Federalist Party Statement on Brexit and the EU
Wednesday January 17th, 2018

As federalists, we believe that the emergence of an institutional framework for political co-operation in Europe has been fundamental to securing peaceful mutual development and growing prosperity amongst the nations of Europe. The EU enables the single market, global free trade and shared approaches to common challenges in areas such as security, terrorism, immigration, human trafficking, the environment and climate change.

Democratic federalism requires strict adherence to the principle of subsidiarity. Issues and challenges should always be addressed at the lowest practicable level of government, and tendencies to centralise control of issues should be resisted. Government at higher levels, be that national, European or global, must avoid any overreach, and be justifiable as necessary and effective. In spite of its successes, the EU often falls short with respect to these principles.

We believe that the United Kingdom and its constituent nations are culturally, socially, politically and historically European, and our rightful place is at the heart of Europe. The British contribution to the development of the European Union and its predecessors has been extensive since the end of World War II, and continues to shape Europe today. Europe is and will remain intrinsic to our identity.

On June 23rd, 2016 a majority of British voters who took part in the referendum voted for the UK to end its membership of the European Union. Whilst we view this decision with regret and disappointment, we also endeavour to respect those who for a wide range of reasons, voted to leave. We recognise that a democratic mandate was given to the British government to negotiate our exit from the European Union in an orderly fashion.

However, with respect to these negotiations we insist:

  • that the fundamental rights of EU citizenship be guaranteed and protected for all;
  • that the UK retain full and unrestricted access to the single market:
    • including continued free movement of goods, services, capital and labour,
    • and continued UK co-operation and collaboration in important EU projects and agencies;
  • and that a new referendum on the final outcome of the negotiations be held, with voters given a range of options, including to remain in the EU. Such a referendum would offer voters a meaningful choice with clearly defined options, and will build upon the democratic nature of the process of withdrawal as begun by the 2016 referendum. If the final negotiated agreement between the UK and the EU is not approved by voters in a referendum, the Federalist Party will campaign to rejoin the Union.

The world in 2018 is continuing to move away from old ideologies of international competition and rivalry, and instead faces a new reality of greater interdependence and thus the need for co-operation and governance above and beyond the realm of the nation-state. Whether the UK is a member of the EU or not, we will always need to pool our sovereignty and authority, in order to work with others in our wider political and economic interests of promoting peace, security and stability internationally in order to foster economic, scientific and social development, progress and prosperity. These interests are not unique or specific to Britain, but are global and shared by all.

We believe that the United Kingdom should pursue and cultivate deeper social, political and economic bonds with other nations, in particular those with whom Britain has longstanding social, cultural and economic relationships. We believe that such opportunities are not only crucial to the success of the UK as a trading nation, but may also open new arenas for co-operation and the development of international democracy as supported by federalist principles.

Wednesday January 17, 2018

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