Tony Blair, to use the words of David Cameron in his first Prime Minister’s Questions in 2005, “was the future once“. In his last Prime Minister’s Questions, David Cameron admitted that he too was the future once. Nick Clegg was the future once- for a brief time in 2010. Ken Clarke was the future once, three times actually- at least that is as many times as he tried to become Conservative Party leader. Peter Mandelson and Alistair Campbell were the architects of how politics were to be done in future once. The euro was the future once. The EU was the future once. The year is now 2017, the former “futures” have past. Brexit is the future now.
68% of Britons are ready to embrace, or least enter, future Brexit Britain. However, there are those who resist the Brexit future. Of those who resist the future, I see two main groups, those clinging to the EU and those unsure of the future. It is the task of those supportive of the Brexit future to convince those unsure about Brexit that it will be beneficial for both Britain and the world.
Part of convincing those sceptical about Brexit is exposing the sometimes utter hypocrisy and/or irrationality of vested interests of older “eurounionphiles”. Some, like Tony Blair, need no expose. Blair had a dream of being President of Europe and the delusional former Prime Minister still thinks he has enough of the old New Labour snake-oil salesman charm to convince people Brexit should be reversed. However, Mr. Blair lives in Alice’s wonderland. A recent YouGov poll found that British people overwhelmingly found his intervention on Brexit unconvincing. Others, like Peter Mandelson and Neil Kinnock and some of the Lords who live off generous EU pensions need as much exposing as is possible. Same goes for the shameless Liberal “Democrat” party who are positioning themselves as the Europhile UKIP to launch a political comeback despite the fact that they campaigned for an EU IN/OUT referendum in 2008 before the Conservatives did. The list of eurounionphiles with ulterior motives are vast and exposing their motives can help convince some people be more open to Brexit. However, a purely combative approach to “Remainers” will not be constructive to building a strong Brexit Britain.
Making a success out of Brexit requires not only economic agreements and political laws, as important as those are. Rather, the most important factor in making a success out of Brexit is to convince the British people, particularly those who backed Remain, of the positives of Brexit. In order to do that, we Brexiteers must work to convince former Remain supporters that Brexit is not a harkening to a distant past, but rather a vision of a bright and optimistic future.
Most of what Tony Blair said in his bizarre Remain fight back speech was wrong, but there is one theme that Brexiteers should listen to. The theme of working to convince people to change their minds by presenting new information. What Brexiteers should be working towards is not banging on about the themes of Vote Leave in the EU Referendum- as important and correct as those arguments were and continue to be. The focus of Brexiteers now should be to convince Remainers, particularly young people, of the benefits of a Global Brexit Britain.
Young people voted overwhelmingly for “Remain” because they felt the EU was good for the economy and because they saw it as an outward looking and “global” organisation. Of course, those two beliefs were largely based on falsehoods. The EU has made Europe the slowest growing continent in the world besides Antarctica and is an organisation that tries to prevent free trade by putting up tariffs against the poorest nations in the world- especially in Africa. And while emphasising the backwardness of the EU is important, it is equally important to advertise the amazing opportunities of Brexit Britain.
The government and those who support Brexit Britain should be screaming from the roof-tops the opportunities provided by Brexit. We should emphasise how with Brexit the British immigration system will no longer have to send back home brilliant non-EU nationals in favour of European ones. Instead, we should celebrating the opportunity to make immigration laws based on respect and common sense, such as CANZUK free movement of labour, rather than slavish devotion to regional neighbours at the expense of the growing pool of international talent. Furthermore, we should be pointing out how now we can make trade deals with far flung countries, from the poorest to the wealthiest the world over, without needing the approval of 27 other European countries. We should be emphasising how with the Commonwealth the UK can be a global leader in not only free trade and the market economy, but in promoting human rights, and shared values such as those enumerated in the Commonwealth Charter – not just in the confines of Europe but across the globe. Finally, the UK should encourage all people to join in the shaping of this exciting period of leaving an outdated 1950s bloc in favour of shaping a sovereign nation state built for the twenty-first century- reflecting today’s values while continuing the great traditions of the timeless British constitution.
My belief is that if many former Remainers, whether it be young people and/or metropolitans, are presented with the terms and opportunities of Brexit as being a future they can help mold, they will wholeheartedly embrace it and create a Global Britain that will prosper in the 21st century. Some of those who backed Remain are beginning to view the great possibilities Brexit holds- such as Harry Briggs of BGF Ventures– who sees Brexit now as a wonderful opportunity for the tech industry.
As a millennial, I am thankful everyday for the wisdom of those in the older generation who in large numbers voted to make Brexit a reality. Now I am excited to see what young people can do to make a Global Britain in the future- and I hope they can be convinced to back it enthusiastically. Britons and people across the world should band together to work to make sure free trading Global Brexit Britain is a success- it is the future now. Unlike passing politicians, there will always be an England (and hopefully a United Kingdom), and it is in all of our interests that Global Britain is not only the future once- but forever.