I WAS proud to join other pro-Europeans in Harrogate for our recent day of action launching ‘People’s Vote’. Our message is that as Brexit started with a referendum it should end with one, giving people the choice as to whether to accept the deal eventually agreed, exit with no deal or remain in the EU.
My choice is obviously the latter, but if a new deal is endorsed then it will have to be accepted by all as the destination will be clear and hopefully unambiguous.
The June 2016 referendum left us as the imprisoned passengers of the good ship Britannia with the captain having little knowledge of where to take those on the cruise. No one would purchase passage on that basis, yet that was our starting point.
Why are the anti-Europeans so fearful of a second vote which would give people a further opportunity to endorse their desire to disconnect from our major allies? Countries that have joined the EU following referenda knew what to expect. A referendum offering us the choice of accepting a new negotiated relationship with the EU, remaining a full member or simply walking away would do the same.
The support received from our European allies in Britain’s recent stand-off with Russia has been heartening, and our military co-operation with France shows us as one of the two leading European nations in meeting the challenges of world affairs. France no more than Britain needed EU consent to act in Syria and most French people don’t see the EU as a threat to their power and identity.
So is it so wrong to think again about disengaging from the EU which, with Nato, has promoted the mainly peaceful development of this continent?
On a practical level, the EU has promoted cultural exchanges, made low-cost airline carriers possible, ensured that exploitative mobile roaming charges have been abolished and facilitated cancer treatment through the Euratom agreement. A future deal needs to include these achievements. I am proud therefore to join Sir Patrick Stewart, an expert in dealing with alien civilisations, in calling for a vote on any future deal with the EU.
The issue could be solved by asking us to vote on accepting the deal, crashing out with no deal or remaining. I look forward to campaigning for remain but who knows, Theresa May might just tempt me to vote for the deal.
If it included the Single Market and the Customs Union, I’d definitely be for it. Give me the opportunity.