Leave and Remain voices back shared vision for how UK can ‘Brexit Together’

Posted on 16 January 2017

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Voices from across EU referendum and party political divides have come together today to set out a shared vision of how the UK can ‘Brexit Together’, covering issues of immigration, the economy and market access, security and sovereignty.

Labour MPs Stephen Kinnock and Caroline Flint, who supported a Remain referendum vote, together with Conservatives Nadhim Zahawi MP and Daniel Hannan MEP, and commentator Toby Young, who campaigned to Leave, have welcomed the new ‘Brexit Together manifesto’ released today by individuals from organisations including the Adam Smith Institute, Bright Blue, British Future, Conservatives for Liberty, The Fabian Society, Modern Britain and ‘Brexit: The Movie’.

Download the Brexit Together manifesto here.

Welcoming the Brexit Together Manifesto, Caroline Flint MP said: “The next two years cannot be about game playing.  We need honest discussion and honest endeavour to achieve the best outcome from the path the country has chosen.  I believe there is a deal to be had which most Leave and Remain voters can accept.”

Nadhim Zahawi MP said: “Brexit needs to work for all Britons, not just for those who backed the winning campaign. We all want a modern, thriving Britain outside the EU that stays open to new people, new ideas and new creators of prosperity, and which maintains close trading and diplomatic ties with our nearest neighbours.  Today we all state our commitment to work together to make these things a reality.”

Ryan Shorthouse, Director of think tank Bright Blue, said: “It is vital that the Government achieves a Brexit deal which is a suitable compromise between the two most important policy aims: greater control over EU immigration, and the mitigation and elimination of tariff and regulatory barriers with the EU to ensure free trade. To bring this country together, and to satisfy both Leavers and Remainers, the public and politicians need to recognise and support compromise in politics”.

The ‘Brexit Together’ manifesto states: We believe that a successful Brexit settlement cannot be the property of a single political party, nor solely the work of the 52% or the 48% alone. We need a Brexit settlement which delivers on the core values of sovereignty and control reflected in the majority vote to Leave; which protects the close trading relationship that was the top concern of those who wanted to Remain; and which promotes a post-Brexit vision of an inclusive and outward-facing Britain.

Key recommendations include:

Trade – Failing to agree a deal with the EU27, and falling back to trade on WTO rules, would be a damaging economic and political failure for both sides. The UK should negotiate the closest possible comprehensive free trade deal with the EU on equal terms, seeking to minimise and eliminate both tariff and regulatory barriers to trade in goods and services. Britain should be ready to leave the customs union in order to strike new trade deals with non-EU countries.

Immigration – The UK should move on from free movement to a new immigration system that offers UK control of unskilled immigration while still making a positive immigration offer to the EU as part of a broader trade deal. Britain should guarantee the status of the 3 million EU nationals in Britain as quickly as possible, outside of the formal exit negotiations, and secure a reciprocal commitment to Britons who have made their lives elsewhere in the EU.

Security – Britain should seek a ‘special relationship’ with the EU on foreign and security policy, making clear its willingness to take part in joint UK/EU military and civilian missions in the European neighbourhood, for example in the Balkans. Post-Brexit Britain should also be clear that it will continue to make a strong contribution to international security in both military and development efforts.

Sovereignty – There is little point in leaving the EU if the UK seeks a new relationship from the outside that simply seeks to imitate EU membership wherever possible – but the UK should not see breaking all ties as a positive outcome. Britain should seek to negotiate a positive, new partnership, different to EU membership but which does reflect our close historical and geographical ties with Europe and our wish to maintain close, friendly links with our neighbours.

After the referendum, more than 304,000 people have taken part in debates on the 38 Degrees website about how the UK should approach Brexit. Hundreds of 38 Degrees members have secured meetings with more than 150 MPs across the country to debate the issues raised in the new manifesto.

David Babbs, Executive Director of 38 Degrees, said:
“Decisions about Brexit are way too important to leave to Westminster. So up and down the country, thousands of us will be debating the principles set out in the Brexit Manifesto, online and in face-to-face meetings with our local MPs. We’re working together, whether we voted Leave or Remain, to find the common ground for a Brexit that works for everyone.”

