Hand withdrawn

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The joining of hands is such a symbolic emblem.  That’s what we did in 1973.  I’ve got one of those 50p coins that celebrates this holding of hands.  I shall put it in a prominent place today.  Pulling our hand away from that European partnership is not just an economic issue, it’s an emotional one too.   

Today, the European Article 50 is to be triggered.  The tearing up of half a century of work will have significant consequences.  Deep rooted consequences spreading across the generations.  

I hope we think about where we, Britain and the EU, want to be in a decade.  Classic British short-termism will be disastrous in this situation.  The discussions and negotiations of the next two years will need visionary thinking.  Looking over the current horizon. 

Control of our borders and sovereignty may be in the public mind.  That said, at the end of this debate this island will be no less or more immune from the ebb and flow of international events than it has ever been.  It’s going to be frustrating for those hard-line isolationists when they wake-up from their dream. 

#Brexit will continue to dominate the domestic news but as a real phenomenon rather than a theoretical concept.  It’s like the difference between seeing a storm on a weather forecast map and the experience of flying into it.  As we emerge out of the other side of the storm there will be a new direction set.  That’s the time that the British people must be given a say.  A second referendum is a basic democratic right. 

If you are planning to vote for a Party with a positive European vision, there’s the Lib Dems, at the local elections on 4th May. 

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