What Does 'Brexit Means Brexit' Really Mean?

September 11, 2016 9:42 PM
By Phil Knowles

From Phil Knowles - Vice Chair East Midlands Region

What does Brexit means Brexit really mean? What direction is our country heading in? What is the real future that we might expect?

Across the UK, throughout the EU and across the world questions are being asked about where the UK is heading, what will Brexit negotiations deliver and just where in the sand will the lines be set?

The government seem to have little more than a blank sheet of paper, little or no agreement in the cabinet as to just what Brexit will mean. The momentum seems to be gathering in Scotland for the beginning of dialogue on the possible independence issue.

Rumours of major international businesses considering a move away from the UK, senior Politians from a number of countries across the world happy to express their views on what Brexit might mean and what they see as the lines in the sand that they would deem to be set and non negotiable from their point of view.

Against this backcloth Tim Farron has come forward with a clearly defined statement that gives a clear vision for the way forward, Tim answers the important questions on issues such as giving the British people the vote on the final Brexit agreement, votes for 16 / 18 year olds,the Single Market, Law Enforcement Cooperation, the Environmental challenges and so much more. The Lib Dem Voice gave excellent coverage and links to Tim's statement, details of which are shown below and will I'm sure be of great interest to a wide audience - Phil Knowles

''Liberal Democrats believe that the British people should have their say on the final Brexit deal in a referendum. Voting for a departure is not the same as voting for a destination. British people have a right to have their say on whether the deal they are offered is the right one for them, their families, their communities and our country.
The Liberal Democrats remain a proudly pro-European party. Following the referendum, we are setting out clear answers to some of the big questions and what we think should happen next.
Key constitutional questions

Should we re-run the referendum to overturn the results of the first?

No. We believe that the Leave campaign lied blatantly, leading many people to believe things such as a vote to leave would mean £350 million a week for the NHS. However, we should not keep re-running the last referendum in order to get the result we wanted.

Should the British people have the final decision on the government's negotiated deal?

Yes. In voting to leave, there was no opportunity to vote for how future trading relationships should be, or how we should work with other countries over things like criminal justice, law and order, ease of travel etc. Voting for a departure is not the same as voting for a destination. When the deal is negotiated, in however many years' time, the British people must have a chance to say if they would prefer the new arrangement, outside the European Union, or would prefer to remain inside the European Union.

Should young people (16-18) have a vote in a future referendum?

Yes. Liberal Democrats would introduce legislation to lower the voting age to sixteen.

Should Parliament vote on Article 50?

Yes. Parliament is the supreme law-making body in the United Kingdom. There should be a formal vote in Parliament to give notice under Article 50 and trigger the process for withdrawal. Liberal Democrats will decide how they will vote after they see the terms on which the government proposes to negotiate.

Key issues for negotiation

Protection of rights for EU citizens and UK citizens

Those who have made the United Kingdom their home should be allowed to stay. We will seek to secure the same for UK citizens living in European Union countries.

Freedom of Movement and the Single Market

Any deal negotiated for the United Kingdom outside the European Union must include membership of the Single Market and protect freedom of movement.

Maintaining environmental standards

We have a duty to future generations to protect our environment and tackle climate change. We will ensure that everything is done to maintain those high standards in UK law.

Law enforcement and judicial co-operation

We must maintain maximum cooperation to ensure criminals are pursued quickly and effectively.

Protection of Erasmus, investment in our universities and research networks

We should do everything we can to protect Erasmus, as well as other EU funded schemes increasing opportunities for young people. We will campaign to sustain the levels of investment in UK universities and their associated research networks.

Travel and tourism

We must make every effort to ensure that we retain 'soft' traveller benefits such as the European Health Insurance Card, reduced roaming charges and pet passports.

British industries

The City of London must retain full rights in EU financial markets. We must also protect the support provided by the European Union to domestic industries such as farming, tourism and the creative industries, as well as regional support for deprived areas.