29/09/2020

It is time to put into motion a different kind of debate about what will inevitably become a different kind of country

According to reports, the use of the very term Brexit by government ministers has been banned by Downing Street, so keen are those around the prime minister to demonstrate that Brexit has indeed been done.
Of course, it has not: the trade talks will stretch across the next 11 months, even on the governments own timetable. The reality is that, one way or another, they will drag out for many more years. After all, Global Britain is going to enter into talks with every major economic power in the world (America, Japan, China), as well as some of the smaller ones (New Zealand) in order to conclude groundbreaking ambitious trade deals. Even the most ardent Remainer should wish them luck as they go about that mammoth task. Nothing less will do if we are to have much hope of mitigating the real economic damage to be wrought by Brexit.
It is in this spirit that The Independent today presents its Brexit Blueprint for how the UK is to survive, even thrive, in the post-Brexit world. For we will need not only new trade relationships with the EU and others; we will also need a national strategy for success. In the prime ministers phrase, we need to imagine who we can unleash Britains potential.
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The chancellor, Sajid Javid, has spoken of human capitalism a glib phrase, but one that points to an awareness that for small, open economies such as Britains, our greatest asset is our people. The better educated and trained they are, the better they will make their living in a difficult post-Brexit world. Education, infrastructure, regional investment all will form part of the Brexit damage limitation exercise.
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A message projected onto the White Cliffs of Dover
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Big Ben, shows the hands at eleven o’clock at night
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Nigel Farage speaks to pro-Brexit supporters
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Pro-Brexit demonstrators celebrate on Parliament Square
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The Union flag is taken down outside the European Parliament in Brussels
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Pro-EU campaigners outside the Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh
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A pro-Brexit supporter jumps on an EU flag in Parliament Square
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EU Council staff removed the Union Jack-British flag from the European Council in Brussels, Belgium
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A pro-Brexit supporter pours beer onto an EU flag
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Pedestrians pass in front of the Ministry of Defence Building on Whitehall, illuminated by red, white and blue lights in central London
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A Brexit supporter shouts during a rally in London
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Pro-EU campaigners outside the Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh
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Pro-EU campaigners take part in a ‘Missing EU Already’ rally outside the Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh
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A large pro-EU banner is projected onto Ramsgate cliff in Kent
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Pro-EU supporters light candles in Smith Square in Westminster
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A man waves Union flags from a small car as he drives past Brexit supporters gathering in Parliament Square
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The five-year old Elisa Saemann, left, and her seven-year old sister Katie hold a placard during a rally by anti-Brexit protesters outside the Scottish parliament in Edinburgh
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Pro Europe supporters gather on Brexit day near the British embassy in Berlin, Germany
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Anti-Brexit protester hugs a man while holding a placard
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A decorated, old fashioned fire pump in Parliament Square
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Pro Brexit Elvis impersonator performs at Parliament Square
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An anti-Brexiteers stands with his dog in Parliament Square
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Paddy from Bournemouth wears Union colours as he sits next to an EU flag decorated bag in Parliament Square
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A pro-EU activist plays a guitar decorated with the EU flag during a protest organised by civil rights group New Europeans outside Europe House, central London
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People celebrate Britain leaving the EU
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A Pro Brexit supporter has a Union Jack painted onto his face at Parliament Square
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Men hold placards celebrating Britain leaving the EU
