EM brings Gavin Esler and Gina Miller together to look at why British politics is in crisis

Published on March 19, 2024

Last night, over 1000 people joined us for British politics in crisis: Post-Brexit, how do we reclaim the soul of our country? With Gavin Esler and Gina Miller. 

Chaired by Dr. Mike Galsworthy, Gavin Esler - the journalist, author and former presenter on BBC Two's Newsnight - and Gina Miller - leader of the True and Fair Party - both spoke to Mike and took questions from the floor about what's gone wrong in recent years and looked to the future, looking at how we can revitalise UK democracy as part of the long-term campaign for a renewed relationship with Europe.  

"There are good things and bad things about the UK," said Esler, "We can revitalise and solve the bad things. Among those bad things is the self-harm of Brexit."

"We had an advisory referendum based on 16 words. The Northern Ireland referendum in 1998 was based on a 35-page document. The referendum for the UK to join the European community was also different, as we knew what we were joining. I'm not blaming people for voting for it, I am blaming the government for using a referendum to try and fail to solve party politics."

"There is a way forward - we need to face the facts and start telling the truth. If we are talking about the next government, there are plenty of simple ways for a new government to strengthen the UK's relationship with the EU."

"People are disenfranchised," said Miller, "democracy needs the demos, the people. We have a 'good chap' model of government. This is naïve and is self-serving."

"It all starts from the top. Leaders have choices, and choices have consequences. This is why we are seeing 'Broken Britain'. Something happened after the financial crisis: we responded with austerity. This exasperated many of the existing problems and what happened? The US produced Trump. We produced Brexit."

"To reunite the UK with Europe is the goal for the future. But we need to get our domestic politics right. We need constitutional change and we need more checks and balances so that the UK is a more attractive addition to the EU."

If you weren’t able to join the event with us live, no worries! You can watch the event back here, on our YouTube channel:

If you missed the mention of Gavin’s recent book, you can buy Britain Is Better Than This here. To see what Gina is up to, head over to her website here.

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