Gordon Brown: 'I want to rejoin the European Union' | While stressing it was his personal view, the former prime minister vowed to "not give up" on rejoining the EU.

Gordon Brown: 'I want to rejoin the European Union' | While stressing it was his personal view, the former prime minister vowed to "not give up" on rejoining the EU.


>the former Prime minister *vowed* Steady...


This interview is weird, IMHO, although that seems to be caused more by the context in which it happened than by the (rather pragmatic) convictions expressed within it. > ’m not some mad integrationist that in all situations will say, integrate, integrate, integrate. But I do think our future is still European, and I do think that myself. This is the view of most political parties. I don't think anyone wants to integrate things for the sake of it. The fact that this needs to be mentioned as some sort of defense for the accusations that are sure to follow speaks for itself. >But I recognise that’s not what’s going to happen in the very short term, and I also recognise that we’ve also got to find a better way of expressing global Britain, to persuade people of the need for international cooperation. He is completely correct here, IMHO. The UK will not be rejoining the EU any time soon. It might move towards closer cooperation in a decade or two, but even that is now doubtful due to the obvious political rift that has been purposely created. The major problem with the emphasis of "global Britain" is that it is essentially a mirage. Nothing stopped the UK from engaging the rest of the world when it was in the EU but it still focused on its neighbours instead. Why? Because that is where the most gains are to be expected and, despite the rhetoric, where the UK's natural allies (those countries whose interests align most with its own) are to be found. > My idea for the slogan for the European campaign was ‘leading, not leaving’, because I do think people need to be proud of their country, and being proud of your country by being a leading force in Europe, I think, could have won people’s hearts and minds to staying in the European Union. But that is a false proposition. The UK was never "leading" Europe; it contributed. As a slogan it might work but it still enforces the wrong idea: that a country should lead the EU, i.e. expect to be followed, rather than that it participates in tandem with the rest. The UK should not rejoin the EU with the intention to lead it. If participating and cooperating is not enough, then the EU has nothing to offer the UK (and the other way round). It should also be noted that the UK's decision to seek opt outs and special treatment at every occasion worked against it in many ways: you won't have a voice in something that you don't participate in. This in turn will feel like a further loss of control. Brexit is simply the extreme end of this proposition: by removing itself from the EU it no longer has a say in what it does, which is likely to backfire in many ways as these decisions are sure to influence the UK in various ways. The move only makes sense if the EU subsequently ceases to exist, which (not coincidentally) featured in most predictions made by the pro-Brexit camp during the campaign. > And we should be playing a leading part in the United Nations, in the International Monetary Fund, in the World Bank. We should be shaping the agenda there with other countries. And we just seem to be out of that. And you really can’t talk about global Britain unless we’re part of that. He's right here. The Commonwealth is a thing of the past. Any relationship with the USA will always be asymmetric due to the difference in power (the UK is no longer a global power, the USA most definitely is). The problem with global institutions is, of course, that they conflict with the agenda of the current UK government, because they create various constraints on national sovereignty.


> But that is a false proposition. The UK was never "leading" Europe; it contributed. I think you're misunderstanding this one. My impression is that Brown is stating we should be leading *by example* - for example, by being world leaders in CO2 emissions reductions, by being world leaders in medical sciences, in equality, etcetera. This is in line with some of our recent history - for example, we were among the first nations to extablish rights basis for the working disabled. We were among the first nations to adopt legal definitions for marriage between same-sex partners. We had, at one point, a world leading social health program (remember ~~First~~ Sure Start?). We had major social investment, like scalar qualification for jobseekers (At one point, you could get your CCNA on the social). This is the sort of thing I think he is referring to.


Not to contradict the well-made points you are both making, but I think he may also be referring to the period when Brown was PM, and we were more actively involved in the EU. I think there was a guardian article (maybe a long read) that mentioned how for a brief period, as opposed to saying “let’s ask France and Germany”, people within the EU began to say “let’s ask France, Germany and the U.K.”. I imagine that sticks quite clearly in his head because he was there, but has been subsumed into the ‘we were always very uneasy in the EU’ trope.


I recall reading that Brown was even invited to Eurozone meetings during the financial crisis, despite the UK not being a Eurozone member. Inconceivable these days.


While I personally am not a fan of his; I'm not surprised that happened and wouldn't be surprised if it happened today, if not for brexit. Looping the chancellor/ex chancellor as PM of one of the largest economies of the day in to discussions about the largest financial crisis of the day, is just common sense. Even if not directly involved their insight would be invaluable.


This is new to me, I was never aware of this period. Mostly because I was still something like 13, but I was aware of Brown and the recession, and his rather decent handling of it. If you can find that article I'd love to read it.


Annoyingly, I can’t find it. Tbf I think Brown wasn’t seen as a 100% committed towards the EU (against adopting the euro) but yes the financial crash is the period they referred to.


Maybe you're right, in which case I concur with Mr. Brown on this one. I'm definitely not saying that the UK, as a society, is not progressive, technologically adept or that it is incapable of leading by example. It just seems to me that its political system lets it down and fails to express that, especially where foreign policy is concerned. Mr. Brown obviously represents the moderate, pragmatic and responsible part of the UK political system, but he is something of a relic out of the past; this is the time of the wreckers, the demagogues and the reckless opportunists. People like that do not create lasting alliances, contribute to international organizations or solve the world's problems through careful diplomacy. I approve of Mr. Brown's views, by the way, and I think the UK would be in a much better place if people like him had been elected, but that doesn't seem likely to happen any time soon.


