The decision to leave the EU has been made, and we must grapple urgently with the more difficult task of deciding what kind of Britain we want. This can’t be left to those who opposed Brexit.
The referendum campaign saw an explosion of thought and discussion across Britain. It had nothing to do with the parliamentary parties: you could hear it on the streets, in workplaces, in pubs and clubs. That mass movement, that independence of mind, must be carried on – and deepened – if Brexit is to become a reality.
The world has changed. We can now control our future. Where do we start? For the 43 years of Britain’s subservience to the EU there has been virtually no planning – the EU did it for us (or not). Since the vote, many people here – Leave and Remain voters alike – are realising there is a new world of possibilities opening up based on self-reliance.
The TUC’s response is little short of pathetic. Working people, it says, should not “pay the price of Brexit”. What price would that be? Brexit is what the working class voted for, what it wants, what it knows will give it the opportunity to advance. Already there’s a Brexit bonus for would-be students (see “Brexit boosts student choice”), while the EU assault on workplace pensions has been blunted (see "Pensions after Brexit"). Outside the EU, we will do better.
The working class now has to focus on Britain as an independent nation in the world of today. Our enemies are trying to negate or postpone Brexit, and the working class must rally to push it forward. This means acting on the basis that we are out of the EU.
Informally Britain should at once take soundings with EU countries about the prospects of continuing trade on a country-to-country basis. Simultaneously Britain should conduct formal trade talks with the non-EU countries in Europe and all other countries in the world.
Also at this time we should begin to rejig our economy and our educational system (as we did in WW2) to make sure that we can survive as an effective independent nation. This is the new meaning of “Rebuild Britain”.
Our greatest resource is ourselves, the people of Britain. If we lack people with the skills needed, they must be trained, not poached from other countries. Above all, the people themselves must take the lead in calling for this to be done.
While all this is happening we must look again at NATO and our relations with the USA reaching right back to 1945. A take-off point can be the statement of the US President that, if we leave the EU, "we go to the back of the queue" – not a bad place to be while we re-examine our place in the world.
Politics is too important to be left to the politicians. The country wants independence. People want control over their lives. In every workplace, in every community, the people must take up the challenge: What kind of a country do we want? How do we impose our will?