This article was first published on Comment Central.
Commitment to Brexit should be the barometer by which every political party should be judged at the forthcoming general election.
Voters should be offered clear manifesto pledges by each political party, which set out clearly their respective ambitions for the forthcoming Brexit negotiations.
On June 23rd last year, the electorate made a conscious decision that Britain’s future lay outside both the European Union and the single market.
Failure to leave the single market will mean Britain fails to regain control over the laws by which we live or the borders in which we live. We will continue to be governed by bungling bureaucrats in Brussels. Our laws will be dictated to us from Brussels, with those laws adjudicated by the Court of Justice of the European Union. We will continue to pay the EU an enormous membership fee. And we will still be subject to the EU’s freedom of movement principle, preventing the Government controlling EU immigration.
If we remain within the Customs Union, we will not have control over our trade policy. The customs union consists of both a common external tariff and a common commercial policy. This prevents the UK setting its own import duties and negotiating free trade deals with the rest of the world.
From this simple base, we at Get Britain Out believe any Brexit-supporting party must – at the very least – commit to leaving the single market, the jurisdiction of the court of justice of the European Union, and the customs union. In addition, Brexit supporting parties ought to propose a free trade deal with the European Union, eliminating both tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade, while not compromising on the principles of control over laws, borders, trade policy and money.
Not only is this policy position the only position compatible with referendum result, but it has also proved to be politically popular. Hardly anyone gave the ‘Leave’ campaign a chance at the start of the EU referendum campaign, yet, Vote Leave won with precisely these pledges.
Vote Leave also produced an election manifesto with further pledges a Brexit-backing party should adopt. They suggested the abolition of the five per cent rate of VAT on household energy bills – an idea which could run alongside, or as an alternative to, the rumoured Conservative plan for an energy price caps. They also proposed a £100 million per week real-terms cash increase for the NHS and a points-based immigration system.
A savvy political party should follow in the footsteps of Vote Leave on both EU and domestic policy. Political parties, to be successful, must capture the public’s imagination and reflect the people’s views. Vote Leave certainly did this.
Brexit was a gateway to the new political landscape we face, it should not be ignored.
We should embrace Brexit and deliver to the public the vision for our EU departure they voted for. the people the Brexit they voted for.