AS BRITAIN comes to terms with its fourth terrorist attack in a grim three months, it was poignant that David Davis echoed the words of murdered Yorkshire MP Jo Cox at the formal start of Brexit talks with the EU.
Greeted by the European Union’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier, he said there is ‘more than unites us than divides us’ – a conciliatory tone at the outset of negotiations which will shape this country’s future destiny.
Mr Davis was right to echo the spirit of Mrs Cox after a weekend of unifying events across the country to mark the first anniversary of her senseless murder by a far-right extremist outside Birstall’s library. Despite the rancour since the EU referendum a year ago, Britain and the European Union will still be partners once this process is complete, notably when it comes to Europe’s future peace and prosperity, and the Brexit Secretary’s tone reflected this.
Yet it remains to be seen whether the Government will use the political vacuum resulting from the June 8 election to develop the ‘more in common’ theme and attempt to build a broader consensus here for its approach. Given that Theresa May lost her Commons majority when she asked voters to endorse her Brexit strategy, there’s an even greater onus on Ministers to heed the original call by The Yorkshire Post, now backed by senior politicians from each of the main parties, to forge a united front while also involving business leaders – Britain’s future can’t be left to party politics.