Ahead of the triggering of Article 50 we must plan for a radical new approach.
As Theresa May gets set to pull the trigger on Article 50 and take a giant gamble with the nation’s future outside the single market, it’s time to take a look at what will and won’t work for our economy, society and environment post-Brexit.
A new report I commissioned is clear: the only prospect of Brexit ever working for the UK outside the single market is through a radical shift in economic policy which reduces dependency on exports and makes the UK more self-sufficient.
If the vote to leave the EU tells us anything it is that people feel they have lost control of their lives and have rejected corporate power and the negative consequences of globalisation. A Green strategy would seek to massively boost the resilience of local, regional and national economies, while reducing our vulnerability to instability in the world economy. It would reduce our reliance on multinational corporations and increase our resilience through increased scope for small local businesses, co-operatives, and social enterprises.
There are both pragmatic and positive reasons for adopting such a strategy. It is pragmatic because the alternatives being mooted are just so awful.
We could be dumped with Donald Trump in a new UK-US trade deal, but this is likely to end up being a very one-sided affair where the economic might of the US wins out, forcing the UK to trade away its food safety standards or agreeing to open up parts of the National Health Service to US corporations.
Then there’s the Empire Strikes Back option, where the UK attempts to forge new trading relationship with its former colonies. But this is no longer a realistic option.