Brexit, Seven Years On
Today marks seven years since the 2016 referendum in which a majority of voters opted for Brexit. Although much of the past seven years have been political tumultuous, the most striking thing seven years later is how little has changed, despite the biggest ostensible change in our constitutional arrangements since at least the 1970s. Two of TFB's co-founders reflect on why.
Writing on The Northern Star, George Hoare argues that Britain's political elites were simply not up to the task of restoring Britain's national sovereignty, which had not been usurped by an external power - the EU - but rather given away by hapless politicians lacking in vision and looking to evade domestic accountability. There is still no change in sight because
national sovereignty remains little understood today. There is a reason for this: national sovereignty is a dangerous term for a Left that despises the nation (and in particular its working-class members), and an impossible one for a Right that may be able to stomach the nation but blanches at giving the population real influence over economic decisions.
Writing in UnHerd, Peter Ramsay agrees that the challenges of Brexit were simply too much for our 'zombified' political elite, but also stresses the benefit of stripping away EU membership, which permitted them to conceal their uselessness and lack of authority.
... Brexit has exposed their exhaustion. It was the first step on the road forward to national sovereignty, a clearing of the ground for a new project: the project of nation-building... Brexit has posed the need for a new politics of national sovereignty understood... as a question of developing the relations of trust and authority that come from effective political representation... It is by its nature a most invigorating project — if we are willing to embrace it.