Nigel Farage claimed yesterday that the European Union is facing a ‘huge existential crisis’ but the truth is that as he spoke, it was a different union, the United Kingdom, that appeared to be at ever greater risk of a colossal collapse under the weight of Brexit, in spite of the fact that negotiations are yet to begin and Brexit itself is still at least two years off.

It’s not just the likes of Farage and his Brexiteer cohorts who are rubbing their hands in glee at the prospect of a ‘hard Brexit’, there is also a growing queue of nationalists, lining up to seize their moment to tear the United Kingdom apart. The referendum nine months ago, and the Scottish independence referendum before that, revealed a divided nation. Division and intolerance are the fuels that stoke the flames of nationalism, of sectarianism and of hatred. Whether it’s left wing, friendly and tartan-clad nationalism, or its more familiar and sinister incarnations, nationalism, with the help of Brexit, is driving a wedge deeper and deeper into our society.

Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP jumped upon Parliament’s decision to authorise the government to trigger Article 50 and begin the process of withdrawal from the EU. Her demands for a second referendum on Scottish independence have been quickly followed by Plaid Cymru and Sinn Fein demanding a referendums to decide the futures of Wales and of Northern Ireland. Meanwhile May’s government in London has outlined its plans for a massive power grab, seeking to grant government ministers unprecedented legislative powers to repeal and amend EU laws and regulations after Brexit without referring back to Parliament. We could easily despair at the apparent choices on offer, of Whitehall centralisation pushing to undermine our democracy, or nationalists seeking to tear apart the now fragile union. But the future of Britain is not down to these forces alone. We can pursue another path, a path of democratic federalism which can ensure both the protection and preservation of our distinctive local, regional and national identities and their rights to self-determination, whilst also cementing our union and building a safer and more prosperous future, putting each corner of the United Kingdom on an equal constitutional footing.

In June people voted to ‘take back control’. But so far all that has emerged is a power struggle between the likes of Theresa May, Nicola Sturgeon and Nigel Farage, leaving us hurtling headlong towards the perfect storm brewing on the horizon. Only federalism can hold this ship together and set a safe course. Only a federal Britain will put real people in real control of their own destinies.

By Robert Jones
Party Leader

Disclaimer: This article expresses the personal views of its author, and may not necessarily reflect the official policies or views of the Federalist Party.

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  1. European federalism – Fouere’s “Europe of a Hundred Flags” – makes sense. UK federalism is a ship that sailed, circa 1910.

    I’m European and I live in Europe, near the Anglo-Welsh border. The British and Britain? Not my people, not my country. Neither has a future.

    1. Thank you for your comment.

      The Federalist Party exists to promote and campaign for federalism at all levels of government, locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. Rather than being a ‘ship that sailed’, UK federalism is very much on the cusp of taking a central position in the political narrative around the future of the United Kingdom in light of Brexit and the threat of a second Scottish referendum on independence. This is because federalism offers a solution which can bring together both sides, unionists and nationalists, in a compromise that can empower all parts of the UK and address some of the key political issues at the heart of the debate surrounding the referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU last year. Federalism in Britain offers the possibility of the peaceful coexistence of all parts of Britain, where all parts can feel and be equal, and no part can impose its will or overpower another, as is happening right now. This vision is desirable and attainable, and we will work towards it.

    2. Yes, it does. Hopefully, the troublesome Welsh assembly will soon bu shut-down seeing as the referendum result in 1997 was won on a paper-thin margin on an non too impressive turnout and the fact that Bliar’s devolution shambles didn’t involve all of us.

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