next left, next democracy
Beyond Brexit: The Left’s agenda for the UK and the EU
October 12, 2018
The left in the UK has so far weathered the Brexit storm, triggered by the Conservatives, yet precious time spent discussing the negotiations has meant too little time thinking about the bigger picture.
The essays in this collection look beyond Brexit, and sketch the outline of a new left agenda. They cover the need for
a new political economy, Britain’s role in the world and the devolution of power to communities. They are also honest about the challenges we face as we try and carve out a close relationship between the UK and EU.
Many now argue that a second referendum is necessary, and this may well be the right course of action to break the stalemate in the negotiations. But the UK’s departure from the EU is still more likely than another vote. Whether we like it or not, the left needs to prepare for Brexit.
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Read FEPS Complementary article
Detailed YouGov polling for Beyond Brexit reveals that:
- People don’t want a distant relationship with the EU: just 4 per cent of adults want a ‘distant and cold’ relationship with the EU after Brexit, the inevitable consequence of a ‘no deal’ Brexit. 87 per cent of people support either a ‘practical and neutral’ or a ‘close and warm’ future relationship.
- People aren’t convinced that Brexit will bring more benefits in the long term: The Fabian-FEPS research tested whether people expect the benefits of Brexit to be greater in 2044 compared to 2024. Two different groups were asked about the impact of Brexit after either 5 years or 25 years. The results to the two questions were almost identical, indicating that public opinion does not support politicians who suggest short-term pain will lead to long-term gain.
- ‘Leave’ arguments remain potent: the public’s top priorities as the UK leaves the EU are ‘Leave’ issues – immigration and control of laws – and most people believe Brexit will deliver positive impacts in these areas (eg 59 per cent of people believe Brexit will have a positive impact on control of laws by 2044).
- But re-joining the EU is a possibility: More people want to keep open the option of one day re-joining the EU than want never to consider the idea (45 per cent to 41 per cent). And although 52 per cent of adults say they don’t feel European, 61 per cent say that Britain has a lot in common with its European neighbours.
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