It’s time to look to the future. The decision to leave the European Union is in the past. It’s done and dusted. Some mourn it. Some even hope to reverse it. But as Workers goes to press it looks clear that Article 50 announcing our departure will be triggered soon.
A new era is dawning for Britain. Workers must make sure it serves the interests of an independent country and brings progress.
The majority of British people who opted for Leave are accused, by those still resisting their decision, of nostalgia, of wanting to go back to the 1950s or to a rose-tinted era of managing by ourselves – with everything that goes with it in terms of industries, economic structures and social institutions.
Well, we should learn from history: that during World War 2 we survived alone against powerful odds; that we once had such a thing as planning for the needs of the nation; that our economy used not to be in hock to banks and hedge funds; and that we used to make our own decisions.
‘What’s nostalgic about wanting independence?’
Yes, we do want independence and a thriving economy, and we want control. What’s nostalgic about that? But we are living in the 21st century, and we must assess what we need as a modern nation, what it means now to be an independent Britain.
Our decision has not just overturned the status quo, it has blown it sky high. We must now deal with the results of our decision. Capitalism has suffered a heavy blow but it will seek to reassert itself by fashioning a Britain which serves its needs. We must seize the moment.
Anyone under 50 has never known life outside the European “community” or “union”, with its increasing control over the taxes we pay it and its courts to enforce rules and diktats over what we are to be allowed to do in our own country. Harking back will mean little to those generations. We must look forward.
The “uncertainty” bemoaned by commentators blaming the Leave decision is a tremendous opportunity to throw the windows wide open and let fresh air in. Outside the EU everything is up for grabs. We can’t leave it to government – talk of “we won’t be allowed to do this” or “the EU will dictate the terms” will melt away if we decide to assert ourselves.
21st century Britain is a very different place from the 20th. The pace of change is rapid and all sorts of possibilities now open up to move forward. What are they? We who live and work here must define them – we have the knowledge and imagination to do it. Nobody else can, nobody should tell us what is good for us. Doctors, farmers and fishing communities have already begun to discuss what their industries should look like post-EU. What about the rest?
There is much to be done. The task is nothing less than building the new Britain, an independent Britain planning for a future that serves our interests. We the people have to take charge, take responsibility – take control.