Liberty, wealth or peace: the choice offered by the Brexit deal
When it comes to the Brexit deal, perhaps the Prime Minister’s best bet is to argue explicitly that peace should trump both wealth and freedom says Professor John Garry.
Liberty, wealth or peace? And if you can only have one of them, which do you go for? Hard Brexiteers desire freedom above all else – the liberty to make your own decisions, good or bad. Hard Remainers place top billing on economic prosperity and don’t see much merit in the freedom to be poor.
And the Prime Minister wants to head to a peaceful land where compromise between the two sides lessens the chances of a winner-takes-all endgame and the associated bitterness and acrimony.
Politics is often about forcing yourself to rank a set of initially equally desired values. We all want independence, money in our pockets and a fairly harmonious society, but if we want all these things to the same extent we’ll find it difficult to make a political choice.
We have to make a judgement call and identify the value we like most and allow ourselves to be chaperoned by that value to the associated relevant political option.
So, perhaps the Prime Minister’s best bet is to argue explicitly that peace should trump both wealth and freedom. And it is her deal that offers the most effective path to a relatively harmonious destination.
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Article first appeared on the UK in a Changing Europe website.