Our CEO, Philippa Stroud reflects on the General Election result and what we can learn from this as we strive to create opportunities that will enable all British people to flourish.
The General Election has shown us two things: we need a Brexit that has the support of the country and we need a country that works for everyone.
Over 80% of the electorate voted for parties that supported Brexit. But anyone listening to the current media debate could be forgiven for losing sight of this. Further confusion has been sown by those who supported remain campaigning for a soft Brexit and those that supported Brexit being referred to pejoratively as hard Brexiteers. The truth is that neither of these terms reflect reality. No one wants a hard Brexit nor does anyone want a soft, ineffective Brexit. What we want is a Brexit that maximises the opportunities and minimises the disruption - for everyone. We need to leave the European Union in a way that has the best chance of delivering prosperity for generations to come. This is a seminal moment in history where we are laying the foundation stones for the future British economy.
We owe it to future generations to fight for the most open and optimistic Brexit we can. This means negotiating a trade deal with the EU, leaving the single market and the customs union, and reaching out to a global market to build the kind of prosperity from which each and every one of us can benefit. Young people are right – this should be a youth Brexit – we are building our great nation with an eye to their future success.
This election also made it abundantly clear that we must do more to create a Britain that works for everyone. Our post-referendum work, 48:52 Healing a Divided Nation, clearly demonstrates that the vote was a bold and unequivocal statement by millions of people who wanted to change the political, economic and social status quo. Those who had not felt heard by the establishment expressed their desire to take back control of their wages and their public services. We warned at the time that simply leaving the European Union and gaining control of our borders would not be the full answer to this heartfelt cry; we must also trigger wider social reform and offer a clearer vision of social justice focused on addressing people’s real concerns. The message the electorate sent us was that if they worked hard, they wanted to know there would be opportunity - that they would prosper - and be able to have access to housing, healthcare, education and employment.
Whilst Parliamentary time will be dominated by Brexit and though numbers in the Commons are tight, we at Legatum believe that we can – and must – get Brexit right. If we do, the rewards are much more than economic: we can give hope to the next generation, and build a stronger, more unified nation. After all, prosperity is about economic and social well being and we owe it to the young, the old, and those in between to fight for and deliver a Britain where regardless of where you come from there is huge opportunity in front of you.