Brexit: taking back control the co-operative way

Following the EU referendum in June 2016, we set out our positive vision for how co-operatives can fit into a post-Brexit Britain. Read it online here or download the PDF

Our Brexit principles

Given the massive scale of the task in hand, it will be all too easy for the interests and potential of co-ops to be overlooked and marginalised by government. If our positive vision for the UK outside the EU is going to happen co-ops need to work together now to minimise the risks and maximise the opportunities in Brexit.

At a policy level Co-operatives UK is starting out with three overarching ‘Brexit principles’:

  • Despite the Brexit workload for government, our basic policy needs must still be met
  • Co-ops should not be put in a disproportionately worse position by the Brexit process
  • The potential for co-ops to give people control and build a better economy should be harnessed

Competition and Brexit 

We have responded to the House of Lords inquiry into how UK competition policy could and should be impacted by Brexit. Our key positions are:

  • a strong and balanced competition policy should contribute to a more inclusive economy 
  • the competition settlement for agricultural co-operation needs to be retained through Brexit legislation and there is scope to better tailor it to our needs once outside the CAP
  • UK competition law after Brexit must retain accommodations for small players in the economy to co-operate for mutual advantage

Read more 

Brexit Safeguards

As Article 50 was triggered we published our 'Brexit Safeguards', setting out what needs to be protected for co-operatives during the Brexit process. In identifying our safeguards we have focused on areas of public policy that will be central to the Brexit process, namely the repatriation of EU law into UK law, and the replacement (or otherwise) of EU policy and competency with UK policy and competency. Within this we have focused on aspects where co-operatives have a distinct interest, and defined what we believe needs to be safeguarded.

Read our Brexit Safeguards paper here

We have written to key ministers asking for assurances and action for co-operatives on the following issues: