On June 23rd 2016, 52 percent of voters who participated in the EU Referendum voted for Britain to leave the EU. This election reversed the decision of the 1975 Referendum whereby 67 percent of electors decided that the UK should remain a member of the European Economic Community, the EU’s predecessor. Although it has been a tumultuous process since June 2016, the UK will finally leave the EU on January 31st 2020, and negotiations towards a free trade deal between Brussels and London will commence.
For many of those who voted to remain in the bloc, it is both sad and confusing as to why the British grew tired of the EU 41 years after it voted to remain in the Common Market. Yet there are many reasons why, regardless of all the uncertainty Brexit has caused in the last three and a half years, it remains the best choice for Britain’s future.
One benefit that Brexit brings to this country is that Britain will be able to reclaim its sovereignty. The In campaign during the 1975 referendum argued that the UK would have a prime ministerial veto over many of the big decisions that the EEC made. This pledge no longer holds true. Over the past twenty years, around 62 percent of Britain’s laws have originated from the EU.
Leaving the EU enables this country to regain control over its 200-mile fishing zone once it leaves the Common Fisheries Policy, although a trade agreement with other fishing nations could require approving access on a quid pro quo basis.
Farmers would lose their subsidies from the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), but this would be replaced by a British equivalent. The CAP has been a bone of contention for British governments since the Thatcher years, when the then prime minister managed to reclaim £720 million in budgetary contributions to the EEC.
However, British governments would be able to develop their own policy on GM crops.
Another advantage Brexit brings to this country is that it would end the European Court of Justice’s (ECJ) jurisdiction over the UK. According to the Daily Telegraph, the Lisbon Treaty allows the ECJ the possibility to rule on about 135 measures in the criminal justice field.
Once Britain leaves the bloc, it has the chance to opt out of all 135 measures, and then opt back in on a case-by-case basis based on what Dominic Raab has called ‘cooperation, not control.’ This will provide the UK with more say over areas like retaining ISP data for security purposes, where British national security considerations currently conflict with EU laws.
The biggest restriction to the UK’s ability to trade globally is the EU’s Common External Tariff that prohibits any EU member state from forging its own trade deals. This country will no longer have to abide by that law post-Brexit.
CapX argues that Britain has the opportunity to become a global trading hub between nations that do not have a free trade agreement with each other e.g. the EU and the US. This would allow the UK’s services sector to run a trade surplus in exporting services, as it is already the world’s second largest exporter of services behind the US.
The Government has already signed 20 continuity trade agreements that contribute 11 percent towards the British economy. With countries like Australia, New Zealand and the US desperate to forge trade deals with a post-Brexit Britain, the opportunity to trade with the rest of the world is the greatest it has been for a long time.
The Spectator’s Fraser Nelson has always argued the EU is an obstacle to the UK’s path towards embracing globalisation, and that there is no point in leaving the bloc if successive governments do not take advantage of the opportunities Brexit offers. There are plenty of advantages to leaving and it is time for the current British Government to realise that.