Skip to main content

Brexit won't save the planet

Brexit isn't an ideal. It might break the cosy economic and political illusion that all growth and trade is good. But there is little thinking behind it. It won't lead to better trade. It won't save our planet.



No plan for Brexit

The UK is  now just months away from leaving the European Union, yet still the government has no plan for Brexit. Sector after sector of British society are registering their concerns about the consequences of a 'no deal' Brexit.  The country is in the dark about what the future might hold.  Key issues remain unresolved, yet it is as if it doesn't matter.   Brexit, remember, means Brexit!  

Whether we are for or against Brexit we should be concerned that the government can't agree on what kind of deal they want with our biggest trading partner - the European Union.  

There is no idealism behind Brexit, and no vision for the future.  Instead, there is a blind hope that it will be 'alright on the night'.  That somehow all the concerns will appear to have been unwarranted. After all, Britain is great!  

There is no plan for Brexit.  There never was.  Yet, debate has been shut down.  Politicians appear as if in a straight jacket.  The 'will of the people' trumps all.  Let's not question Brexit!. 

No Brexit idealism

Some good might have come out of Brexit.  It certainly challenges the cosy mythologies of global trade and growth.  But without a plan for trade, Britain is likely to sign up to trade deals that are more polluting and more damaging to the planet than those it is already signed up to.  

Brexit would be good if it genuinely challenged the neoliberal mythologies of the inherent goodness of growth and free trade.   But it doesn't.  We are more likely to sign up to trade deals that are worse for the planet.   

Bad trade will kill the planet

That is not to say that our current trade is good.  It isn't.  It is bad.  We import goods thousands of miles.  Our government proudly boasts that the UK is meeting targets on emissions.  Yet, it is based on our exporting our pollution.   Exporting pollution doesn't help the planet.  It blinds us to its realities.  

Hundreds of thousands of children die globally from the pollution of the air they breath.  Pollution that comes in some part from the production of the goods we import.  

We need a new deal.  A recent report showed that pollution was responsible for 1 in 5 infant deaths in Sub-Saharan Africa.  The  children of our planet need a new deal - a deal that provides a better future.   Brexit is not only a distraction, it is more likely than not to promote worse trade deals as regulations slips.

Britain, post-Brexit, is more likely to prostitute itself in the markets of world trade as it scurries around trying to salvage something out of the lunacy of leaving the EU without a plan.

Brexit provides no solution, and could make it worse as we seek new deals predicated on more pollution.   Brexit won't save the planet.

If you like this article, please help us by subscribing and getting the latest updates through the link above.

Listen to our podcast: 



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Ian Duncan-Smith says he wants to make those on benefits 'better people'!

By any account, the government's austerity strategy is utilitarian. It justifies its approach by the presumed potential ends. It's objective is to cut the deficit, but it has also adopted another objective which is specifically targeted. It seeks to drive people off benefits and 'back to work'.  The two together are toxic to the poorest in society. Those least able to cope are the most affected by the cuts in benefits and the loss of services. It is the coupling of these two strategic aims that make their policies ethically questionable. For, by combining the two, slashing the value of benefits to make budget savings while also changing the benefits system, the highest burden falls on a specific group, those dependent on benefits. For the greater good of the majority, a minority group, those on benefits, are being sacrificed; sacrificed on the altar of austerity. And they are being sacrificed in part so that others may be spared. Utilitarian ethics considers the ba

Mr Duncan-Smith offers a disingenuous and divisive comparison

Some time ago, actually it was a long time ago when I was in my early teens, someone close to me bought a table. It was an early flat pack variety. It came with a top and four legs. He followed the instructions to the letter screwing the legs into the top. But when he had completed it the table wobbled. One leg he explained was shorter than the other three; so he sawed a bit from each of the other legs. The table wobbled. One leg, he explained, was longer than the other three. So, he sawed a bit off. The table wobbled. He went on cutting the legs, but the table continued to wobble. Cut, cut, cut! By this time he had convinced himself there was no alternative to it.  He ended up with a very low table indeed, supported by four very stumpy legs and a bit of cardboard placed under one of them to stop it wobbling on the uneven floor.  Mr Duncan-Smith argues that we need a 1% cap on benefits to be 'fair to average earners'. Average  earners have seen their incomes rise by less tha

His way or none? Why I can't vote for Jeremy

There is an assumption that all would be well with the Labour Party if people hadn't expressed their genuine concern with what they consider the inadequacies of Jeremy Corbyn's leadership. If only, it is said, the Parliamentary Labour Party and his Shadow Cabinet had supported him, instead of undermining him, all would have been fine. If they had been quiet and towed the line, then the party would not have been in the mess it is in. So, should they have stayed silent, or speak of their concerns? There comes a point when the cost of staying silent outweighs the cost of speaking out. This is a judgment. Many call it a coup by the PLP. They paint a picture of a right-wing PLP out of touch with the membership.  This is the narrative of the Corbyn camp. But Jeremy Corbyn, over the decades he has been in politics, showed the way.  It was Jeremy Corbyn who opposed almost all Labour leaders and rarely held back from speaking out, or voting time and again against the party line. As