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Pro Brexit supporters dance in the street draped with Union Jack flags at Parliament Square
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An anti-Brexit demonstrator spreads his wings during a gathering near Downing Street
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Pro EU supporters display a banner ‘ Here to Stay, Here to Fight, Migrants In, Tories Out’ from Westminster bridge
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Pro-Brexit supporters burn European Union flags at Parliament Square
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A man poses for a picture on Parliament Square in a ‘Brexit Day’ t-shirt
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People celebrate Britain leaving the EU
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A man wears a pro-Brexit t-shirt
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Anti-Brexit demonstrators visit Europe House to give flowers to the staff on Brexit day
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Pro Brexit supporter wears a novelty Union Jack top hat outside the Houses of Parliament
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Customers Scott Jones and Laura Jones at the Sawmill Bar in South Elmsall, Yorkshire, where a Brexit party is being held throughout the day
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A pro-Brexit demonstrator burns a European Union flag
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A Brexit supports holds a sign in Parliament Square
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A man carries an EU themed wreath
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Ann Widdecombe reacts with other members of the Brexit party as they leave en masse from the European Parliament
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Anti-Brexit demonstrators in Parliament Square
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Pro EU supporters let off flares from Westminster Bridge
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British MEPs Jonathan Bullock, holding the Union Jack flag and Jake Pugh leave the European Parliament, in Brussels on the Brexit day
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Newspapers and other souvenirs at a store, near Parliament Square
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Brexit supporters hold signs in Parliament Square
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Pro-EU protesters hold placards in Parliament Square
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Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald with a Border Communities Against Brexit poster before its unveiling in Carrickcarnon on the Irish border
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National growers organisation British Apples & Pears has renamed a British apple to EOS, the Greek goddess of dawn, to commemorate Brexit day
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Pro-EU protesters hold placards in Parliament Square
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Britain’s departure from the European Union was set in law on January 29, amid emotional scenes, as the bloc’s parliament voted to ratify the divorce papers. After half a century of membership and three years of tense withdrawal talks, the UK will leave the EU at midnight Brussels time (23.00 GMT) on January 31
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A man poses with paintings on Parliament Square
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People sporting Union Flags gather in Parliament Square
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A man walks with a St. George’s flag at Westminster bridge on Brexit day
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A British bulldog toy and other souvenirs at a souvenir store
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British pro-brexit Members of the European Parliament leave the EU Parliament for the last time
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Jonathan Bullock waves the Union Jack as he leaves the European Parliament
1/66
A message projected onto the White Cliffs of Dover
2/66
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Big Ben, shows the hands at eleven o’clock at night
4/66
Nigel Farage speaks to pro-Brexit supporters
5/66
Pro-Brexit demonstrators celebrate on Parliament Square
6/66
The Union flag is taken down outside the European Parliament in Brussels
7/66
Pro-EU campaigners outside the Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh
8/66
A pro-Brexit supporter jumps on an EU flag in Parliament Square
9/66
EU Council staff removed the Union Jack-British flag from the European Council in Brussels, Belgium
10/66
A pro-Brexit supporter pours beer onto an EU flag
11/66
Pedestrians pass in front of the Ministry of Defence Building on Whitehall, illuminated by red, white and blue lights in central London
12/66
A Brexit supporter shouts during a rally in London
13/66
Pro-EU campaigners outside the Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh
14/66
Pro-EU campaigners take part in a ‘Missing EU Already’ rally outside the Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh
15/66
A large pro-EU banner is projected onto Ramsgate cliff in Kent
16/66
Pro-EU supporters light candles in Smith Square in Westminster
17/66
A man waves Union flags from a small car as he drives past Brexit supporters gathering in Parliament Square
18/66
