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What should we be doing instead of Brexit?

January 28, 2019 12:48 PM
By Tony Clayton

Tony 2017

Brexit obsession has wasted three years when UK governments should have tackled three big problems. Instead we've gone backwards on all of thde. We must act now.

First, and perhaps hardest, we must reverse the trend which made Britain the most unequal society in Europe. The gaps between rich and poor, and lack of social mobility, are producing a polarised and more violent country. Some may feel insulated from it in Sevenoaks or Tunbridge Wells, but the problem is here. We need to understand that record employment has been bought by too many poverty jobs. Schools are being squeezed, which limits opportunity for all. But building a fairer Britain is priority number one.

Second, and closest to home, is housing. The gap between the homes we need, and those we've built, gets wider each year. Here in West Kent, the lack of affordable homes for young families, and of homes which work for older people is chronic. Local people are being squeezed out, or forced into insecure lives. More investment, targetted in ways which don't drive up house and land prices, requires better collaboration between central and local government. It also needs help from all the EU citizens with skills in our bulding industry.

Third the shortening deadline to avoid the climate change cliff is much more serious and more real than the artificially imposed March date for Brexit. Unless we make bigger strides within ten years to decarbonise our economy, our children will inherit a more unstable and less productive world. Efficient and renewable energy, for homes, transport and enterprise, need a massive international push. Using the EU's power to shift China, Russia and the US on this will be key to success in 2019.

Tony Clayton