Brexit offers a historic opportunity for democratic and economic renewal. This opportunity is being squandered by Britain’s political class. The Full Brexit will set out radical arguments for a clean break with the European Union. Instead of the conservative nostalgia of the Eurosceptics, our arguments will put the interests of working people – the majority of citizens – at the centre of the case for a democratic Brexit.
In the EU referendum, British voters seized the opportunity to protest against a politics that offers no real alternatives and an economic model that leaves many behind. The Leave campaign’s slogan, “take back control”, resonated with millions of people whose interests are no longer represented in British politics. For this revolt, Leave voters have been slandered as dupes and racists. The Full Brexit stands up for and with the majority of British people: not just Leavers, but also Remain voters who believe the decision must be respected, and for everyone hungry for meaningful political and economic change.
Eurosceptics rightly complain that powerful elite Remainers are conspiring to sabotage Brexit. But this is not the main reason Brexit is adrift. The real cause is that the entire political class lacks any compelling vision of Britain’s future, leaving most British citizens without effective political representation.
Having lost touch with ordinary people, political parties have retreated into European Union policymaking networks. After decades of integration, few politicians, civil servants or academic experts can now imagine any kind of future outside of the EU. Yet Leave campaigners on the right also lack any positive vision. Nostalgic bluster about “Global Britain” has led only to the sterile argument about free trade agreements versus the Single Market and the Customs Union. This wrangling about trade fails to address the problems that led people to reject the EU.
The problems of low investment, stagnant wages and ageing infrastructure that blight our towns and cities require a much more fundamental reconsideration of Britain’s economic and political model. Lacking ideas about how to tackle the deeper problems, politicians on all sides are defaulting to conservative positions, seeking to minimise change, whether through full single market membership or “regulatory alignment”, mostly to defend vested interests like the City of London.
This lack of vision threatens to neutralise Brexit’s potential to renew our political and economic life. EU rules are not neutral: they lock in a set of neoliberal policies that tightly constrain governments’ capacity to innovate, experiment, and tackle voters’ concerns. By preventing practical redress of voters’ grievances, this corrodes representative democracy. Brexit offers a precious opportunity to change this. If this opportunity is squandered, the public will rightly conclude that voting changes nothing. Disengagement and cynicism will intensify and populism – rampant elsewhere in the EU – will surge, threatening what is left of our parliamentary democracy.
A challenge to the logic that “There is No Alternative” is urgently needed, and this must come from the left. The Full Brexit is not a political party. We do not all agree about each and every policy or document on this website. But we do agree, first, that the left’s proper role is to be the architect of a better, more democratic future and, second, that a clean break with the EU is needed to realise that potential.
To this end, we will provide analysis of the present political situation and proposals for the future. We will engage with the public, politicians and anyone who shares our democratic ethos. And we will conduct our work in solidarity with those on the left in other European countries to develop a genuinely internationalist and democratic politics of national sovereignty.
Brexit offers an unprecedented opportunity to reshape Britain for the better. Please join us in that mission.
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Dr Christopher Bickerton, University of Cambridge
Dr Philip Cunliffe, University of Kent
Paul Embery, Trade Unionists Against the EU
Thomas Fazi, Author and Journalist
Lord Maurice Glasman, House of Lords
David Goodhart, Author and Journalist
Prof Matthew Goodwin, University of Kent
Pauline Hadaway, University of Manchester
Dr James Heartfield, Author and Journalist
Dr Kevin Hickson, University of Liverpool
Dr Lee Jones, Queen Mary University of London
Prof Costas Lapavitsas, School of Oriental and African Studies
Prof Martin Loughlin, London School of Economics
Dr Tara McCormack, University of Leicester
Dr Jasper Miles, Goldsmiths College, University of London