The five-year old Elisa Saemann, left, and her seven-year old sister Katie hold a placard during a rally by anti-Brexit protesters outside the Scottish parliament in Edinburgh
19/66
Pro Europe supporters gather on Brexit day near the British embassy in Berlin, Germany
20/66
Anti-Brexit protester hugs a man while holding a placard
21/66
A decorated, old fashioned fire pump in Parliament Square
22/66
Pro Brexit Elvis impersonator performs at Parliament Square
23/66
An anti-Brexiteers stands with his dog in Parliament Square
24/66
Paddy from Bournemouth wears Union colours as he sits next to an EU flag decorated bag in Parliament Square
25/66
A pro-EU activist plays a guitar decorated with the EU flag during a protest organised by civil rights group New Europeans outside Europe House, central London
26/66
People celebrate Britain leaving the EU
27/66
A Pro Brexit supporter has a Union Jack painted onto his face at Parliament Square
28/66
Men hold placards celebrating Britain leaving the EU
29/66
Pro Brexit supporters dance in the street draped with Union Jack flags at Parliament Square
30/66
An anti-Brexit demonstrator spreads his wings during a gathering near Downing Street
31/66
Pro EU supporters display a banner ‘ Here to Stay, Here to Fight, Migrants In, Tories Out’ from Westminster bridge
32/66
Pro-Brexit supporters burn European Union flags at Parliament Square
33/66
A man poses for a picture on Parliament Square in a ‘Brexit Day’ t-shirt
34/66
People celebrate Britain leaving the EU
35/66
36/66
A man wears a pro-Brexit t-shirt
37/66
Anti-Brexit demonstrators visit Europe House to give flowers to the staff on Brexit day
38/66
Pro Brexit supporter wears a novelty Union Jack top hat outside the Houses of Parliament
39/66
Customers Scott Jones and Laura Jones at the Sawmill Bar in South Elmsall, Yorkshire, where a Brexit party is being held throughout the day
40/66
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43/66
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A pro-Brexit demonstrator burns a European Union flag
45/66
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A Brexit supports holds a sign in Parliament Square
48/66
A man carries an EU themed wreath
49/66
Ann Widdecombe reacts with other members of the Brexit party as they leave en masse from the European Parliament
50/66
Anti-Brexit demonstrators in Parliament Square
51/66
Pro EU supporters let off flares from Westminster Bridge
52/66
British MEPs Jonathan Bullock, holding the Union Jack flag and Jake Pugh leave the European Parliament, in Brussels on the Brexit day
53/66
Newspapers and other souvenirs at a store, near Parliament Square
54/66
Brexit supporters hold signs in Parliament Square
55/66
Pro-EU protesters hold placards in Parliament Square
56/66
57/66
Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald with a Border Communities Against Brexit poster before its unveiling in Carrickcarnon on the Irish border
58/66
National growers organisation British Apples & Pears has renamed a British apple to EOS, the Greek goddess of dawn, to commemorate Brexit day
59/66
Pro-EU protesters hold placards in Parliament Square
60/66
Britain’s departure from the European Union was set in law on January 29, amid emotional scenes, as the bloc’s parliament voted to ratify the divorce papers. After half a century of membership and three years of tense withdrawal talks, the UK will leave the EU at midnight Brussels time (23.00 GMT) on January 31
61/66
A man poses with paintings on Parliament Square
62/66
People sporting Union Flags gather in Parliament Square
63/66
A man walks with a St. George’s flag at Westminster bridge on Brexit day
64/66
A British bulldog toy and other souvenirs at a souvenir store
65/66
British pro-brexit Members of the European Parliament leave the EU Parliament for the last time
66/66
Jonathan Bullock waves the Union Jack as he leaves the European Parliament
So how can we possibly make Brexit work? Fresh thinking will be required. Caroline Lucas, for example, offers the novel idea of a citizens panel on climate change something that might help to bridge the gap between peoples ready acceptance of the climate crisis and their reluctance to change their way of life. Iain Duncan Smith talks of the tactics we will need to get what we want from trade talks with both Europe and America. Jonathan Powell assesses how Britain can marshal its diplomatic resources to best advantage as it loses the EUs leverage in international relations. Leaders in farming, the automotive sector and fisheries highlight what government can do to support them as they try to make the most of a Brexit they did not necessarily wish for. 
Those who opposed Brexit, who joined with The Independent in the Final Say campaign for a second, confirmatory referendum, and who want the UK to rejoin the EU as soon as possible, are right to remain sceptical about Brexit. Yet it is happening, and we have now to polish this most unpromising of stones. It is always going to be true that the UK will be worse off outside the EU than it should have been inside it but that does not mean that economic growth is impossible, or that Britain has to accept its destiny without trying to make the best of this bad job. Remainers may allow themselves some time for sadness, just as Leavers celebrate. But then it is time to put into motion a different kind of debate about what will inevitably become a different kind of country.