, former Brexit Party PPC.

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.  

Back to Part 4 > On to Part 6

Podcast Episode 18 – Mal McDermott: Libertarianism, Irish Politics & Brexit.

We talk to Mal McDermott of the Libertarian Party about Libertarianism and how the Party would tackle issues such as knife crime. We also discuss Irish politics, the upcoming General Election in the Republic and Brexit.

We have previously interviewed Mal in written form, and he spoke at our My Tuppenceworth free speech event on Corporate responsibility to free speech in a free market.

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Interview with Malachy McDermott, London Group Leader of the Libertarian Party

Always keen to support people prepared to support Brexit. The Croydon Constitutionalists spoke to Malachy McDermott, London Group Leader of the Libertarian Party.

He has also a published author who has written for Mises.org, with a Degree in Economics and English Literature from University College Dublin he currently works in Finance.

The Libertarian Party believe in limited government, personal freedom, support Brexit and pertinently a written constitution.

The Croydon Constitutionalists have previously interviewed the Libertarian Party’s Sean Finch and Mike made the personal sacrifice of travelling to their sister party in the US to interview the Libertarians of Orange County California.

Malachy thanks for your time.

Not everyone is fully familiar with your party. Can you tell us a bit about them?

The Libertarian Party is unique in British politics as it is the only party to truly speak for the rights of the individual. In an increasingly state controlled society, whether that be through crony capitalism or direct control of the economy, the individual is left by the wayside. From the Nanny State to the Victimisation of peaceful people are scope to exit without being licensed, taxed or otherwise infringed upon dwindles almost daily. The Libertarian party understands that free people able to make free decisions for which they accept the consequences is the best way for a society to function.

“An out of control central bank and increased social control by the state are issues that are not addressed by any party but the Libertarian Party”

How does the Libertarian Party differ from the Conservatives / The Brexit Party / UKIP?

Both socially and politically the Libertarian Party is trying to be an actual Libertarian voice in the UK. While the other 3 parties have attempted to be this, they, in my opinion, have cast their nets too far. In doing so they have tried to take on centrist or soft left positions. Especially from an economic and government spending point of view. Libertarianism involves a constant desire to reduce the size and scope of government and put power back in people’s hands. Although these parties attempt this, I think they lose their way a lot of the time. An out of control central bank and increased social control by the state are issues that are not addressed by any party but the Libertarian Party.

What was your personal journey to libertarianism and what made you get involved in the party?

I have come right from the other end of the political compass to get here! I started out in my teens as a full on Communist, going to university I mellowed somewhat into vaguely centrist or modern liberal perspective. Then about 3 or 4 years ago I began writing a blog. When analysing and fact checking, I came to more and more Libertarian conclusions, although I really didn’t know that there was a name for it. When I came across the term, I became a very active keyboard warrior! About a year ago I met Sean Finch from our Kent branch, he introduced me to the party and I haven’t looked back.

You’re the leader of the London Group of the party what does that involve?

At the moment it’s about getting established and getting the right team in place. To do this we have the Facebook page and the monthly meet ups. Both are free to all to have a look at. I have met so many great people and made a lot of connections which has made running this a lot easier. But we are always looking for new people and any help is hugely appreciated!

“I want to get some councillors elected. Getting names on ballot papers and getting the word out there is a must. A lot of my focus is letting people know that they do not have to be socially liberal and economically left wing or socially conservative and economically right wing. There is a space, a philosophy and a party that allows you to believe in economic AND individual freedom”

What are you ambitions for London? What tactics and policies do you see making a breakthrough for the party?

My ambitions are always high, there’s not much point in doing something if they are not! For the moment though I want to get some councillors elected. Getting names on ballot papers and getting the word out there is a must. A lot of my focus is letting people know that they do not have to be socially liberal and economically left wing or socially conservative and economically right wing. There is a space, a philosophy and a party that allows you to believe in economic AND individual freedom. If we can get people elected and show people what that will mean in their day to day lives, I don’t see why this movement could not spread throughout the capital.

What do you think might give the Libertarian Party UK the breakthrough the US party has?

Exposure. The more media coverage you get, the more people will check your social media, the more people will get involved. It’s cyclical and self-perpetuating, but a vital part of any political campaign.

Libertarian Party USA

What are your current views on politics in London and the big issues that need addressing?

Politics in London is a vastly overcomplicated with so many different organisations under state control and so many councils taking on projects that private industry could handle. Our Mayor has failed in so many areas and continues down a socialist problem solving (not that it ever solves any problems) route that will lead to chaos in a post Brexit Britain. Londoners need to be free from rent control (which has never worked), they need the right to defend themselves and they need to be able to trade freely; unburdened from ridiculous rates and fees. A freer, more responsible London, that allows communities to focus on themselves, with a sustainable package of free market solutions where once there were only monopolistic state interventions on offer is what I would like to see.

Libertarian Party UK

If you could introduce or repeal 3 laws (other than for Brexit) what would they be?

Self Defence items – Individuals are defenceless against criminals. Stabbings and sexual assaults seem to dominate the media, especially here in the capital. Allowing people to carry pepper spray for example would act as a huge deterrent to crime and give power and agency back to peaceful, law-abiding people.

Investigatory Powers Act 2016 (The Snooper’s Charter) – This and laws like it rarely lead to the catching of criminals, however they do the central government a massive database of personal data. Often the old adage of “If you’re doing nothing wrong then you have nothing to hide” is brought up here. To that I would reply that what is okay today may be criminal tomorrow. You do not know who will be elected or what direction politics will take, so take care with your data.

Compulsory purchase orders – If you own your property, then you own it. There is an ill feeling that hits the pit of my stomach when people are forced to give up their property to the state. There is an underlying idea in the UK of a great Liberal tradition in the original meaning of the word (John Locke etc.), an essential part of that is private property and not even the state is above that philosophy.

“Even better is if you write down where you are now and take a look at it in 6 months, again you will see that the negative changes are from government interference”

Any other thoughts you want to leave us with?

I would like everyone who is reading this to do two things. Think of where you are now, what you are free to do, what money you pay and what you get for it. Then try and think of a year or two years ago and think of what’s changed. I will bet that most of these changes are the result of government action and not for the better. Even better is if you write down where you are now and take a look at it in 6 months, again you will see that the negative changes are from government interference. Something must change, socialism and conservatism have tried and failed, let’s give Libertarianism a shot, the great thing about that is that is it’s not handing someone the reigns and waiting for them to fix it, but genuinely having the reigns given back to you, so the freedom to choose what to do and responsibility of how to act lies with you.

Malachy thank-you for the interview.

Malachy can be contact on Facebook.

The Libertarian Party can be found at https://libertarianparty.co.uk/