A series of blogs argued that we could not go back to the way things were even if we won the referendum, that a post-referendum Prime Minister’s key rôle was to heal the country, and suggested that we needed the political parties to put forward new policies on the theme of Take Back Control.
We also asked for your ideas of symbolic and substantive policies that would heal the country. Here is a selection of your ideas:
It needs a referendum
Maureen Grayson wrote:
The one and only way to unite the country is to give that task back to the people themselves.
Firstly, there needs to be a form of caretaker/temporary government.
Perhaps this may be achieved by bringing a cross party agreement as to who could actually 'head' such an arrangement. Once in place, the Article 50 time period needs to be extended. I think Brussels would be willing as there would (finally) be a plan with an ultimate goal to be put before them.
Of course, we need to put forward a Vote of No Confidence in Johnson's government (and win it!) before any of these initiatives could possibly be realised.
It's of little use Jeremy Corbyn aiming for a general election to 'break the Brexit deadlock'. Even as a Labour Party member myself I see few people trusting him to put anything substantial on the table which does not involve his own warped vision of a 'Labour Brexit'. There is, and never has been, any such thing. Any form of Brexit would directly go against any form of Labour values!
There is, I believe, something tantamount to civil war brewing in this divided nation. Either each and every citizen is given the choice as to Brexit or No Brexit; or we will cast ourselves adrift in a world of which we are no longer a part.
Focus on Peace
Bob Parslow writes:
For anyone over 74, Peace is a powerful argument, but we don't hear it.
It was unprecedented! 74 years without being involved in war in Europe.
Explain the realities of sovereignty, freedom, identity, freedom of movement
Peter Lynch writes:
Sovereignty is an illusion in the modern global world.
When Great Britain joined the UN we lost a bit of our sovereignty when we agreed to abide by their rules. The same goes for NATO, climate agreements, trade agreements, security agreements, airline agreements etc, etc.
If we leave the EU we will still lose our sovereignty because of future trade agreements with the EU and we will lose even more sovereignty when we do trade deals with the USA and China.
I think most Britons would tend to trust the Europeans with human, animal, and environmental rights rather than China or the USA.
The only people who have 100% sovereignty are some undiscovered tribes living in the Amazon forest, but even their sovereignty is restricted by the natural world.
When we marry we lose 50% of our sovereignty, some even more.
So sovereignty like so many things in our modern world is an illusion, unless like the Amazon tribes we have absolutely no contact with the outside world.
If we leave the EU we will be only exchanging one loss of sovereignty for another which would give us less protection when it comes to worker’s rights, food standards, health standards and security and environmental standards.
Taking back control is a meaningless catchphrase which doesn’t recognise the illusion of sovereignty in our global world.
Freedom. Democracy is a flawed system; so is the EU. Nonetheless these two systems offer the greatest freedom to individuals compared to any other system of Government.
At present around the world many more authoritarian governments are in control. Democracies are more under threat than previously since Trump no longer protects them.
That is all the more reason why the UK should remain in the EU. Both Putin and Trump want to weaken the EU for different reasons and they have both encouraged and manipulated the UK to leave knowing it would weaken the EU considerably. We would be playing into their hands. In doing so the UK would weaken its own and the EU’s power to stand up to injustice around the world, and in doing so we would weaken our own ability to protect our own freedoms.
Freedom is not a given and it has to be fought for and protected every day. The UK has a better chance doing that within the EU than on its own.
Identity like sovereignty is another illusion. One’s identity is constantly changing and expanding. A man can be a son, brother, husband, father, football supporter, teacher, Christian, Conservative, volunteer, Londoner, English, British, European, Earthling. He can be all of these things at the same time.
But in these times when the planet is threatened by the rapidly changing climate then I suggest the most important identity we should all have at present is Earthling. Our Planet is threatened and only as Earthlings can we all work together to fix it before it is to late.
Some Nationalists think that Nationalism will give them an identity but this is a very limited and distorted identity, because Nationalism has the philosophy of ME FIRST which creates tension with other countries, who can quickly become enemies. History teaches us this lesson over and over again.
Freedom of Movement is simply more freedom. The more we move freely around our country, around Europe and around the world the less frightened we are of people who are different from ourselves in some ways, although all humans share many more similarities than differences.
Most people who were afraid of immigrants were people who were not coming in contact with them.
People who were mixing with them on a daily basis - eg most Londoners - were not only not afraid of them but actually enjoyed their company and what they were bringing to enrich our country.
To give up Freedom of Movement is only hurting ourselves and our children. Why restrict their freedom?
But of course history tells us that Nationalism always restricts people’s freedoms and it was Farage’s Nationalism which wanted to stop freedom of movement. The first of many restrictions which would follow. One only has to look to China’s nationalist Government to see how that plays out.
The London4Europe blogs page is edited by Nick Hopkinson, Vice-Chair. The views expressed in blogs are their authors’ and not necessarily those of London4Europe.