I want to be explicit. Yes, the British people voted to leave Europe. And I agree the will of the people should prevail. I accept right now there is no widespread appetite to re-think.
But the people voted without knowledge of the true terms of Brexit. As these terms become clear, it is their right to change their mind. Our mission is to persuade them to do so.
What was unfortunately only dim in our sight before the referendum is now in plain sight. The road we’re going down is not simply Hard Brexit. It is Brexit At Any Cost.
I don’t know if we can succeed. But I do know we will suffer a rancorous verdict from future generations if we do not try.
I make no personal criticism of the PM or the Government. I know the PM is someone who cares about our country, who is trying to do the right thing as she sees it, and I know how demanding the job of leadership is.
Two years ago the Foreign Secretary was emphatically in favour of the Single Market. Now ditching it is ‘brilliant’.
The PM says she wants Britain to be a great open trading nation. Our first step in this endeavour? To leave the largest free trading bloc in the world.
She wants Britain to be a bridge between the EU and the USA. How to begin this worthy undertaking? To get out of Europe thus leaving us with no locus on the terrain where this bridge must be constructed.
I can honestly say that during all my time as PM there was no major domestic law that I wanted to pass which Europe told me I couldn’t.
Frankly, I would question whether the referendum really provides a mandate for Brexit At Any Cost.
The argument is then that the British people have spoken; we must deliver their will; and we should just ‘get on with it’.
If we were in a rational world, we would all the time, as we approach those decisions, be asking: why are we doing this and as we know more of the costs, is the pain worth the gain?
Nations that came out of the Soviet bloc have seen themselves safely within the EU and NATO, so enhancing our own security.
I always believe that if the centre ground does not deal with the problems, the extremes can exploit them.
Governments’ priorities are not really defined by white papers or words; but by the intensity of focus.
There are lots of different groups doing great work, Open Britain naturally being one.
We need to strengthen the hand of the MPs who are with us and let those against know they have serious opposition to Brexit At Any Cost.
It is clear the sentiment which led to Brexit is not confined to the UK. There is a widespread yearning for reform across Europe.
As the world changes and opens up across boundaries of nation and culture, which values will govern the 21stC?
This is not the time for retreat, indifference or despair; but the time to rise up in defence of what we believe – calmly, patiently, winning the argument by the force of argument; but without fear and with the conviction we act in the true interests of Britain.
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