Colin Hines draws attention to Green MEP Molly Scott Cato’s publication and launch of a report by Victor Anderson and Rupert Read: ‘Brexit and Trade Moving from Globalisation to Self-reliance’ ”
Its Executive Summary states: “This report puts on to the political agenda an option for Brexit which goes with the grain of widespread worries about globalisation, and argues for greater local, regional, and national self-sufficiency, reducing international trade and boosting import substitution”.
Hines continues: “As I am aware it is the first time a report from a politician isn’t clamouring to retain membership of the open border Single Market”
It details the need for an environmentally sustainable future involving constraints to trade and the rebuilding of local economies. Indeed the report actually calls for ‘Progressive Protectionism’ rather than a race to the bottom relationship with the EU – see page14:
Reducing dependence on international trade implies reducing both imports and exports. It is therefore very different from the traditional protectionism of seeking to limit imports whilst expanding exports. It should therefore meet with less hostility from other countries, as it has a very different aim from simply improving the UK’s balance of payments. It could be described as ‘progressive protectionism’, or ‘green protectionism’. X1V reference adds: ‘For detailed proposals on how this could and should be done, see http://progressiveprotectionism.com/wordpress/’
Also ground-breaking in Green Party literature of late is its discussion of the arguments for and against managed migration.
Its sensitive handling of this contentious issue for many in the Greens does mark an important step forward and hopefully will help to start an internal debate about whether or not the party should reconsider its open borders approach.
This recent Daily Telegraph article with Iain Duncan Smith and Nigel Lawson frothing to get rid of key environmental regulations shows how impossible any green future will be under a hard Brexit.
Hines feels that we won’t leave the EU and central to that happening will be a realisation across Europe that to see off the extreme right they must manage internal migration and protect domestic jobs. At that point the reasons for supporting Brexit for most are no longer valid.
He ends: “This timely report makes a crucial input to this debate, one that will rage for the next two years”.