Prof Peter Ramsay, London School of Economics
Prof Richard Tuck, Harvard University
Bruno Waterfield, Journalist
Prof Philip B Whyman, University of Central Lancashire
Dr Suke Wolton, Regents Park College, University of Oxford
Prof Mary Davis, London; Anshu Srivastava, Architect and Community Organiser; Prof Danny Nicol, University of Westminster; Prof William Mitchell, University of Newcastle, Australia; Prof Phil Hammond, London South Bank University; Dr Paul Stott, SOAS University of London; Dr Jim Butcher, Canterbury Christ Church University; Jonathan Rutherford, Writer; Dr George Hoare, London; Kevin McCullagh, London; Lord Moonie, House of Lords; Alex Harries, Labour Party; Tracy O’Sullivan, Colchester; John Penney, Labour Party; Prof Steve Hall, Teeside University; Leon Russell-Hills, Electrician; Nick Harding, Labour Party; Mike Morris, Guildford; J Brian Harrison-Jennings, Former General Secretary, Association of Educational Psychologists; Dave Harris, Retired Lecturer; Mike Dunford, Labour Party; Peter Hurst, Liverpool; Dr Vanessa Pupavac, University of Nottingham; Alexander Birchall, IT Administrator; Sue Heap, London; Paul Thomas, Co-Founder, The Leeds Salon; Ben Smith, Camberwell College of Arts; Phil Katz, Author and Designer; Prof Wolfgang Streeck, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies, Cologne; Dr Michael Owens, University of Salford; Pete Rose, Plumbing and Heating Engineer, Bristol; Leslie Rowe, Treasurer, Green Leaves; Nita Sanghera, Vice President, University and College Union; Alan Birks, Retired College Principal, Malvern; Phil Darby, Bristol; Martin Snell, Walsall; Justine Brian, London; Dr James Panton, Associate Lecturer, Open University; Tim Pendry, Democratic Left Movement; Richard Turner, Bournemouth; Patricia Thomson, Labour Party, Havant; Debbie Bond, Bridport; Andrea Sutton, Penuwch; Joanie Patel, Labour Party, Ruislip; Tom Vine, London; Patricia Spencer, Edinburgh; Dr Graham O'Dwyer, University of Reading; Dr Maren Thom, Queen Mary University London; Antonino Ioviero, London; Will Podmore, University and College Union, London; Prof Andre Kaiser, University of Cologne; Dr Pingtjin Thum, University of Oxford; Tom Jarvis, Labour Party, Manchester; John McHugh, Structural Engineer, Woking; Liz Hall, Arts Company Director, Brighton; Carmel Corcoran, Cambridge; Nicholas B. Wright, Communist Party; Kevin Gill, Labour Party, Sheffield; Aidan Constable, Labour International, Heidelberg; Teresa Pepper, Retired Nursery School Teacher, Heathfield, East Sussex; Antoinette Reboul, Architect, London; Prof Edouard Husson, Université Paris Sciences et Lettres, Paris; Chris Arnell, Retiree, Brighton; Prof Alan Johnson, Labour Party, Unite the Union; Jean-Pierre Barrois, Retired Lecturer, Paris; Audrey Steel, Social Worker, North Berwick; Prof Vincent Gauci, Milton Keynes; Manick Govinda, Artists for Brexit, London; Dr Thomas Mills, University of Lancaster; Dr Jeff Gleisner, Retired Politics Lecturer, Leeds University; Mike Hall, Real Progressives Europe; Dr Michael D. Magee, Retired Research Chemist and Civil Servant, Frome, Somerset; Dr Justin Meggitt, University of Cambridge; David Teek, Creative Services Director, London; Prof Dean Wilson, Sussex University; David Sharp, Retired AFP Journalist, Paris; Arthur Shaw, retired Engineer and RMT official and Bromley Trades Council Treasurer, Bromley; John Hamilton, Lewisham People Before Profit, London; Eve Kay, TV Producer, London; Jean-Marc Mauran, Economist, London; Meg Lee Chin, Musician, Pro-Brexit Creative Network, London; Meirian Jump, Archivist, London; Rob Harries, London; Alex Gordon, Trade Unionist, London; Isabel Cortes, Trade Unionist, London; James Smith, Labour Party, London; Dr Matthew Thompson, Liverpool University; Dr Aislinn Macklin-Doherty, NHS Doctor, London; Austin Williams, Kingston School of Art, London; Marco Santucci, Artist Manager, London; Dr Michael Elliot, University of Groningen; Jon Stern, London; Joe McVeigh, Labour Party; Pat Mitchell, Solicitor, London; Richard Jones, Health Service Senior Manager, Kimberley, South Africa; Amanda Hunter, Translator, St Neots; Dr Chris Carrington, Doctor, Cardiff; Lesley Katon, Producer, London; Dr Kishore Budha, Market Researcher, Dewsbury; Jan Bowman, Brexit Creatives, London; Alan Passingham, Truck Driver; Wilfred Sanderson, Retired, Durham; Linda Wilcox, Nutritionist, Winchester; Roy Stevens, Artist, Swaffham; Robert Gardner, Retired, Kirkcaldy; Alan Beadle, Retired Engineer, Billericay; John Briggs, Writer, Darlington; Elizabeth Cronin, Florist, Liverpool; Colin Davies, Retired, Southport; Dr Alka Sehgal-Cuthbert, Educator, Researcher and Writer, London; Steve Belton, Retailer, Glastonbury; Jon