> its political system lets it down I'm of the opinion that this is more a symptom of changes in the way we are interacting with each other, and the inability to hold rational discussion without devolving into ad-hominem more often than not. The ever-increasing divide between left and right is somewhat, I think, a symptom of an unwanted foreign culture influence. With that said, I don't think we should *stop* looking for better forms of representation. > this is the time of the wreckers, the demagogues and the reckless opportunists. In what manner? Do you mean politically? If so, I'm wholly against such a proposal. I much favour stability over risk when it comes to statecraft, as long as there is room for *positive improvement*. The development of society should come from society itself, but the state should be stable in order that society may fall back on it when experiments go awry. That isn't to say I don't want improvements in things like humanitarian policy. Far from it. Rather, I would prefer gentle shifts in the right direction, at a pace quick enough to demonstrate good intention but slow enough to avoid violent outcry from detractors. > People like that do not create lasting alliances, contribute to international organizations or solve the world's problems through careful diplomacy. Hm. Perhaps, but perhaps not. I think that ultimately depends on who is in the captain's chair, both domestically and internationally. A combination of like-minded people in world-leading positions can be the foundation for the strongest of international alliances - but with that said, pursuing agendas with reckless abandon can also topple those same alliances. Bah. World was easier when I was seven and the most concerning thing was "am I going to go to the park today".


> The ever-increasing divide between left and right is somewhat, I think, a symptom of an unwanted foreign culture influence. It is also overstated, IMHO. I'm not sure how the situation in the UK is, but people in my country who vote for radical right wing parties usually do not do so for economic and social policy (i.e. where the left/right debate is grounded). When you speak to them they usually don't actually support a right wing economic agenda, even if the party they support does so. They support said party so because they fear immigration. Overall, there still is a very strong consensus for social democracy, whatever the extremes on both sides of the spectrum say. > In what manner? Do you mean politically? I meant it as an observation. These are the kind of people who are now in power and these are the kind of politicians who are currently winning votes. I'm aware that this is somewhat distorted in the UK due to its electoral system, but there's no denying that they dominate the UK political system right now and have essentially supplanted people like Mr. Brown and his opposite numbers in the Conservative party. Moderate and nuanced opinions, responsibility and decorum are no longer traits that further your political career. This is exemplified by figures like Mr. Johnson, who have no discernible public or private morals but are rewarded with high political office nonetheless. People know they lie; they just like the lies. That in turn explains their failure where international diplomacy is concerned, because politicians and diplomats in other countries are not part of the intended audience. They don't go along with the narrative because they have their own goals and objectives. > Bah. World was easier when I was seven and the most concerning thing was "am I going to go to the park today". Actually, that's something that makes me hopeful. It was not easier or simpler in the past. The world was just as complex back then as it was now and people still found ways forward.


> The ever-increasing divide between left and right is somewhat, I think, a symptom of an unwanted foreign culture influence. When did this process start? I mean, we used to have regular shut-downs of the entire country due to organised labour and in 1919 tanks rolled into Glasgow to head off the chance of revolution. The past 30 years have seen a kind of neoliberal consensus established by Thatcher and American movie-star Ronald Reagan, but that was far from the norm. What's going on now isn't some unknown phenomenon; it's *politics*. Actual politics. Not administrative bickering about whether to increase or decrease tax by half a percentage (important thought it is), but questions about who gets to have power, and what kind of state we want to build. I agree that revisionism towards positive improvement is preferable to the alternatives, but the past 20 years have really undermined faith in that stable consensus.


In my personal opinion, and this is just my own observation, I think the advent of widespread social-media usage massively contributed to it. People are far less reserved about what they say on the internet vs. what they say in person, and the cultural overlap between the UK and US has allowed a number of societal norms to jump the pond. More recently, the idea that having a differing political stance or opinion inherently implying that one is a bad person, or is somehow undesireable in some fashion. It's even prevalent here, on this subreddit. This, in turn, pushes people away from commonplace interminglng, encouraging the development of groupings of similar opinion. As these groupings develop, they begin to lose sight of the complexity of the humanity of other groupings with opposing opinions, to the extent that they begin to see only the most vocal of those groupings. Naturally, the most vocal are usually also the most controversial, which builds reputation by association. This reputation is not only held within the opposition, but within other groupings of similar opinions who may not see those ideals as controversial. Again, the cycle continues - the controversial element moves continually outward from itself - in a similar fashion to the overton window. It doesn't take more than a few years to develop societies that are heavily divided as a result, and the increasingly poor opinion of the opposition held by the protagonist allows some of that... angst? (there's a better word but I can't bring it to mind) to spill out into the real world. This is, of course, observed and disseminated throughout the opposition and fuels further division. We are now, today, at the early point of this second "stage" - and the way we are interacting with opposing ideals is becoming increasingly complicated. It is often necessary to apologise for holding an opposing ideal before questioning an ideal of the opposition, which, whilst rather polite, feels somewhat dystopian. I don't consider that to be politics. I don't consider it appropriate to bring an emotional argument into *every* debate (although some, by their own merits, do require such an argument and I hold no argument against that particular instance), because doing so often prevents valid, rational discussion. Thus, an acceptable, attainable, best-fit solution is ever harder to reach. It's one of the reasons I despise the way that the house of commons is run - jeering and booing is no way to respond to a point of order, however much one may disagree with it. It also prevents proper analysis - a member of the opposing house cannot rationally consider the point when they are not taking the point seriously. That's what I mean by the divide. The disavowment of rational debate in favour of ad-hominem. It does not serve to bring conversation to the table (and thereby resolution or even, possibly, consensus), but instead flippantly pushes away criticism and creates animosity without regard for the subject.


I don't think being a non-integrationist was really ever an option; the EU's long-term aim is a single federal republic, and they make no secret about their idea being ever-closer union. I suspect that's not an idea that will remain popular as it gets closer, but I'm sure the EU will assume many more of the powers now devolved to individual states before things really go wrong. I *do* wonder whether it will be possible to stop that integration once it gets started. I am concerned that the power over a continent of half a billion people is a terrifying prospect in a single entity - if, god forbid, some really evil bastards got to the top of the EU Commission, how would they ever be stopped? That danger, as much as my wonkish concerns about individual liberty and, yes, sovereignty (yes, I know) makes me a Eurosceptic. I'm also a sceptic of the US, China, and *any* sufficiently large nation-state.


