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.
Dr Lee Jones reader in International Politics at Queen Mary University of London and co-founder of The Full Brexit.
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?).
Mike Swadling, Referendum Vote Leave Manager for Croydon.
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.