Comment: The business case for a liberal Brexit

“Remoaning” seems to have become a prevalent part of the news cycle, with the words “despite Brexit” utilised whenever the slightest bit of good news is discussed.

We are bombarded with negative comments from people like Chuka Umunna and Vince Cable about how our country is destined to fail if we follow this path. Part of the British press have bought into this, with The Guardian once claiming that a lack of notes in front of David Davis in one picture confirmed that Britain didn’t know what they wanted. All this has allowed our society to be divided more than ever over the direction we should take as a country.

The responsibility for this does not lie squarely on the shoulders of the “remoaners”. Divisions within the government and a poor general election campaign have meant that EU bureaucrats like Jean Claude Juncker and Donald Tusk do not have to say much to make the government appear weak. The voices of little Englanders like Nigel Farage have given Brexit the image of xenophobic, economically damaging and pointless. But real Brexit would provide hope.

Britain has the opportunity to sign trade deals with countries across the Middle East and Africa which would give us access to expanding economies that would benefit from access to our services. If we did this alongside working with developed economies, we could develop and mature our economy.

The EU is our closest neighbour and so we should work together diplomatically, seeking security and attempting to conclude a fair trade deal. But this does not mean opening up our entire economy, turning away from the rest of the world or allowing the EU to legislate our economy. You’d be hard pressed to find a trading bloc in the world that insists on the same regulations as the European Union. Why should we be party to this? Yes, withdrawing for the free trade area will hurt our economy but, if the right actions are taken, in the long term we will be more competitive as a nation as we will be competing with bigger economies in a more competitive market. Our current dependence on European markets will turn our economy uncompetitive and underdeveloped.

The other hot button issue that Brexit raised is immigration. It is true that many voted to leave in order to stop immigrants but Brexit wasn’t a vote against immigration. It was a vote for a sensible immigration policy. To the year e n d i n g March 2017, an estimated net 127,000 EU migrants arrived in the UK. Such large numbers are bound to have an effect on the rate of increase of wages and put strain on an already struggling national infrastructure. We have the opportunity to be sensible about the growth of our labour pool and conduct an immigration policy that allows everyone to enjoy the benefits of our national infrastructure. This is not a case of “Britain for the British” but a case for a Britain which we can all enjoy the benefits of, including migrants. We cannot provide a future for thousands of families when we are struggling to fulfil the needs of the current population.

This is only one part of our ability to “take back control.” Once we leave we can repeal EU legislation that we don’t want, such as the Tampon Tax. British politicians will no longer be able to use supranationalism as an excuse to ignore our voice. We would have a pure democracy whereby there is no excuse for politicians not getting the job done.

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