> This is the view of most political parties. I don't think anyone wants to integrate things for the sake of it. It's even one of the EU's fundamental principles, subsidiarity: > In the European Union, the principle of subsidiarity is the principle that decisions are retained by Member States if the intervention of the European Union is not necessary. The European Union should take action collectively only when Member States’ power is insufficient. The principle of subsidiarity applied to the European Union can be summarised as "Europe where necessary, national where possible" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subsidiarity_(European_Union)


> the UK is no longer a global power, the USA most definitely is I suppose it depends on how you define "global super power." The UK is still 5th or 6th largest economy in the world (as recorded by nomial GDP, according to wikipedia). And are still one of the largest donators of foreign aid in the world (Number 3 in the world as of 2019 again according to Wikipedia, though I'm not sure how the proposed cuts in foreign aid will affect that). The UK operates one of the few true blue water navies in the world, including two modern super carriers which gives us force projection many nations simply don't have. I'm not going to contest that the U.S. has *more* of all that. In a straight up "competition" then the U.S. obviously "wins" but I wouldn't say that the UK was now inconsequential on the world stage. The UK is still a world leader in the areas of science, medicine and engineering.


I don’t think we’re inconsequential, but even though we are fifth or sixth we are a long way off first and second. Eg the sixth largest city in the U.K. is (according to a quick google) Portsmouth-Southampton, with about a million inhabitants. Hardly inconsequential, but much smaller than London with 11 odd million.


It's insane to me that China has cities of 12 m that no one's ever heard of.


> I suppose it depends on how you define "global super power." The UK is still 5th or 6th largest economy in the world Economically, the only superpowers are China and the US (and if you count them as a bloc, the EU). Being 6th biggest economy, armed forces or whatever is the same as being the 6th biggest selling cola brand in the UK or 6th most watched TV channel. 6th is pretty good, but you're not in the same tier as the big guns.


>it contributed. In what way did we contribute? We did so financially, but it seems that over the last twenty years we disrupted in other ways more than we contributed. UK veto'd the quotas on Chinese steel imports when they were dumping steel. UK elected UKIP to the EU parliament in ever greater numbers each election. ​ We opted out of Schengen and the Euro. We never really played our part as a full member. I think the EU will be stronger with us out of it.


Other countries also opted out of the Euro. There's not one EU viewpoint on what should happen next, it's more like an ongoing conversation about what to do that we're no longer part of Pretending that the EU is homogeneous and constantly seeking greater integration is part of the brexit myth. It's a large group of countries and there's a lot of diversity of opinion in there.


Standing in opposition to the flow can be a huge help. It's *annoying*, sure. Having a strong member of a bloc that forces you to ask "how can we make this work for everybody" can help make sure that the smaller voices are also considered more thoroughly. It's has a similar effect to the (slightly idiotic but good in principle) electoral college in the USA in that a "big" voice opens the floor for "smaller" voices. It's basically like having a coalition government, in theory, means that more people get a chance at having what they want than if a single party was in power. Of course, being how complicated the EU is it doesn't work so directly as that but the stubborn arsehole is a valuable part of any productive effort in the long term. I personally think that the impact of the UK leaving the EU will be rather more damaging to the EU than a lot of people realise in the long (10+ years) term, and the UK in the any (0-1,000,000 years) term. Nobody is winning which is dumb.


Having a different opinion to France and Germany doesn't equal disruption, unless you think that in order to be good little Europeans we have to agree to everything.


The euro and schengen were both at the heart of two of the biggest crises that Europe has faced in decades (the economic crash and the migrant crisis), due to some genuinely poorly considered aspects of their implementation. There were valid and sensible reasons to opt out of both.


> This is the view of most political parties. I don't think anyone wants to integrate things for the sake of it. Ever further integration is a founding principle of the EU. The economic benefits only ever existed as a bribe to get countries to sign up to a federal superstate. You can't be pro-EU and a non-integrationist.


Rubbish There is an entire spectrum of outcomes between federal superstate and a supra-national bloc. Your description does not match the current structure of the EU and you, of course, ignore the fact that any move towards such a state must be the result of a treaty between all members, i.e. a voluntary and unanimous act. So yes, I think you can be pro-EU and non-integrationist. You just have to acknowledge that there is such a thing as *nuance*.


So would [42% of the population](https://yougov.co.uk/topics/politics/articles-reports/2021/02/02/britons-would-vote-remain-are-less-sure-about-re-j), do brexiteers just think rejoin will go away if they believe hard enough?


No but they like to laugh that they'll never give us a referendum.


We'll outlive them.


I've never been convinced by the argument that the next few generations will automatically be staunch remainers. Kids born in the last few years will have no memory of living in the EU, and possibly no emotional or cultural connection to it whatsoever. In 40 years, no one under 50, say, will have been born in the UK and the EU. Why would they care particularly about rejoining?


Perhaps because the existential problems that younger generations will face require internationalist solutions. We sink or swim together when it comes to the climate crisis. It's hard to imagine independent Britain leading the way.


Yeah I think this will be the biggest driver. I mean we see it even now in the Tories' back room chatter around internationalism, and building more international bodies, globalization is the defacto roadmap for increased economic outcomes (and I would throw in colonialism for at least another 30 years too).


Most of the problems facing the young in the UK (housing costs, tuition fees, the jobs market, health, social media), can only be fixed by the UK government.


ah so we are fucked then


Those problems also require anti capitalist solutions which is not possible in the EU


I don't know if it's fundamentally okay or not okay to have rights to property which allow for people to put profits abroad. These laws exist to allow say minorities who are part of an international diaspora to put funds in another country if they need to for whatever reason. They also allow billion dollar corporations to ruthlessly exploit and corrupt the whole system by tax evasion. There's no reason why un-capitalist public ownership of certain industries couldn't instantly prevent climate collapse, but based on what happened in Russia, it could just as easily lead to massive corruption.


No, they require the marketplace to be adjusted so that companies gain financially by working in a sustainable manner. You get the behaviour you incent, capitalism has historically been the most efficient way to get that behaviour


No capitalisms only been around for 200 years and it's only been one way


Capitalism hasn't had evolution or nuance in 200 years? Wat?