Chapman, Psychotherapist and Executive Coach, Cambridge; Dr Shirley Lawes, University College London Institute of Education; Michael McCann, Retired, London; Martyn Perks, Business Consultant, London; Mark Cooke, Artist; Gary Strudwick, Retired, Stroud; Bradley Bordiss, Academic, South Africa; Dr David Forrest, Landscape Architect, London; John Edwards, Retired Banker, Tonbridge; Byron Huws, Historian, Cydweli; Cheryl Coyne, People Before Profit, Lewisham; Ian Rayner, Maintenance Engineer, Luton; Mike Cotgreave, Liverpool; Dr Larry O’Hara, Green Party, London; Danita O'Keeffe, Retired, Cheshire; Ivor Davies, Retired, Coventry; Vivian Oswald, Writer, London; Junfeng Ye, Teacher, Coventry; Andy Ashe, Education Worker, Coventry; Michael Sweeney, Retired, Manchester; Stefan Cholewka, Secretary, Greater Manchester Association of Trade Union Councils, Manchester; Ron Sinclair, Retired, Manchester; Myles King, Web Support Analyst, London; Katharina Joos, London; Giles Wynne, Farmer, Shildon; Steven Bailey, Engineer, Ryton, Tyne & Wear; Mike Ellwood, Retired, Abingdon; David Leeson, Artist, London; Peter Gudgeon, Economist and Former UN advisor, London; Frances Bennis, Retired, London; Gordana Batic, Artist, London; Christopher Burbridge, Surveyor, London; Paul Ilott, Teacher, Oxford; Sara Kaso, Student at Queen Mary University of London; Rob A.E. Wilson, PhD candidate, University of Kent; Tom Flanagan, Scottish Young Labour Press Officer, Stirling; Vince Mills, Honorary Research Fellow, Glasgow Caledonian University; Paul Cadman, Assistant Head Teacher, Wakefield; Chris Remington, Retired Head of Health, London Region UNISON; Ian Wilson, Executive Member, Conservative Association, Kingston Upon Thames; Grenville Coakes, Lorry Driver, Taunton; Jim McSporran, Retired, Bracknell; Graham Burnby-Crouch, Teacher, Lincolnshire; Daniel Fahey, Data Engineer, London; Roger Chapman, Community Activist, London; Tony Skipper, Councillor, Coventry; Jon Chapman, Cambridge; Geoffrey Turner, Retired Academic, Sheffield; Kate Moorcock-Abley, London; Dr Philip Wheatley, Oxford; John Wright, Retired Lawyer, London; Colin Wilkes, Unite the Union, Labour Party and Community Activist, Merseyside; Beryl Foster, Retired, Sale; Michael Crowley, Writer and Dramatist, West Yorkshire; Kerrin Clapton, Researcher, London; Mo McRae, Bristol; Brent Cutler, Labour Party member, Southampton; Robert Horwood, Retired, Åland Islands, Finland; Dr Helen Mercer, London; Ekim Incirli, Progressive Party of Working People, Republic of Cyprus; Dr Cheryl Hudson, Lecturer in US Politics, University of Liverpool; Adrian Perry, Labour Party, Derby; James Stevens, Town Planner, London; John Tyrrell, Socialist Labour Party, Birmingham; Margaret Lee, Retired; Julie Williams, Business Owner, Essex; Ste Smith, Construction Worker, Birkenhead; Charles Woolfson, Professor Emeritus, Linköping University, Sweden; Mark Anthony, Business Owner, Liverpool; Bruce Payne, Information Specialist, Sheffield; Sarah Cowley, Designer, Penzance; Prof Abhay Abhyankar, University of Exeter; Dr Muir Houston, University of Glasgow; Dr Vernon Davis, Retired, Bassetlaw; Rick Deutsch, Student, Liverpool; Claire Dunnage, Local Government Officer, Bristol; Will Barton, Retired Lecturer, Cardiff; Denis Jones, Retired FE Lecturer and Labour Party Member, Newcastle under Lyme; Paul Dixon, Woodworker, London; Niall Pembroke, Senior Mechanical Engineer, London; Dr Nigel Hewlett, Retired Lecturer, Edinburgh; C Thompson, Company Director, Lewes; Frank Brierley, Retired Software Developer; Martin Ackroyd, Retired, Falaise, France; Alexander Wimmer, Student, Germany; Jenny Colwell, Retired Farmer, Mount Hawke, Cornwall; Tom Dougan, Glasgow; Ian Mason, Retired, Moreton; Mary Bath, Retired, Banstead; Euphrosene Labon, Author and Artist, Angmering; Michael Westcombe, Labour Party and Unite member, London; Andrew Devon, Fundraising Consultant, Hove; Jenny Clarke, retired teacher, writer, and Labour Party member, Leicester and Blackpool; Prof Michael Rainsborough, King's College London; Paul Thomas, Painter and Decorator, Swansea; Steve Huckle, Postgraduate Researcher, University of Sussex; James Pilkington, Enterprise Specialist, Cambridge; Peter Tulloch, Engineer, Biggleswade; Gillian Morton, Retired, Sedbergh; Rowena Godfrey, Retired, Leeds; Eddie Milne, Retired Gas Installer and AUEW senior shop steward, High Wycombe; Dr Trevor Law, Retired, Cornwall; Richard Rice, Teacher, Newport, Isle of Wight; Stephen Swanson, Retired, Basingstoke; Andy Pendlebury, Driving Instructor and Labour Party member, Skegness; Stephen Harrison, Retired, Hartlepool; Lynn Atkinson, Technician, University of Portsmouth; Prof Terje Rasmussen, University of Oslo