 

 

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Comment

 

  • Comment by Peter Sammons at 11:26 on 16.01.17

    This ‘manifesto’ assumes that Britain is capable of determining the outcome of the negotiations with the 27. This is not the case. Accordingly we must negotiate based on a range of possible outcomes. The r27 have a host of “needs” that will determine their opening positions – as well as the need to be seen to ‘punish’ UK. These realities are not reflected in this ‘manifesto’.

  • Comment by Ian Heath at 12:44 on 16.01.17

    Hallelujah. At last, a grassroots group that former Leavers and Remainers can unite behind. I am struck by how much the Remoaners lament is based on a misunderstanding of the real aims of Brexit, as set out in this manifesto. To support Brexit is not mean-minded, xenophobic or insular as the Remoaners assume. Rather this Brexit is a vision of a brave new global Britain, a champion of free trade, international cooperation and managed non-discriminatory migration. It seeks the best possible new relationship with our EU partners and continuity of our trade. Short-term, this will be difficult to negotiate with the guardians of the EU Project, but ultimately good-sense will prevail provided we can unite and go forward boldly with this shared vision of a bright, open, global future.

  • Comment by Stig Eidissen at 13:29 on 16.01.17

    EUs position is quite predictable at this point:

    1) Single market & customs union participation requires homogeneity in regulations. The only acceptable solution for homogeneity will be ECJ jurisdiction. EU wont trust UK with ‘parallell institutions’ approach of EEA, or ‘bilateral’ approach of Switzerland because it’s far too predictable that this will leed to a long-term noisy relationship.

    2) Even if ECJ jurisdiction is accepted, Freedom of Movement opt-out will result in *atleast* financial services opt-outs from EU’s side to preserve balance of deal. EU will use opportunity to get businesses away from UK, into Eurozone.

    3) 85% of UK exports is either with EU, or through a EU trade deal with 3rd countries. Leaving customs union seems by this point inevitable. Thus, March 2019, UK will have significantly worse trading relations with 85% of current exports.

    In EU27 countries, you wont find a single article or commentary talking about how ‘UK need us all will accept this and this trade deal’. Why? They have no reason to delude themselves.

  • Comment by steve at 14:27 on 16.01.17

    I like this approach – have many ‘EU’ friends, want to stay friends (and exchange technology) but also want to stay British, and ethnically insular, too.

    Many years ago, I joined the ‘European movement’, then spent a career in and out of Brussels (hence the sincere friends all over). The ‘ever-closer-Union’ bit of Lisbon went too far, so we really did need ‘Leave’. Hopefully, a new constructive (but non-exclusive) relationship can be contrived. Saw the 1066 exhibition at the Battle Abbey Gateway yesterday, ‘no thanks’!

  • Comment by Simon Parker at 13:53 on 18.01.17

    Traitors.

    I have no interested in uniting the country outside of the EU. We should fight to retain our full membership and if the day ever arrives when we leave then we start the fight to rejoin that day

  • Comment by Peter D Gardner at 02:18 on 21.01.17

    It is wrong to regard immigration and trade as a trade-off between policies. They are fundamentally distinct. Trade is what all nations do and must do on a competitive and complementary basis. Immigration is about the make-up of a society and therefore must be controlled in order to maintain the development of that society in a manner desired by that society.

    The single market is not on the negotiating table, therefore neither is freedom of movement.

    Immigration is not an EU competence. Let this fact sink in. There is no need whatsoever to negotiate immigration with the EU.

    Immigration is a national competence in the EU.Therefore Britain should negotiate agreements with EU member states in the same way as it does year in year out with every other non-EU state in the world. Britain must not allow immigration to be used illegitimately by the EU as leverage to gain an advantage over Britain on terms of trade.

