Samir’s Selection 07/08/2016 (p.m.)

  • The first of these principles demands domestic consent for a negotiating position. The debate over the future relationship with the EU cannot be the property of one political party or of any single nation of the UK union. The Leave vote in England cannot brush aside the Remain votes in Scotland and Northern Ireland.A second principle — safeguarding the nation’s prosperity — sets an ambition for the closest possible economic co-operation once Britain leaves. The third demands that EU withdrawal does not signal an end to political and security co-operation with European neighbours. Keeping Britain safe in the face of Russian president Vladimir Putin’s aggression and the threat of Islamist terror requires close pan-Europeancollaboration…The new prime minister cannot take it as a given that voters are content to see Britain lose its place in the world’s largest market. Instead, the government should make it a priority to expose to public scrutiny the unavoidable trade-offs in any negotiation with the EU. Publication of a government green paper setting out the options and dynamics would allow a national debate before the process of withdrawal. It would also sweep away the falseness of the claims made by the Leave campaign.Whatever the precise legal position, politics demands that triggering Article 50 to start negotiations requires parliament’s consent. The nation must be clear that, as Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, has said, Britain cannot keep the benefits of the club without respecting the rules. Put simply: for each notch of national control secured over free movement, Britain will have to give up a notch of access to the single market. Brexit seems set to consume Britain for years to come. But in focusing on the practicalities of trade, labour movement and the rest, the government should not lose sight of the bigger picture. In or out, Britain’s clout in the world demands a close, co-operative relationship with its neighbours. It cannot call itself a global power unless it is first a European one. Vital security relationships with France, Germany, Italy and the rest of the EU should not be allowed to dissolve in the bargaining over Brexit.

    tags: Brexit EU UK strategy policy civilservice centralplanning politics politics-strategy

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