Brexit is a golden opportunity for free marketeers. Whilst, clearly, the ultimate reason to leave the EU is to re-establish the UK as a sovereign democracy, our imminent departure also implores upon us to have a proper, rational debate about our future economic direction. For too long, the government has hidden behind borrowing and stealth taxes, anti-business rhetoric and the need to “soak the rich”. Cowed by Corbyn and McDonnell, this attitude seems to have taken hold in the highest echelons of the Conservative Party. It needs to be firmly resisted. The key as we go forward will be to make – and win – the arguments for a low tax, low regulation, dynamic, innovative, world-embracing economy.

Of course, technology has changed – and this is a good thing. It means far more of our trade is truly international and business can be conducted around the world by anyone who has an internet connection. There has never been less need to tether ourselves to a protectionist organisation which, not only disadvantages our own farmers and fisherman, but massively disadvantages poorer countries. Our neighbours are our friends – and we want to them to remain our friends, if they are willing to. But we must also embrace our old friends in the Commonwealth. And new friends in Asia. We are the country that exported Parliamentary democracy and traded its way to wealth and enlightenment; let us not shrink away from that past but galvanise our global spirit towards the 21st Century – and beyond. 

A time like this is not a time for pettifogging. We are fundamentally re-orienting, back towards the transatlantic position we’ve traditionally felt most comfortable in. This is not about turning away from the world but re-establishing ourself in it. It’s why – as Brexit looms – we shouldn’t feel too worried about leaving on a WTO deal. We have a robust economy and a sovereign currency. Taking the WTO would allow us to immediately help the least well-off in society, by removing tariffs on their essential items such as food and footwear. The Remain Ultra Project has always been about preserving the wealth and sanctity of a particular, distant strata of British society; a post-Brexit Britain should be about spreading wealth and opportunity to all.

Outside the EU, and against Corbyn’s Marxist Labour Party, we must start vigorously arguing for free market conservatism again.

Categories: Comment