MILLIONS of people voted for the UK to leave the European Union in the 2016 ‘Brexit’ referendum.
Their reasons included:
- Wanting to bring democratic and economic controls to the UK
- A desire for politics and economics to serve ordinary people
- Wanting to see investment in the NHS and other public services with funds transferred from EU contributions
- Wanting immigration and labour market issues to be properly and fairly addressed
- Anger at falling income and living standards
- Fury at establishment MPs and the big Westminster parties
Millions of others voted to remain, believing that the EU helps bring peace, prosperity, stability and international co-operation rather than conflict.
LESSONS OF BREXIT
The EU referendum has exposed deep divisions based on factors including region, employment prospects, social class, education and age. The challenge now is to negotiate our Brexit departure and enact new policies which reflects the interests of the majority of people – not the minority who have benefited from past arrangements. Despite the divisions over the EU, we actually believe there is important common ground among many voters. Millions of people want a rebalanced economy with state intervention in essential areas, such as housing, health, education, transport, better work prospects and pay, and a more equal society.
We constantly hear about so-called ‘freedoms’ linked to the EU and Brexit discussions. These refer to goods, services, capital and labour. However we never hear anything about the freedoms of democratic nations and regions to save jobs and industry, to protect wages, to invest through a state bank or to direct investment into regional economies.
A major risk is that the UK’s departure from the EU, along with and future trade deals, will be decided by the same MPs and big business lobbyists who supported the previous trade policies that have been so damaging to many communities and individuals.
Although the UK Independence Party (UKIP) saw its’ support rise around the Brexit referendum, the Regional Party does not believe UKIP had the right solutions. We fully recognise that UKIP tapped into justified and widespread public anger at the political establishment. However we believe UKIP was, and remains, an economically-conservative party which cannot satisfy the economic needs of working people on low and middle incomes.
- Former UKIP leader Paul Nuttall had supported private health and opposed the NHS.
- UKIP has suggested building affordable homes for armed service veterans – but has nothing to offer the millions of other people who need homes too. UKIP may sound patriotic but it disregards millions of ordinary people in England. How can that be patriotic?*
- UKIP said it wants existing residents in rural villages and towns to vote in referenda for developments of new homes. This may sound democratic to locals – but it would hand important decision-making to a narrow group of people, ignore wider needs, and make new development less likely. Successful housing and planning requires governments to provide political leadership and make long-term commitments.
- UKIP says it opposes political elites and career politicians. Yet it has taken in a number of former elite Conservatives including Neil Hamilton, Douglas Carswell and Mark Reckless.
- Most recently, it has taken on a religious and racial crusade while failing to address the economic and material concerns of millions of working people.
It’s important to say that although we don’t think UKIP has the right policies, we do believe that smaller parties should be represented by MPs at Westminster, if they reveive sufficient votes in general elections. But that would mean changing our unfair first-past-the-post voting system.
In summary, the Regional Party believes that the reasons why people voted to leave the EU are not being fully or honestly addressed in mainstream politics. The big Westminster parties want to return to ‘business as usual’. This cannot be allowed to happen.
- See our DEMOCRACY and IMMIGRATION pages for more on these issues.