Green MEP Molly Scott Cato this week launched a report by Victor Anderson and Rupert Read entitled ‘Brexit and Trade Moving from Globalisation to Self-reliance’
Its Executive Summary states that: This report puts onto the political agenda an option for Brexit which goes with the grain of widespread worries about globalisation, and argues for greater local, regional, and national self-sufficiency, reducing international trade and boosting import substitution.
The importance of this document is in its title since as far as I am aware it is the first time a report from a politician isn’t clamouring to retain membership of the open border Single Market. Instead it details the need for an environmentally sustainable future involving constraints to trade and the rebuilding of local economies (shades of my Treaty of Home approach https://shar.es/1Qv7Zk ). Indeed the report actually calls for ‘Progressive Protectionism’ rather than a race to the bottom relationship with the EU.
Also ground breaking in Green Party literature of late is its discussion of the arguments for and against managed migration. Although this issue isn’t mentioned in the introduction or summary of the document, its sensitive handling of this contentious issue for many in the Greens does mark an important step forward. This will hopefully help start an internal debate about whether or not the party should reconsider its open borders to people approach.
This is so relevant because although it regrets our leaving the EU and wishes we wouldn’t, the report is written as an alternative approach assuming we are outside the EU. This recent Daily Telegraph article http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/03/27/cut-eu-red-tape-choking-britain-brexit-set-country-free-shackles/with Ian Duncan Smith and Nigel Lawson frothing to get rid of key environmental regulations shows how impossible any green future will be under a hard Brexit. My feeling is that we won’t leave see https://shar.es/1Qv7cy and central to that happening will be a realisation across Europe that to see off the extreme right they must manage internal migration and protect domestic jobs. At that point the reasons for supporting Brexit for most are no longer valid. This really timely report makes a crucial input to this debate, one that will rage for the next two years.