The process of Britain leaving the EU has been the cause of much anguish, fear and uncertainty. This is due to a lack of direction and conviction from most people in government and in the opposition. Their ability to think for themselves on big political issues has been neutered by forty years of taking orders from the EU. And their own fundamental agreement with the philosophy of the EU makes them reluctant to leave it and head in a different direction.

But head in a different direction we must, if we want to flourish as human beings, for the current policies of the EU, and of many UK politicians will not, as we shall see, lead to human flourishing. To this end we must reshape the debate not in terms of what we're leaving, but in terms of where we're going. The goal of the rest of this paper is to flesh out that destination.

However, first we must arm ourselves with knowledge of the political principles that will lead to human flourishing and then compare these with the principles underlying the EU and the UK. When we know which principles to follow and how we currently fall short, we will know what direction to go in order to correct our course.

So, what fundamental political ideas if adopted and acted upon, will lead to human flourishing? This has been the biggest question of political philosophy for centuries and many different answers have been given and tried, from ancient Greek democracy, to Roman imperialism, to the American Republic, to the USSR. However, in this paper we will be following the political ideas of Ayn Rand, who analysed what made America the flourishing success that it was and gave some fundamental reasons why.

The key factor she identified and explained fully for the first time, was individual rights. This was the idea, developed by John Locke in the 1600s but brought to maturity by America's Founding Fathers in the 1700s, that each person possesses by his nature the right to his life, liberty, property and the pursuit of his own happiness. This idea threatened to upset the prevalent view of the time that men exist to serve others, particularly the Crown, which dispenses privileges as it sees fit, and so the Americans and British fought a war over it.

Ayn Rand went deeper than Locke or the Founding Fathers and showed that individual rights are the only way to protect man's mind, which is his fundamental means of survival and ultimately of his flourishing. They do so by prohibiting the initiation of force against anyone and in so doing, bring society under moral control. (For a full argument on this, see Rand's essay The Objectivist Ethics.)

This view has significant implications for political systems. Since a government has a monopoly on the use of force in a geographic area, it must be strictly contained, or risk abrogating the rights of the very citizens it is created to project.

Unfortunately, today this is not the way most governments are set up. The EU government, whilst using the language of rights in its charters, actually routinely abuses them. It does so by creating tens of thousands of laws that impose its ideas on its citizens, denying them the right to think and act for themselves. Examples include directives on car design, social security, food production, fishing, electrical safety and chemical transportation to name but a few. In addition, it decides which EU industries to favour and which non-EU industries to punish by means of tariffs. In short, the EU puts the power of the state before the rights of its citizens. This is statism.

The UK government, currently doesn't behave much better. It accepts all the EU diktats mentioned above and then imposes its own in the form of further regulation, for example on house design, land allocation, medicines and banking again to name but a few. To cap it all, it then imposes a huge burden of taxation, partly to pay for all the bureaucracy, but mostly to pay for all the services which citizens would easily provide and choose for themselves given the freedom to do so. These include education, healthcare, unemployment insurance, pensions transport and environmental protection etc. Again, the ideas and values of the state are put above those of its citizens, amounting to statism.

Statism is clearly incompatible with individual rights - if you have a right to your property, then forcing you to build your house a certain way, or preventing you from selling a medicine unless it's approved, are violations of that right. Of course the statism in the EU and UK is nothing like the level of North Korea, but with each year and each regulation that passes, we move closer to that ignominious position.

So what justifies statism in the eyes of our political leaders? There are many factors but two of the main ones are the love of 'democracy' and the fear of anarchy. Democracy says that whichever group has the most votes can create whatever laws it likes regardless of individual rights. Unchecked, this is a recipe for mob rule, and for corrupt power games among politicians as they cajole, frighten and bribe the electorate into voting for them with the promise of favouring for their group.

The only alternative, most say, is anarchy. That is, no government and therefore chaos, rioting, looting, murder and pillaging to our hearts' content.

This is a non-sequitur. There is a better alternative - to elect a government by means of popular voting, but to limit what it can do by means of a strict constitution. If this constitution is constructed so as to secure individual rights, then the government would have far less to do, its citizens would have most of their tax money back in their pockets, and they would be free to live their lives as they each saw fit, in harmony with each other, knowing that their actions are unbounded, provided they respect the individual rights of each other. This would provide the bedrock for a new era of human flourishing in whichever country adopted it.

So how does Brexit relate to this? Since the UK is almost as statist as the EU, leaving it as such will make no difference. However, once we have regained the power to make our own laws, we will be able to elect politicians who believe in individual rights, and create the laws and constitution that will enable them, without requiring the consent of 27 other nations, few of whom show a clear interest in such a direction.

It's all very well to design the perfect politician system on paper, but how would it work out in practice? In particular, how do the principles of individual rights apply to the thorny Brexit issues of freedom of movement and immigration?

It turns out that these two are really one issue. Freedom of movement within a government's border follows from the individual right to liberty. But how does it apply to those attempting to come over the border from other countries?

Obviously, once inside, they have the same rights as every other citizen since individual rights are innate. And once the government has allowed for freedom in the areas of housing, banking, transport, employment, healthcare and education etc., there will be little pressure on such services which cannot be met by individuals providing such services in the market.

But does the government have the right to stop people at the border from entering the country? Yes, but only if they are criminals known to a legitimate police authority, or if there is a significant risk that they will harm the individual rights of people within the country. Such reasons could include harbouring an infectious disease, coming from a country with which we are at war, or which is at war with one of our allies, or which has such different cultural norms that a process of re-education is necessary (as when North Koreans escape to the South). In each case the person should be given the option to return whence they came, or accept a period of internment during which the level of threat they pose to the country's citizens could be assessed and any re-education necessary undertaken. The money to pay for such processing could be raised by a specific, voluntary scheme, perhaps a lottery. That way, existing citizens would be largely able to control the flow of risky immigration according to their own assessment of that risk. Normal immigration into an extremely small country which would struggle even in a free market to assimilate large numbers, could be controlled in a similar way. As for asylum seekers, they have no more or less rights that anyone else, and so should receive the same consideration.

In conclusion the UK's exit from the political institutions of the EU should be seen in positive terms, as an opportunity to escape from statism both in the EU and the UK, and to head towards a rights respecting political system with human flourishing as its goal. As such it deserves a new name. I suggest Breedom.