Policy Statement

Policy Statement

Whatever happens with Brexit, we need a fair and open society – and honest politics. However, staying in the EU can help us build such a society, whereas quitting the EU will make it much harder to do so.

Brexit is not a done deal. Until we actually leave the EU, we can change our minds. CommonGround is campaigning for a people’s vote on the Brexit deal – and for the public to have the chance to stay in the EU if they don’t like it.

Part of this campaign has to involve pointing out the dangers of quitting the EU. After all, if we damage our economy, we will have less money to invest in the NHS, schools, homes and run-down communities. It will be harder to create a fairer society.

There is a risk that our country will turn in on itself. We will be less open to foreigners, who do so much to enrich our culture and contribute to our economy. Brexit may also lead to more dishonest politics, if those jockeying for position think the only way to get ahead is to lie and make false promises.

But to persuade the public that we should stay in the EU, we also need a positive vision for our own society – and to show how being in the EU can contribute to achieving that vision. A reheated version of Project Fear is unlikely to work with either young people or those whose lives are miserable.

That means we need to spell out in more detail what a fair society would look like. What are the priorities for hospitals, housing, education and regenerating towns that politicians have too long forgot? How can we create more meaningful jobs? How can we create opportunities for the young? How can power be brought closer to the people?

We can largely solve these problems on our own, provided we don’t run out of money because we’ve damaged our economy. But the EU also plays an important role because so many of the problems and opportunities of the 21st Century cross borders. We need to tackle global warming, manage globalisation, fight global terrorism and stand up to bullies like Putin.

On our own, we have little chance of getting our voice heard in an increasingly dangerous world. As one of the EU most powerful nations, we have a good chance to secure the fairer, safer, cleaner world that we care for.