> they require the marketplace to be adjusted so that companies gain financially by working in a sustainable manner. Literally impossible and incredibly naive to think otherwise.


Maybe when the UK is a basket case they’ll look back at history and what we lost.


Aye, the next generation will have no concept of freedom of movement, the way things are now is all they would’ve known and it’s not going to be a huge issue. There also seems to be this idea that no one under the age of 50 is Conservative or right-wing. I’m 35 and loads of people I went to school with (appeared to) vote Leave, based on the stuff they shared on social media. And other people **will** get more conservative as they get older, the world changes around them, they don’t like/understand it etc, the Torys tap into that and there you go, another decade of Conservative rule.


The thing about social media is it's manipulated (or sometimes not, it's just the nature of it) such that minority opinions seem much more important than they are. Young people, particularly children, will remember their parents being distraught after the referendum, the anxiety. The age polarisation used to be overstated, but these days, it's overwhelming.


>Aye, the next generation will have no concept of freedom of movement, the way things are now is all they would’ve known and it’s not going to be a huge issue. I don't think that's true. There'll be a whopping great big example of the benefits just off Dover.


I can only speak for myself and my social circle, but my left wing ideals have only hardened as I get older. I think this trend may have run its course. The elderly (provided they're lucky enough not to need social care) have been protected from much of the harm the Tories have done over the years, through the so called "triple-lock" on pensions, and the property boom they've enjoyed. But that's not really the case for people my age (40s) and under anymore.


There never was a thing by which young people become more right wing. Society becomes more liberal, so the migrate to the right in that sense, but people rarely change their attitudes.


Hard disagree. Your final statement explains why people become more conservative - people rarely change their attitududes. New generations bring new ideas and change. Previous generations are less on board and would like to keep things the way they are familiar. That is the fundamental nature of conservative (conservation) vs liberal (change). As you get older you get more out of touch with modern society and values.


> Why would they care particularly about rejoining? Because the UK will become an also-ran on the world stage and the EU literally surrounding us will be one of the largest economies in the world


> Why would they care particularly about rejoining? Clear economic benefits, ability to live anywhere in the EU, travel opportunities, work opportunities... And let's be honest, the EU will most likely have nicer laws as we diverge, things like the "no roaming charges" policy will be enacted in the EU, and that can be quite a strong message to voters in 10 years.


Problem is, none of that matters if all you use the EU for is going to magaluf to drink and trash hotel rooms when you're 18. I think that's why lots of people can't imagine why we're all so upset about leaving...


I don't know... I think as we are outside the EU, we will start seeing that european life is quite nice, much like the average person knows that the scandi countries have some benefits in relation to happiness... what they will attribute that to, that I cannot say, but I think there is a strong likelihood that our always online young generation will be interacting with europeans on a grander scale than their parents did. I would also say that these kids grew up going on holidays with their parents sometimes once a year... and as they get older they will question why access to europe is so hard. Moreover, you have to understand that Older generations voted against europe not only because of immigration but because of a vision of a "global britain", and I think that is kind of a harkening to the empire, which was portrayed in their culture; and even quite a few members of the brexit voting block have this image of britain as fundamentally more powerful than it really is. Overall, I think it is highly likely that the benefits we had inside europe will be requested again.. And if we do that in the commonwealth.. that's just not good enough, too far away, too expensive, too "foreign". The majority of the younger generations are accustomed to european traditions and lifestyles. I am too tired to format this, hope it helps you with some hope :)


It’s Reddit pal, this is their little echo chamber where they believe this nonsense.


Oh wonderful we can rejoin in 40 years...


Not that long. But realistic timelines are something like 15-20 years, yes. Although, sometimes things move fast :)


I suspect rather faster than that for Scotland. And possibly Northern Ireland too the way things are headed.


NI has the kick up its bum with the fact they have a land border with the EU now, so maybe even them first.


The sad part is we'll be much less influential when we do rejoin :(


Good, our influence was shit.


Yes and no. The common market is largely British (even conservative!) influenced and it's pretty good.


I think maybe even 5 years. International solutions paying off will make globalization sexy again. And I think the corporate elite and their political money have an interest in making international solutions work. Especially if this global tax scheme is improved on and the idea of the UK being a tax haven is struck off the table.


> Especially if this global tax scheme is improved on and the idea of the UK being a tax haven is struck off the table. Not going to happen under a Tory or modern Labour government.


Lol, the sad nature of our politics... I do feel a chance is there. Mostly due to Biden and pro union movements starting back up.. who knows, perhaps the British public will march for higher global taxes or more movement on combating climate change by requesting more capital. either way, I think internationalism is in the cars if we only fight back against corporate propaganda. And the hopeful in me also hopes that the overall market force is towards re-unification with the EU or maybe a global union with the same style of governance.


Fun fact: We don't need one. There is no requirement to hold a referendum to join the EU, Schengen or even the single currency. The UK joined the common market in 1972 without a referendum.


We don't *need* a referendum to do anything. But the problem with referendums is they feel like they trump everything and you look bad trying to reverse them. The lib dems tried saying they'd reverse the referendum if they won the election and it did not go well for them.


>and you look bad trying to reverse them Except the 1975 one ?


They'll convince some. I voted remain and will probably vote to rejoin but I'd be less sure. We'd have none of the privileges we had before and would have to joint the Euro


If Brexit is the success they claim it will be, then presumably they think a lot of those 42% would change their mind.


that's 42% of people asked, but 51% of people that answered since there was 18% don't knows.


I imagine you can massively reduce that 42% by adding a few campaigning points to the question. 'Would you like to rejoin the EU, which includes a commitment to using the Euro, and joining the Schengen agreement requiring no boarder checks on people passing from the rest of the EU to the UK?' It'd be lucky to break 30%, I reckon. Rejoining is not the same as Remaining, but most people won't understand that.


You can't un-fuck what's been fucked.


