The Political Economy Review 2017

outside the EU but inside the Single Market. This way, the UK economy can be put first, protecting jobs and livelihoods. This is essential to stop thousands of jobs being moved from the UK to the Continent (which has already started in London). This is the only way to ease the 'Brexit squeeze' on consumers and ensure the economy suffers minimal damage. It is, frankly, shameful and irresponsible that the government decided to take the best deal off the table before negotiations even began. Since the election and the somewhat desperate talks with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) started, it has all become even more complicated and difficult for the Tories. The DUP, despite having links to terrorists and rejecting climate change, may help us secure a 'softer' Brexit. They are adamant that Britain does not leave the Customs Union, for fear that a hard border will emerge with the Republic. Therefore, it is likely Parliament will reject a very hard Brexit. However, that is not to say the DUP deal is a good thing, especially for the 2 million people living in Northern Ireland. This arrangement with the government is certainly contrary to the Good Friday Agreement, as it is impossible for the government to stay neutral when it relies on the unionists for support. It seems as if direct rule from Westminster is now inevitable as the Stormont Assembly has totally collapsed, a catastrophe for the peace process and the people of Northern Ireland. In terms of Brexit, although both parties don't want a hard border, there may well have to be one if Britain leaves the Customs Union, to stop Ireland from being a back door into the UK for EU migrants. This would damage both economies and the livelihoods of those near the border, taking them back to an infamous era. There are numerous other ramifications to leaving the EU, many of which have been scarcely mentioned, yet need to be considered as they will significantly affect our lives. Firstly, a grave threat to our society, terrorism. The Schengen Information System Database provides invaluable information regarding the whereabouts of terror suspects across Europe, and is used by British security services 16 times a second. If the UK refuses to accept the jurisdiction of the ECJ (under which the system operates), this database may not be available. It is in both the UK's and the EU's interest to keep this operating, however, if hard-Brexiteers won't back down, Brexit could pose a significant threat to national security. There are numerous examples where the ECJ protects consumers' and workers' rights, including, of course, our human rights; if hard-Brexiteers don't back down, these may also drown in the English Channel. My final point is that Brexit will cause long-lasting ramifications, affecting those who were too young to vote, like me, but also the next generation. Although the US President and the newly powerful DUP dispute its existence, Brexit is a major distraction to tackling Climate Change. This was not mentioned once in the Article 50 letter, although 1,100 EU environmental regulations may be lost due to Brexit. Most notably, there is a possibility that the UK could leave the European Emissions Trading Scheme. The Erasmus programme, scientific research funding and even free data-roaming are all at risk of being axed in the negotiations while they squabble over trading relations, but will, of course, affect the opportunities for future generations. It seems that the referendum was taken as a popularity vote of the EU and its bureaucracy and not whether it was actually in Britain's best interests to leave the EU, two very different things. Since then, Theresa May has adopted her calamitous version of Brexit, taking the best deal off the table and opting for hate over sense; she is prioritising control on immigration (which boosts UK economic performance) instead of facing the reality. Working families are £500 poorer than last year, the Brexit squeeze is upon us and the negotiations are somewhat doomed before they have started. The Brexiteers say the economy is booming; it's not. They say they need us more than we need them; they don't (just look at the numbers - 45% of UK exports go into the EU and only 6% of EU exports go into the UK). They say countries are queuing up to sign trade deals, they're not, and even if they were, Britain can't start negotiating them until after 2019 (a simple fact of which David Davis was unaware when he took up the post of Brexit Secretary). They also say that a 'very, very bad deal' is better than a bad deal; it most certainly is not. The government wants to secure a 'deal like no other in history', assumingly


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