BREXIT: What’s so great about Britain?

editorial image

Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP wrote two pieces last week (Northumberland Gazette, October 12), but alas, she did not really say anything other than repeat Government mantras and aspirations.

There was little about what she or her Government are actually doing to address the issues that affect many people.

There were references to ‘Great Britain’ and ‘Great British’ that did not include the inconvenient Great British Housing Crisis, the Great British Food Banks, the Great British NHS Crisis, the Great British Low Pay Crisis and other Great British crises.

But we can rest assured that Brexit will allow Britain to be ‘Great’ again.

Brexiteers forget it was not the EU that brought these crises, but under-regulated, neoliberal banking and Government policy.

I have always wondered what is uniquely ‘Great’ about Britain and thought it rather arrogant and boastful for a country to give itself that appellation.

One can be patriotic without being ‘Great’ or imply superiority.

Such exceptionalism and pride can easily become hubris.

I also wonder when was the ‘Great’ period for Britain to which some aspire to return?

I assume it was when there was a lot of pink on world maps; a time of empire.

Great Britain, the trading nation, was built on the slave trade, the subjugation of people/nations, low-cost raw materials and ‘Empire Made’ products, i.e. products made by cheap labour in the Dominions and whose profit returned to Britain.

I don’t think Britain has come to terms with this past in the way that other European, former colonial powers have done.

It will be interesting, as Brexit unfolds, to see, without the benefit of Empire, how ‘Great’ Britain can become.

I note that Commonwealth countries are not queuing up to give Britain favourable trade deals and that the USA has slapped tariffs on Bombardier aircraft parts, causing loss of jobs.

The real world and WTO rules will come as a shock.

I believe that Brexit is being driven by the neoliberal wing of the Conservative Party.

Neoliberalism does not believe in Government intervention as ‘The Market’ is all you need.

I fear for the ‘left behinds’, as they are likely to become the broken shells that are needed for the omelette that is a neoliberal (hard) Brexit. What then?

I did agree with the implication of one comment Anne-Marie Trevelyan made about the need for a ‘team effort’ to get ‘laws changed for the betterment of our world’.

Yes, we need to work together with other countries, but as a team of equals.

This requires the pooling of resources and, dare I say it, sovereignty.

It is only through working with other countries that we, together, can make this world a great place to live.

I have much pride in that aspiration and am patriotic for Britain to be a part of a sharing ‘Great World’.

Geoff Hoskin,