Another fantastic point. Messaging would be a tough pill to swallow.


Unfortunately for you your post was made \~5hrs before a new poll conducted last week was posted that contradicts your 4 month old poll: [OprosUK poll results of '47% to stay out, 38% to re-join'](https://twitter.com/OprosUK/status/1403331214363303938).


But this doesn’t fit the narrative


Would the EU let us back in though? Serious question


Without hesitation. Although without the many perks and privileges we once had.


I would suggest that even some of the perks are not completely out of the window. I doubt they would force the Euro on us for example.


The EU can't force the adoption of the Euro. The UK could always commit to joining the Euro and unfortunately *wink wink* never fullfil the criteria to join the Euro.


What's the point of joining when you don't agree with one of its main projects. If we rejoin then I think we should join the Euro and Schengen. Be full members rather than this half in, half out thing we were doing.


That’s just the reality of how the EU currently handles adoption of the euro. That could’ve changed in 20 years time for all we know, but currently taking part in ERM II is optional even for countries that have no formal opt out from the euro.


Not having the Euro has helped the UK twice because it could devalue the pound to prop up exports without affecting the population too largely. Having your own currency is extremely useful in a crisis.


I can see the sentiment. I am just saying that there is no force for adopting the Euro. The EU always worked flexible in regard to internal member needs and rather went for fugding things to suite members if it strengthened the union. The contrast is also interesting to see as the EU always worked quite rigid in regard to non-members due to having to account for all different member interests.


AKA Pragmatic, or RealPolitik if you want to be European about it.


They wouldn't, and even if they did, it's possible to avoid taking the euro by manipulating the pound to avoid convergence criteria.


Of course they wouldn’t be, the UK is still one of the largest economies in the world, and the EU would likely sweeten up the deal if there was some sort of clause to prevent another Brexit for X amount of years. After all, the whole point of free trade is that everyone can win economically.


Yeah, big economy, the optics of a country getting back into the fold, just look at how optimistic most of the west has been about "America return to its position as global leader"! I would even say that it's a waiting game before the EU produce a white paper discussing the potential rejoining by the UK and what that would entail.


Yes. They understand the UK in the EU is stronger/ better for all parties. The UK rejoining would send such a strong message that any other countries leave movements would diminish, if the UK couldn't make it work by leaving then (almost) no other country could. They would probably want some sort of guarantee that we wouldn't start playing the hokey-cokey and repeat the last 5 years whenever we felt like we couldn't get our way.


For the near future highly likely because the split isn't too deep yet and it would be a massive prestige win for the EU. But realistically there is no chance the UK rejoins in the foreseeable future. Long term, who knows.... depends on where the EU and the UK go from here. If they continue to diverge and become increasingly antagonistic, there might not by too much taste for it.


I sure hope they won’t. From 2014 to January 2020 the biggest share of UK MEPs belonged to UKIP and the Brexit party. The people that voted for those MEPs should never get another vote in a European Parliament election, and they won’t, if the EU don’t take us back.


EEA arrangement like Norway may be the best compromise for the UK and EU. I really can't see it being anything other than that (thats not to say it's likely, just probably the best workable solution for the UK to get back on board as it stands)


A large parentage of those MEPs are Tory party members now, so that's great.


Breaking: Experienced politicians move party after their old one disbands.


They were fucking loons and crackpots mate.


I really hope Scotland leaves the UK, joins the EU, and then vetoes England when it eventually wants to rejoin. That would be hilarious and we would 100% deserve it.


I think Spain might veto.




Probably implying that Spain will require Gibraltar be returned before they allow the UK to rejoin.


No disrespect to our dear Gibraltarians, but I can’t see that being a deal breaker


It would be


Do you think it's likely that the UK will rejoin any time soon?


Not a chance unfortunately. If we do ever rejoin it won’t be for a long time.


I'm of the same opinion. In 15-20 years maybe, but not any time soon. There isn't really a rejoin movement to speak of at all as far as I know.


I don't see it ever happening. France wasn't keen on us joining in the first place, and probably likes the extra influence it now has. On top of that, in 20 years time we'll be fully established and joining the EU would require us to break a ton of trade alliances most likely. Just like we did in the 70's. I don't think people will be keen on this constant 30 odd year flip flopping. I think now we're out, it's not likely we'll ever return. Especially given we won't get offered any of our previous rebates or opt outs. Rejoin is a shittier option than Remain, and even Remain couldn't win. Who knows what Rejoin entail in 20 years time, with the EU constantly trying to take further powers from national parliaments.


Fantastic comment. The EU certainly looks committed to further federalisation, so it being a dramatically different entity to the one in 2016 isn’t out of the question 15-20 years down the line. While this sounds good for the prospects of rejoining, I just don’t see it being the case due to the position of weakness we’d be rejoining from, and I honestly don’t ever see a party running on a platform to hold a rejoin referendum unless there was an insane amount of support for it.


> Rejoin is a shittier option than Remain, and even Remain couldn't win In order of shitness remain is the least shit, but leave/not rejoining the most shit, rejoining under any conditions is better than we have now. and Remain didn't lose because it was the worst option it lost because of the propaganda machine.


Under **any** conditions? I was a remainer and would still prefer to be in the EU, but when I hear people saying things like that it turns me away from rejoin


any *realistic* conditions. Obviously I don't mean **any** conditions. Edit: by which I mean, some people have this idea that the EU will *punish* us with overly harsh conditions when we try to rejoin, and I do not believe that to be realistic. They will offer us exactly the same conditions that any other country would get when joining the EU, based on our GDP etc. and that's the worst case scenario. Of course we won't get offered the incredibly good conditions we gave up when we left, but that in itself would be our punishment.


>rejoining under any conditions is better than we have now Nah, no rebate and having to let the EU control our monetary policy would be utter dogshit. We'd be paying massive amounts to the EU, for little gain, and be massively gimped economically. Who knows what other shit we'd have to chow down on in 20 years time. Give up military autonomy, and our own foreign policy? Not impossible. You're in the same league as the hardest of Brexiters, just on the other side of the argument. And like them, your argument is not based on anything more than general feelings and emotions. Theirs, hatred for the EU. Yours, love of it. Neither looking particularly objectively.


