QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ON THE UK’S AND LABOUR’S BREXIT POLICY OPTIONS

Where are we now?

Negotiations between the UK and the EU over Brexit could hardly have been handled worse. Preparations by the government or anyone else for a Leave outcome from the 2016 EU referendum were woefully inadequate, providing endless scope for undermining the relatively robust position advanced by the Prime Minister in her earlier Brexit speeches.   It was a fatal mistake for the UK to agree to discussing the border in Ireland, citizenship and money before trade. 

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Behind the Mask – why the “Best for Britain” campaign is anything but…

By David Price

Ah yes, that old trick. Youre in the car showroom, eyeing up a bewildering array of shiny new models, and a sharp-suited salesman comes up to you and says as if hes an old friend whos known you all your life – “this is the car for you!Its amazing, hes so helpful hes an expert and he can instantly pinpoint the best for you. What could possibly go wrong?

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Why Labour is right to commit to ending membership of the EU internal market

 

After the transition period Labour is committed to the UK ending its membership of the EU single market. Some very talented, thoughtful, intelligent and well respected MPs along with many other leading figures in our party and wider movement would like to overturn this, but on balance we think they are mistaken in pursuing that course - for reasons we will outline here.

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LABOUR AND THE BREXIT NEGOTIATIONS

How are the Brexit negotiations going?

The UK’s negotiations with the EU27 over Brexit are clearly at a difficult stage. As of May 2018, there is no agreement in sight about how to deal with the border between Northern Ireland and Eire. While the government’s policy is that the UK should leave both the Customs Union and the Single Market, it is crucial that there should be a majority in the House of Commons to reverse the Lords’ recommendation that the UK should consider remaining in at least the Customs Union, despite the fact that the Labour leadership is now committed to staying in “a” if not “the” Customs Union.

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What makes economies grow?

By John Mills

'This article originally appeared in the June 2018 edition of Standpoint'

The 14th April 2018 UK edition of The Economist contained an article whose title read “Economists understand little about the causes of growth”. The body copy which followed amplified this theme.

Prospect devoted a substantial part of its May 2018 issue to “The case for a new economics”, advocating “Rip it up and start again”, but with barely a mention of economic growth anywhere in the revised agenda which readers were asked to consider.

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OUR BIGGEST ECONOMIC CHALLENGES

By John Mills,

Our biggest current political and economic challenge is not Brexit. It is that our growth rate has slowed to a crawl.

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Why the UK economy could perform much better than it does at present

By John Mills, 

The table below summarises the balance of payments data published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on 29th March 2017.  Despite some improvement in the UK’s foreign payments outturn for 2017, no doubt largely due to sterling devaluation post the Brexit vote, the overall position remains very unbalanced.

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The Commonwealth

By John Mills

When at the start of 1973 we joined what was then the European Economic Community – otherwise known then as the Common Market – we severed a lot of links and trading preferences with the Commonwealth countries. Understandably, old friends such as Australia and New Zealand were upset both emotionally as well as economically as we raised tariff barriers against them and lowered them with our continental neighbours.  Now, with Brexit, the situation is beginning to reverse itself again. What is the future likely to hold?

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Where is Brexit heading?

By John Mills

Where is Brexit heading? How do current developments look to those of us who voted Leave in 2016 – and what do we think the Labour Party should now be doing?

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TRADE WITH EUROPE

By John Mills

How much difference will Brexit make to the UK’s trade with the EU27?  Most likely there will be some change but not nearly as much as some people fear.

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Trading with Europe

By John Mills, 

How much difference will Brexit make to the UK’s trade with the EU27?  Most likely there will be some change but not nearly as much as some people fear.

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John Mills, Chair of Labour Leave and Chair ofJML explaisn why manufacturing will increase after we leave the EU

When we joined the Common Market in 1973, about one third of our national income came from manufacturing. Now the ratio is less than 10%. Is there a connection here? There is, although it is not that straightforward and the links need a bit of untangling.

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Paul Embery, National Organiser for Trade Unions Against the EU calls on the TUC to listen to its grassroots

The TUC is in danger of rendering the trade union movement completely irrelevant to the lives of the very people it exists to represent. It has called Brexit wrong from the outset. So cynical was it about the ability of the working-class to defend itself against a Tory government outside the EU that it threw its lot in with the ranks of the Establishment – big business, the banking industry and all – in an attempt to keep us hitched to an explicitly anti-socialist and anti-democratic institution, and one which has at its core an agenda of austerity, privatisation and the rule of market forces.

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Why we should realise that sterling has been, and still is, much too strong

Below is a graph, based on data supplied by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), showing real relative exchange rate movements between sterling and the Chinese currency, the yuan or renminbi, over the past 40 years.

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Why are the Brexit negotiations looking so difficult?

By John Mills

Why are the Brexit negotiations looking so difficult? The fundamental answer is that the people who run the country – the political elite – have never fully accepted the result of the June 2016 EU referendum.

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Would a competitive exchange rate policy be effective? If it would be, is it possible?

By John Mills

Would it be effective?

The case for the UK moving to a much more competitive exchange rate - roughly parity between the pound sterling and the dollar - is as follows:

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KNOWN UNKNOWNS: WHY THE TREASURY’S CRYSTAL BALL NEEDS A POLISH

By David Price

Unlike so many Conservative MPs, former chancellor Kenneth Clarke’s pronouncements have a habit of cutting through. Thanks to his sardonic humour and slightly dishevelled look, the crumpled-suited Tory grandee somehow seems more authentic than many of his on-message colleagues who are always parroting the official party line.

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TRANSITION WILL ERADICATE BRITISH FISHING INDUSTRY

It is now clear that the “transition” would dig the UK into Brexit in name only. It is now unequivocal fact that the “Transition” means we will be trapped obeying all EU law including the disastrous Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) as some sort of vassal state.

The proposed “transition” is a grave constitutional concern and continuing locked into the CFP is existential threat to what is left of the British fishing industry and coastal communities.

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The Customs Union

By Brendan Chilton

Debate is taking place within the Labour and Trade Union movement on the question of the United Kingdom’s membership of the Customs Union. Some regard ongoing membership as a ‘soft’ Brexit that can be justified owing to the fact the Conservatives lost their majority in the 2017 general election.  

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Labour should Take Back Control

By Brendan Chilton

The slogan of the official ‘Vote Leave’ campaign was ‘take back control.’ It was one of the most effective and simple campaign messages of recent times. It was a phrase that resonated with people and one they could understand. It was also highly subjective and enabled individual voters to construe their own interpretation of the message and what it would mean for them, their family, community and country.  It was such an effective message that Labour should examine it closely and bring its meaning into campaign strategy and practice.

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Labour Leave will campaign to achieve a fair deal from Brexit negotiations. We recognise the will of the UK public and will hold the government and the Labour Party to account.

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