Brexit and Trade: Moving from Globalisation to Self-Reliance

Download summary leaflet This report explores options for trade post-Brexit. The authors, Victor Anderson and Rupert Read from the Green House Think Tank, conclude that a radical shift in economic policy, which reduces dependency on exports and makes the UK more self-sufficient, is the only chance there is of making Brexit successful. All other models of trade – such as falling back on WTO rules or new trade deals outside the single market – would lead to a worsening economy and threaten environmental standards and workers’ rights, says the report.

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Commenting on the report which she commissioned, Molly Scott Cato said:

“I believe above all else the vote to leave the EU was an expression of a loss of control over our lives and a rejection of politicians who have failed to challenge corporate power or the negative consequences of globalisation.

“This report is about reinterpreting Brexit in the light of our longstanding Green critique of globalisation. Greens have always argued for greater self-reliance and stronger local economies. It now looks like such a path will be the best future on offer for the UK outside the EU.

“The recommendations offer some exciting ideas on how we can begin to think our way out of the destructive globalisation of recent years. They offer the prospect of building stronger communities, creating new jobs through re-skilling or learning new skills and reducing our environmental impact. It is a vision of hope in a world dominated by corporate globalisation.”

Victor Anderson, the lead writer of the report, said:

“Our proposals aim to build resilience in local, regional and national economies while reducing vulnerability in an increasingly unstable world economy. It is also a challenge to the power of multinational corporations over our economy and people’s lives. The emphasis would be on increased self-sufficiency which would also seek to reduce transport costs, with their associated carbon emissions, while maintaining high environmental standards.”

Rupert Read, a core member of Green House, said:

“Our report is written on the assumption that Brexit will happen but that there is the potential to turn it from being a disaster for the UK into being the constructive start of a radical new approach to the very real problems of globalisation. We believe this report will prove useful as a basis for a critique of Government policy as it negotiates Brexit over the coming months and years and as a rallying call for changing that policy.”