And your speculation that the EU would remove our military autonomy is objective based on what? the fact it's "not impossible"? What else is "not impossible" assuming the UK doesn't rejoin the EU? the UK joining the US as a overseas territory? the UK government rolling back human and worker rights with no EU oversight? the UK being dismantled into separate countries? Businesses pulling out of England as it stops being competitive on the world stage? England's GDP per capita falling to eastern-Europe levels? Maybe they won't happen but they might, and they definitely wouldn't if we stayed in the EU. I have no particularly great love for the EU, I just know we're stronger together.


When the first Labour/Greens/Social Democrat coalition government has been voted in and after the Mail, Express, Sun and Telegraph have closed because of lack of readership, England may be able to reapproach the EU with some credibility. Until then, hahahaha.


Fuck knows what they think. Do they think? So many questions...


“A small majority of the UK population share a different political belief to me - therefore they must be stupid.” Big brain time.


Gordon Brown's government was the only one in modern British history to contain NO Etonians.


I didn't know this, thanks for the info!


I just searched this thread (171 comments) for 'Immigration' and 'Freedom' (as in 'of movement'). The latter was mentioned twice in passing. The former doesn't appear *at all*. EDIT: Now at 344 comments - only change is that immigration has been mentioned once, again in passing (and by someone from another country lol)


Good idea. My house is so full of sovereignty, I can't even get to the front door, and I'm tired of eating it. At least the EU was a way to get rid of all the spare sovereignty.


> I'm tired of eating it. [Margery, eat your flag.](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=66w6GTFB8FU)


I want to rejoin too. I also never wanted to leave


This is a generational issue. I understand where Brown is coming from and why "remain" should keep pushing but outside of maybe some changes to the existing agreements we've made in the mean time Brexit isn't going to be undone anytime soon. ​ I believe this is more for Scottish eyes than English and to try and help stop Scotland from wanting to do independence . Something Brown hasn't been shy is talking about in recent times.


Unfortunately as we learned during the last referendum Brown's arguments and suggestions (many of which I was in favour of, such as a federalised UK) were simply ignored by Clegg and Cameron after the vote. Brown's pipe dreams aren't enough to convince me to stay my hand on the next vote, and I suspect it'll be the same for many others that previously listened to him. His political capital is running on empty.


Yeah I agree completely. I was just trying to give some context.


I want the EU to give me political asylum. Is that the same?


So brown is now all for Scottish independence. Only chance he's got of rejoining


I’d imagine that Brown is still of the belief that in the UK but out of the EU is better for Scotland than the other way round.


joining up and adopting the euro isn't a very hard thing to do , we're even allowed to put the queen's head on the notes, the EU literally don't give a shit


Disavowing the votes of more than half the population really paid of for labor once already. Why not get this guy back on so they can do it again.


Covid has, so far, thrown up a lot of dust around the impact of Brexit. When that settles we'll start to see the lay of the land a lot more and support for rejoining will steadily build again. That's what I expect anyway. In 10 years, you'll struggle to find anyone willing to admit they were silly enough to have been duped into voting to take away their freedom of movement and trade. Let alone 52% of the population.


So much of 'Project Fear' has been proved to be true, which makes most (if not all) of the reasons for leaving total nonsense. However, even if we were to re-join now, I doubt we would ever get anything like the rights we had and threw away. Such a shitshow, and for what? Blue passports, a shortage in hospitality staff (among others) and the destruction of businesses up and down the land - the Govt didn't even bother to protect the City of London's financial markets FFS!


My Hopes : Realistically 10-15 years of social struggle and change - Predominantly Higher minimum wage/employee rights due to worker scarcity et al, which wouldn't happen inside the EU and cheap migrant labour abuse. Then full re-joining of EU, once enough older people die. Just my personal views.


So once you’re old enough to no longer need better workers rights or minimum wage, you pull the ladder from under you so you can benefit from cheap prices.


Nope, I could be wrong but - once higher wages are set in law, it would be political suicide for anyone to repeal those laws. I am also confident that the minimum wage has NEVER decreased since its inception. But an overhaul is due and like I said I hope that occurs over the next few years with the absence of cheap labour pressure negating social pressure for offering fair wages, not the bare minimum. Subjectively - I would theorise when those in society effected are moved up to a fairer living wage (UBI?) and all jobs are guaranteed to be, then their is less public perception to whats seen as outsiders undercutting uk citizens. Which in turn means a more positive association with the EU instead of a threat to their income?


I would vote UKEU party, if such existed. Britain is Europe.


The U.K. is still in Europe it’s a geographical location.


there's volt UK


Well, now I have to go and get special permission to live with my wife and kids in an EU country, because I am no longer an EU citizen. The UK passport is now a joke.


The horse has bolted for rejoining the EU, but the obvious shorter term goal should be to rejoin the single market and customs union. In a saner world, this is the option the UK would have chosen after the referendum. A Labour government should be pushing this as part of their party platform.


Follow all the worst parts of the EU without having any say? Good luck with that one


What? He'd join the Euro and Schengen? I thought he was opposed to euro?!


He was opposed to the Euro as it didn't make economic sense for the UK to join when it was a political issue 20 years ago. He has no deep anti-euro beliefs or anything like that.


Yeah, it’s not like we update our beliefs in accordance with new evidence over time or anything, is it?


No, you pick a side once you turn 18 and stick with it forever!


It doesn't make economic sense now either. The EU is not an optimal currency area without large fiscal transfers


I first learned this at university in the late 1990s. The UK itself (and the USA for that matter) are OCAs for that reason - but also because you have far more movement within the US and the UK (proportionately) than across the EU given language and cultural barriers. I upvoted you as I have never seen anyone else reference OCAs since I was at university!


I suspect he's regretting *a lot* that little bit of politics playing.


