THE BLOG

Black Monday: The Bigger Picture

27/08/2015 00:01 BST | Updated 26/08/2016 10:59 BST

Black Monday is the reason why Britain needs to step up its role in the European Union and the global arena. Those who have persistently argued that Britain needs to leave Europe completely disregarded the impact of globalisation and the growing economic interaction between states. Over the past five years, in the aim of trying to appease UKIP voters and Tory backbenchers, the Tories have attempted to make the British public believe that we can survive by turning inwards. However, the shockwave that rippled through the stock markets earlier this week is a clear indication that there are possible implications for Britain if we do not lead reforms on the global stage. It is now time that Labour reclaims the argument of globalisation and the need for Britain to lead within it.

New forms of communication, the modernisation of goods and the emergence of new technologies have all contributed to the growing interconnectedness between states. We no longer live in an era whereby we can afford to ignore important developments occurring across the world. To the contrary, we live in an era of growing transnational issues that include climate change, and growing security concerns given new form of terrorism. As a result of growing interaction and interconnectedness between states, globalisation requires institutions on a global scale to effectively deal with the potential risks that may occur. That is precisely why Britain needs to play a leading role within these institutions to ensure that Britain's voice is heard in addressing key global issues.

Those who believe that Britain does not need the world, or Britain should leave the EU fail to understand the important role that institutions can play in resolving transnational issues. Britain risks being left out of the loop in decisions that may impact our lives on a day-to-day basis. For example, climate change is not an issue that only affects one state or one continent. On the contrary, climate change may potentially be costly to all states, including Britain. That is why Britain cannot afford to lose its influence on leading environmental reforms both within the EU and on the global stage. China's pursuit of economic growth and political need for self-reliance in relation to its energy policies poses a great threat to our environment and yet, we have still yet to see any real action or interest by the British government to take a lead on climate change. More recently, the example of Black Monday demonstrated how negatively the decline of the Asian market can damage the British economy, which saw the FTSE 100 suffer a loss of 4.5% by Monday lunchtime. The world now works in a complex system that is not as easy as 'just walking away from the EU', if we do so, there are big economic, environmental, political and security implications.

Let's take the example of France. I am no big fan of Nicolas Sarkozy, but France under his rule played an influential role in the Libyan crisis, and in the resolution of the financial crisis within the Eurozone. And on the other hand, one of the biggest failures of the Hollande administration has been its inward approach in governance. Over the past few years, the French influence both within the EU and across the globe has declined. This is evident with the growing German dominance in the EU. As opposed to a debate on whether Hollande or Sarkozy was a better leader, the point is that in today's world we cannot shape effective domestic policies without taking into consideration global factors.

Part of the reason why the Tories have been able to get away with turning inwards is partly because Labour has also turned a blind eye away from incorporating globalisation into the policy-making process. Labour needs to claim this argument, not for its own benefit but for the benefit of Britain and the public. Otherwise, we risk decisions being made on behalf of us by institutions we have little or no influence in.

Black Monday should be a wakeup call that Britain still has a lot to offer and we cannot or should not let other states to make decisions on behalf of us. Globalisation is a reality and it is our choice whether we use it positively or take a chance and hope for the best.