  • Comment by Peter D Gardner at 02:32 on 21.01.17

    “The UK should move on from free movement to a new immigration system that offers UK control of unskilled immigration while still making a positive immigration offer to the EU as part of a broader trade deal. Britain should guarantee the status of the 3 million EU nationals in Britain as quickly as possible, outside of the formal exit negotiations, and secure a reciprocal commitment to Britons who have made their lives elsewhere in the EU.”

    This is seriously flawed. the slippery slope starts with Ryan Shorthouse, Director of think tank Bright Blue, saying: “…. two most important policy aims: greater control over EU immigration ….”

    No. Britain needs sovereign control of immigration, not partial.

    Second, as I say in another comment, immigration is not an EU competence. It is a national one. It need not be negotiated with the EU
    It is a matter to be agreed between Britain and individual EU member states, just as it is with every other country in the world.

    Third, Article 50 requires the EU to agree “the arrangements for withdrawal” of UK … within two years etc. A future relationship, as it says, is separate, although the framework, which could be taken to mean broad intentions, should be taken into account. Therefore the status of EU citizens resident in UK and vice versa is part of the withdrawal arrangements, conditions for future residence, or travel for that matter, are not.

  • Comment by Peter D Gardner at 02:55 on 21.01.17

    “Security – Britain should seek a ‘special relationship’ with the EU on foreign and security policy, making clear its willingness to take part in joint UK/EU military and civilian missions in the European neighbourhood, for example in the Balkans. Post-Brexit Britain should also be clear that it will continue to make a strong contribution to international security in both military and development efforts.”

    This reads as if NATO does not exist or can simply be ignored. It also ignores the historical track record of UK which has traditionally cooperated with NATO members and other countries, either collectively or bi-laterally, inside or outside NATO. Therefore it lacks credibility.

    It is also fundamentally misguided. Britain has always and rightly opposed arming the undemocratic and anti-nation state EU. This manifesto endorses Armed Forces for the EU. Doing so undermines NATO in two ways. First it duplicates what NATO does, which is confusing and wasteful. Secondly and more importantly, it cuts the vital commitment of the United States to the Defence of Europe

    The EU’s track record of intervention internationally is nothing less than abysmal. The best thing Britain can do, once it is a sovereign nation, is use its independence to contain the stupidities of EU foreign policy, which it can do much better once free of EU rules.

    This morning provides an excellent example. Britain vetoed the EU adopting the infamous agreement in Paris sabotaging Israel being adopted by the EU. But that is the limit of its influence and the EU can and will find ways round it. Once outside the EU, Britain can call out the EU for such hypocrisy and mendaciousness and take action overtly.

    Finally, defence and security are different although related. Security is a matter for police and intelligence services and UK has always cooperated with European countries where interests align. But again, as with NATO, its sovereignty and its own security must not be compromised. Again, the EU’s track record is abysmal and it is fair to say that it is institutionally incompetent. Not all its member states are equal and UK’s own security could be severely compromised by EU-wide agreements. Britain has in the recent past cooperated very effectively with individual member states. There is nothing in the EU Treaties preventing that continuing. Above that there are EU networks like Europol with which the UK will obviously co-operate. However, I do not believe it is in UK’s interests to seek any kind of ‘special relationship’ with the EU. It is better to be a free agent and cooperate as and when it is in its interest to do so, which may be bi-lateral or multi-lateral and always, as an independent sovereign power, as it does in NATO.

  • Comment by DAVEN at 20:47 on 13.09.17

    What we are seeing is a triumph of English nationalism, which as an English person, I detest. I believe that MPs such as Ms Flint should stick to their principles, that is the principles she professed before the Referendum. Unfortunately, since the Referendum, she has pushed the anti-foreigner sentiments (a very polite description) of her Yorkshire constituents. (I have myself experienced, as a ‘Southerner’, some very narrow-minded attitudes among the very people who are Ms Flint’s constituents — attitudes that Ms Flint is determined to encourage rather than challenge). The Brexit irony is, of course, that anti-foreigner prejudice is strongest in areas where there are no immigrants. I live in an area where there are lots of different nationalities, we don’t have a problem with race, colour or religion. ‘We’ are overwhelmingly, and very proud Remainers.