Not a brexiteer, but honestly, I think this whole in/out debate has to stop now. There’s no point in going back and I don’t think it’s going to easy or even very profitable to get back into the EU. A saner approach would be to try and develop a close and amicable, trade and security relationship with the EU and just get on with our lives.


It may seem like that because the public argument is separate than the people affected and the public argument seems to have run out of steam. But for many of us directly affected by the exit, things are as raw as they ever were. In fact, many real frustrations have only just begun this year. People are still struggling with paperwork, people's relationships with their EU partners are being put under strain, EU citizens in UK are still finding out that they no longer have a future in the UK. If we, the public, decided to stop debating this as an in-out issue I fear that we're prioritising our boredom with the news cycle, over taking the issues that people are facing right now seriously.


despite winning beyond their wildest dreams and getting the UK out, the leave forces are **still** pushing - the nonsense with NI, refusing to even agree to beneficial deals that help the UK (SPS, the live music industry stuff). just because they won at leaving the EU doesn't mean the culture war has ended, they continue to push to split the UK further and more permenantely from it's closest neighbours. obviously rejoin is off the table for now but the pro-Leave side continues to push and win.


Exactly! We desperately need to have these subject centric debates. My worry is that this “magic talk” about wishing brexit away is just an attempt at stirring the pot to whip up some chaos to distract everyone from issues at hand. That way, people can have heated arguments and the resulting controversies can dominate the public discourse and these greasy palm politicians can get on with their business of lining their own pockets.


> "Not a brexiteer, but honestly, I think this whole in/out debate has to stop now." Yes. I'm sure a lot of people thought similarly in 1975, sadly Nigel Farage and his Nazi friends didn't shut up. > "There’s no point in going back and I don’t think it’s going to easy or even very profitable to get back into the EU." That argument was used 40 years ago too. I'm not gonna stop belly-aching for a return for the EU. Because Nigel Farage proved, that's how you get what you want. Whine incessantly.


I agree that it's pointless now that the damage has been done. What we should be doing is holding the scumbags to account who have irrepairably damaged our country with their lies.


Agreed. Strong Remainer but the ship has fucking sailed now. We're out, it isn't going to be reversed and rejoining will be a totally different picture to what we had, so don't count on the Remain support being constant.


What's wrong with rejoining on more even terms? A bit of humble pie might not be bad for exceptionalist UK.


Why would we want to do that? We don't want to join the Euro and there are several exemptions that we had before that we likely wouldn't get back. Unless you're holding a masochistic "we're bad and must punish ourselves" view, that doesn't make sense.


>Why would we want to do that? We don't want to join the Euro Not everyone is obsessed with retaining some patriotic national currency, or worried about the scare stories of the Euro exploding every year. Believe it or not, some people really don't care that much what our coins look like. > and there are several exemptions that we had before that we likely wouldn't get back. Yes that's my point. > Unless you're holding a masochistic "we're bad and must punish ourselves" view, that doesn't make sense. I said exactly what my view was. You seem to be ignoring that so you can ... Troll? Vent? Not sure what you're up to. The UK certainly doesn't need punishment, but it does need to get over the Old Empire mentality.


It's nothing to do with "what our coins look like" rather that we would lose direct control of our own monetary policy, and have to adopt one that is trying to consider a dozen or more other economies which is a huge step backwards. > The UK certainly doesn't need punishment But apparently it needs some "humble pie".... Frankly it doesn't matter in the slightest what some rando from Prague thinks the UK needs.


> But apparently it needs some "humble pie".... If you think learning to be humble is punishment, I'm sorry for you :) > what some rando from Prague Since I'm not from Prague, you might want to try harder Sherlock. Then again if you're resorting to ad hominem already, maybe you should consider how good your point actually is.


In no way is adopting a position that would negatively affect us "make us learn to be humble". And to most people "eating humble pie" is absolutely a negative thing.


>In no way is adopting a position that would negatively affect us "make us learn to be humble". We have already put ourselves in a negative position with brexit. Entering the EU on fair terms would be a fair thing, not a negative thing. However, to some people, fair is bad. > And to most people "eating humble pie" is absolutely a negative thing. Eating humble pie when you need some is a good thing :) arrogance and exceptionalist is rife in the UK. We would be better off without it.


Get the fuck out of here with your nuance.


I voted remain, but I don't think I'd want to rejoin the EU at this point. We'd never get back the sweet deal we had in the first place, and I don't want to adopt the Euro, for example.


Oh not this myth again... joining the Euro is a 'requirement' with heavy quotes around it. That particular can can just be kicked down the road indefinitely as some current EU members have been doing.


Only because we close an eye on Sweden, Czechia et al. given they're still in ERM II and it's not a huge issue. But you'd have to be quite optimistic to think you wouldn't get spanked into oblivion when it comes to monetary and fiscal policy if you asked to rejoin after the way you left


The reality is that joining ERM II is a choice - and so you simply choose not to join. That said - most of the 2004 entrants don’t meet all the other criteria - the Wikipedia articles are regularly updated on these. Schengen would be an interesting one - but then Bulgaria / Romania / Croatia / Cyprus have never joined.


This is why labor are fucked. Either full of blue haired mouth breathers or the more sensible ones like Brown are so out of touch with working class heartlands.


>blue haired mouth breathers Have you never seen the audience at a Conservative party conference?


Blue rinsed mouth breathers?


>working class heartlands. They're the mouth breathers. It's very difficult for Labour because they need to get the votes of some of the lowest knuckle draggers in the country while also getting the votes of the young and the progressive. Given the old working class racists and students are at polar opposites I can't see how they could possibly get the support of both.


Waaaaahhhhh! You can't point out working class stupidity and racism or they won't vote for you which they weren't going to do anyway! You have to tell them that they're clever and sensible to read shitty tabloid news and vote whichever way the most racist paper tells them to. If you do that, they'll still vote for the hard right, but they won't hate the left quite as much - they'll just find it subservient and laughable rather than elitist. Win!


