NO IFS AND BUTS. WE THINK BRITAIN’S PLACE IS IN THE EU.
DO YOU AGREE?
Since 1945 the Federal Trust has offered rigorous and well-informed commentary on Europe and the UK’s place within it. It is one of the few sources of British analysis actively favourable to the UK’s full participation in an integrated and democratic European Union.
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A Welcome Note by our Director
The vote for Brexit in the 2016 referendum was the culmination of a failed approach to British membership of the EU. This approach was based an excessive enthusiasm for opt-outs, ignorance about the Union’s institutions and exaggerated fears of the Union’s supposed centralising tendencies. It was in retrospect unsurprising that the British electorate should decide, albeit by a narrow majority, to opt out entirely of the Union and its institutions. If an arm’s length relationship was offered as the preferred model for UK/EU collaboration, perhaps a yet more remote relationship would be even more desirable.
The Federal Trust has always warned and will continue to warn against this misconceived view of the EU and the UK’s place in it. It believes that Brexit is a self-destructive and historic mistake, the consequences of which are now becoming apparent. It is a particular tragedy that the United Kingdom is excluding itself from the European Single Market, which it did so much to promote and shape. But if the damage of Brexit will initially be borne by British business, it will soon spread more widely throughout British politics and society.
The Trust’s central activity in the coming years will be to analyse and highlight these negative consequences of Brexit, consequences we believe can only be reversed when Brexit itself is reversed. Measures falling short of renewed EU membership may palliate but can never set aside this reality. These coming years will not be easy for those who believe that this country’s place in the world is best assured by full-hearted membership of the European Union. The Federal Trust will however continue to provide a consistent forum for rational and realistic debate on European issues. If you share our views and values, please join us.