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Politics: Britain bows out of the international community

by Iain Donaldson on 29 March, 2017

The triggering today of Article 50 signals the withdrawal of the UK from the international stage.

What the protagonists for Leave have failed to understand is that this is not just about negotiating a new relationship with Europe, we will leave the EU with no trading relationship with the rest of the world.  It has been suggested that we will be able to trade on World Trade Organisation (WTO) terms, but before we can do that we must join the WTO because our current membership of that organisation is as a member of the European Union.

Furthermore, we can not guarantee that the terms on which we will be permitted to join the WTO are those which existed when we were last a member in our own rights.

Hundreds of thousands of British jobs, billions of pounds of inward investment, our revenue from the financial services sector and the value of our currency are now in jeopardy.  Furthermore our NHS will be facing a staffing crisis as ever more doctors and nurses decide not to come to the UK, and our own potential medics decide to leave the UK to live in the EU.

With no guarantees for British pensioners living in the EU due to their not being economically active and therefore not being covered by any agreements on workers rights, and with the potential for a massive brain drain from our Universities and industries, the UK faces some serious challenges in the coming years.

With international terrorism, climate change and globalisation the biggest threats to our economy, we now face them alone.  We do not even know what our position will be in terms of our human rights, our defence agreements or our food supplies.  We can not even guarantee that the United Kingdom will continue as a single union, with Scotland, Gibraltar and Northern Ireland all now facing calls for independence in order that they can return to the EU.

The simple truth is that the Conservative Party have put the future of millions of young Britons in jeopardy in order to hold together their fragile political coalition of the right.  They have done so without any democratic legitimacy, international isolationism was not on the referendum ballot.