UKs destiny is to be Air Strip 1 aka USAs eastern unsinkable aircraft carrier Go apply to be the 51st state


DC has already bagged that one.


What a world we live in. “I didn’t like that result! DO IT AGAIN!” Not a Brexiteer but grow up and move on.


Isn't that what the referendum was?


No, there was only one referendum on the EU


The UK joined the EU in 1975 - evidently overtime people found it to be a one sided relationship. 41 years later it was brought to the table for a vote as the geopolitical landscape changed and there were new generations eligible to vote in the UK being affected by these policies. Sorry but this is completely different to a group who’ve been calling for another referendum since the day it took place.


I guess we'll need to check how many people in 1975 were calling for a redo after that loss. That would answer if the world has become worse?


>Not a Brexiteer but grow up and move on. The EU and its associated states are our largest and only neighbour. Our relationship with them will continue to be a key part of our policies for as long as it continues to exist. And as long as it continues to exist, barring something truly untoward, our best possible relationship will be a close one up to and including membership. No amount of "moving on" will change this.


I think you need to be a country to join, not a failed prime minister, but I could be wrong


>failed prime minister Sure, he didn't win the GE as party leader, but he's not had a bad career as it goes. No doubt he'll be gutted at having been dissed by some random on the internet.


I find it quite sad that of all the PMs of the last 40 years, he’s the only one that never won an election. The three that have followed him couldn’t hold a candle to him.


Yet is against Scotland wanting to by route of independence. Decrepit auld wank.


He's giving you warning not to repeat Brexit failures, should probably listen to what he does say rather than what he doesn't. His words will be applicable to another union breaking.


Does anyone else just not get tired of the same conversation. 6 Years of Brexit in the news everyday, dominating the newspapers. I think most people are too tired and too bored of it to go through another referendum and probably another few years. Especially as Germany wants to remove the Veto power, smaller countries won't have a say in anything anymore.


>6 Years of Brexit in the news everyday, dominating the newspapers The vast majority of that time was leavers arguing over what leave actually meant. If they had a plan on what type of leave we would have that was compatible with international law then the whole thing could have been voted through parliament and done in a year, but then if they had such a plan and campaigned on it they never would have won in the first place


>If they had a plan on what type of leave we would have that was compatible with international law then the whole thing could have been voted through parliament and done in a year If they had a plan they would never have won the referendum.


>Especially as Germany wants to remove the Veto power, smaller countries won't have a say in anything anymore. See that's the problem, people don't understand how the EU works: 1. Germany has suggested to get rid of the veto power for foreign policy only. Veto would remain for all the other policy areas currently under the rule of unanimity vote. 2. The veto power is hold by national governments in the Council of the EU (not in the Parliament) where each country has 1 vote (although there are thresholds based on population), and where decisions are taken by either majority, qualified majority or unanimity, depending on the policy area. Small countries already have a lot of power in this system I for one think that the veto does has done more harm than good, paralysing EU action in important areas, making it look ineffective. The funny thing is that the people who defend the veto power the most, are then the ones that blame the EU for being ineffective.


> Does anyone else just not get tired of the same conversation. 6 Years of Brexit in the news everyday, dominating the newspapers. That's because it's the single biggest and most impactful event we have had since WW2. The way our economy is tanking (as predicted) compared to our EU peers, you can expect at least a decade of Brexit in the news before we move on to articles about how to casserole squirrels


>That's because it's the single biggest and most impactful event we have had since WW2 I think you're forgetting something here...


No. The pandemic is a short term crisis that *if* we hadn't economically self harmed would be fairly easily surmountable moving forward into the early to mid 2020's. The pandemic has also, bar the failings of various governments, has treated the rest of Europe fairly equally overall. The difference here is that due to Brexit, it's going to be much, much harder and take much, much more effort to get back to where we were compared to our peers.


Loads of us are, also if that removal of Veto went in.....


But the UK isn't one of the smaller countries?


Yeah, I'm absolutely bored of it. Bored of politicians arguing about it. Bored of my family arguing about it. The period 2016-2019 was the most toxic I can remember and it seems to have broken a lot of people's brains. I really have no desire to go back there. Honestly, although I voted remain, Brexit has changed absolutely nothing about my life other than the colour of my passport. And I think that's true for a lot of people, perhaps most people. I know this won't be the same for everyone, e.g. if you're in Northern Ireland or the owner of an exporting business. But it really feels, from where I'm sat, like all the bitter arguments and divisions and recriminations were over basically nothing.


If I don't see it then it didn't happen.


I don't think boredom should be a reason not to discuss society and our children's future.


If anything this just reinforces the leave side with that melt advocating staying in.


Why's he a melt? I might not have agreed with everything he's done, and some of his policies while Chancellor, and nor would I expect too. But he is one of the few politicians, that I can see is totally sincere in wanting to improve the lives of all of people in the UK.


I don't think it works that way, or crooked liar Boris Johnson would be poison to any cause he supported.


I fucking wish but I feel it's unlikely at this point.


I was happy if we remained. However we have left. I'm sorry, but trying to rejoin will make the us all look like massive tits on the map.


I think he should use his position within the labour party to challenge the way the current government is behaving towards the EU post brexit. If he's serious about rejoining, then he must understand that the EU needs to know that the UK is capable of being a reliable partner. As the main oppositional party, if labour as a whole were vocal enough about how they would do things differently, the EU might hear that. Then they would know that the UK has potential to be a valuable ally. Personally, I genuinely believe that both the UK and the EU would be much better off with the UK in the EU or customs union, but the current leadership and a large portion of public census is getting in the way of that. Despite that, understanding that the UK being in the EU would ultimately be a good thing for everyone is something that keeps me hopeful that maybe this unlikely thing will actually happen someday. Lord knows I need that hope - I am an english eurofederalist watching brexit go just the way I predicted it go, haha. I've let this whole thing genuinely take a toll on my mental health.


Cheap pandering for relevance again. Hell of a way to split and already fractured voter bloc