Peter Mandelson’s Take on ‘Exit Brexit’ – Is Rejoining the EU on the Horizon?

In a frank exchange of differing perspectives, Peter Mandelson’s scepticism towards the UK rejoining the EU contrasts with the British Chambers of Commerce’s call for bold post-Brexit strategies. Here’s the full story.

Turn for the Worse

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Since the Brexit referendum in 2016, British politics seems to have taken a turn for the worse, without the softening influence of the EU staying the hand of some of the Conservative party’s more fervent ideas. 

No Hope of Rejoining

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However, despite the much anticipated upcoming election, with polls strongly suggesting a Labour government, there is little hope to be found in that party for those who wish to see Britain back in the EU.

Profound Scepticism

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Those hopes were definitively quashed when Peter Mandelson, the prominent Labour peer and former EU trade commissioner, expressed his profound scepticism regarding the prospect of the UK rejoining the European Union. 

“You’ve Got to Be Joking”

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Mandelson, known for his close ties to Keir Starmer, dismissed the idea, stating, “you’ve got to be joking” at the notion of Brussels renegotiating the UK’s membership. 

“For Love nor Money”

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Speaking at a British Chamber of Commerce event, Mandelson stated, “I cannot see the British people running towards [a referendum] for love nor money after what we went through during the last one. I really do not think that people are going to run towards a repeat of that experience,”

Global Britain

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Lord Mandelson was speaking at an event to launch the British Chamber of Commerce’s “Global Britain” initiative.

Closer Ties

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Despite dismissing the idea of rejoining the EU, Mandelson stressed the importance of building closer ties with the bloc under a potential Starmer government. 

“Stable, Constructive Relationship”

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He noted the EU’s desire for a “stable, constructive relationship” with the UK but highlighted that wholesale renegotiation was not on the agenda in Brussels.

“Other Priorities”

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Answering the question of rejoining the EU, Mandelson stated, “They [the EU] have got other priorities. They have other fish to fry now. And they’re not going to go through the back-and-forth, up-and-down, seesaw motion; or another protracted, probably hard fought over, and indecisive negotiation with Britain. So that’s simply answered.”

Move Beyond Brexit

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The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) echoed similar sentiments, urging politicians to move beyond Brexit and prioritise trade. 

Clear Strategies

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Martha Lane Fox, president of the BCC, spoke of the need for bold decision-making and the formulation of a clear strategy to manage EU regulation while fostering opportunities for British businesses.

“This Must Stop”

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Speaking of the worry felt by politicians of upsetting those on either side of the Brexit debate, Fox stated, “This must stop. Our politicians must be bolder in their decision-making. They must set out a strategy on how we manage EU regulation and, where it makes sense, to diverge so that British business can benefit,”

“Roller Coaster Ride of Instability”

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Mandelson reflected on the economic ramifications of Brexit, describing it as a “roller coaster ride of instability.” 

Frequent Turnover

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He lamented the frequent turnover of ministers and the challenges it posed to the British economy, suggesting that it had been operating with “one arm behind our backs.”

Chasing Deals

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In contrast to the Conservative approach post-Brexit, Mandelson indicated that Labour would not prioritise chasing free trade deals worldwide. 

Trump on the Horizon

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Instead, he emphasised the importance of navigating the delicate balance between a potential Donald Trump administration in the US and establishing a robust relationship with the EU.

“We Become Stranded”

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Mandelson stated, “There is a danger that we become stranded, or that we become collateral damage in what could become quite an escalating tension,”

Trade War

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Concerns were raised about the potential implications of a trade war, particularly in light of Trump’s defiantly protectionist stance.

10% Tariff

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Trump has recently stated that, if reelected, he would impose a 10% tariff on all trade goods imported into the US. 

Maximising Influence

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Mandelson warned against the catastrophic consequences of such a scenario, though he suggested that such a move would necessitate the UK to “join with other [nations] to maximise the influence that we exercise.”

Mitigating Risks

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Mandelson suggested that such measures would allow the UK to increase its influence globally by collaborating with allies in the EU and other G7 nations to mitigate the risks posed by escalating tensions and protectionist measures.

World Trade Organisation

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He also called for collaborative efforts to strengthen international trade mechanisms, including the World Trade Organisation.

Hard to Hear

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Though his rejection of the idea of Britain rejoining the EU may be hard for some to hear, Mandelson, having previously served under Tony Blair and, more recently, as a close advisor to Keir Starmer, provides valuable insights into the harsh world of the UK’s post-Brexit reality.

Less Antagonistic

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While the prospect of the UK rejoining the EU remains distant, the suggestion that a Labour government would aim to have a closer and considerably less antagonistic relationship with the EU has been welcomed by businesses up and down the country. 

Constructive Relationship

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Though the shadow cast by Brexit has been long, it seems that there may finally be a chance for a constructive relationship with Britain’s largest trading partner in the future.

The post Peter Mandelson’s Take on ‘Exit Brexit’ – Is Rejoining the EU on the Horizon? first appeared on Swift Feed.

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