I decided to ask the Labour MP Jonathan Reynolds (who has almost exactly the same name as me) some questions about the recent EU referendum result and find out whether there were any positives for Britain leaving the EU.
Were you surprised by the EU referendum result?
No. Although I had changed my mind several times as to who I thought would win, I knew Leave winning was a real possibility
Why do you think so many working class and Labour voters were attracted to the leave campaign, rather than Labour’s ‘In’ campaign?
Two-thirds of Labour voters did back Remain, but in my area concerns about immigration were very high. Despite making the case for the benefits of immigration, many people were and are very uneasy about the operation of the free movement of people between the UK and the EU.
How will this result affect young people?
It’s huge. It will affect the opportunities available to them in the rest of Europe, but it will also deeply affect the type of country the UK becomes. Much of that future is still up for grabs however.
What would you like to see as part of the post-Brexit deal?
I would like Britain to remain as close to the Single Market as possible, particularly as to the ability for businesses based here to operate freely anywhere in Europe. I also hope that whatever immigration policy Parliament decides we will still attract the best and brightest people to work in the UK. In addition, I would also like to see scientific collaboration across the EU continued.
Are there any positives of Britain leaving the EU?
Some specific businesses will be better off, such as sugar producers who import cane sugar from the rest of the world as a raw material and who currently face a high EU tariff. But on the whole this is an outcome best for those people who have a very specific idea of what the UK should now be, which is usually to be a sort of Western Singapore – ultra-free market, low social security spending, hyper global etc. – and these people tend to be on the Right in politics. We need an alternative vision.