Is the leftwing vision of Brexit Britain just fantasy? | Letters

Readers respond to an article by Larry Elliott calling for those on the left to see the UK’s departure from the EU as an opportunity to rebalance the economy

Larry Elliott is consistent in his criticism of the EU (The left must stop mourning Brexit – and start seeing its huge potential, 31 December). He points out the neoliberalism inherent in the core EU policies of free movement of goods, services, capital and people. He then extols the advantages for the UK of being freed from EU shackles to pursue its own destiny in the world.

But aren’t we committed to chasing the same neoliberalism on a broader canvas? He says nothing of the EU’s social and political projects – health and safety, employment protection, social welfare, retirement rights and other programmes. He ignores the ambitions of a gradual rapprochement between nations that engaged in monstrous wars in the recent past. Brexit UK is moving backwards, self-condemned to continued national decline, as other countries find ways of developing at least some elements of a progressive agenda in a harsh and divided world.
Peter Taylor-Gooby
Professor of social policy, University of Kent

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