The vote to leave the EU is disappointing, but it’s the clear democratic voice of the UK, so we’ll have to do it. The next few years are going to be a time of huge turmoil, and there will be major changes.
However it’s clear that for many, the vote is a cry of pain, rather than something that has been carefully thought through. This means we need to look at how to ensure that Brexit is done in a way that addresses the root causes of the distress, rather than making it worse.
I believe that those of us that care about peace, justice and a healthy environment should urgently articulate an inspiring progressive vision for an independent Britain.
We need a vision that will create a new powerful political force to build an independent Britain that we can be proud of. This would cut across the traditional right/left divide, and unite thoughtful people from rich and poor, young and old, urban and rural.
The financial experts tell us that we’re likely to be a poorer country as a result of leaving the EU. However we should tackle this by reversing the totally unsupportable levels of inequality to become a fairer, less unequal country. This would address the legitimate cry of pain from those suffering with unemployment, unaffordable housing and austerity cuts. We need to negotiate a deal with the EU so that we remain near-Europe, rather than drifting off into becoming an exploited mid Atlantic satellite of the USA. We need to tame corporate power, tackle tax havens and ensure all pay their fair contribution to taxes.
We should stop blaming immigrants for our failings, and adopt a fair and just immigration policy, benefiting our economy in the process. We should provide the resources to support communities that face high levels of immigration. We should play our proper role in welcoming refugees and building a more peaceful world, and make our proper contributions to the UN and on international aid.
We should retain the best of the “EU imposed” legislation on worker’s rights, environmental protection, air pollution, climate change etc, but use our forthcoming independence to go further and faster where that’s appropriate. For example, we might want to do more on animal protection.
Those of us that care about creating a better world have a unique chance to build a better Britain out of the Brexit turmoil, but we need to get moving.