Brexit is not "done" and neither are we, writes European Movement President Lord Heseltine.
Five years ago today, I was campaigning for a Remain vote in the EU referendum. Over the past five years so much has happened.
It is impossible to overstate the impact that Covid has had on people’s lives. It is as though a giant curtain has been drawn across the wider debate. This should be no surprise.
Of course, references appear to the macroeconomic challenges of growth, inflation, climate change and Brexit but most of us are focussed on the consequences of the Covid pandemic. The security of our job, the prospect of a holiday, our ability to mix with friends and family and a wider feeling of uncertainty about so many aspects of our lives that we normally take for granted.
Hopefully the worst is behind us and in the not too distant future that curtain will be drawn back to reveal a more familiar world. The government may hope that its misleading slogan 'Let’s get Brexit done' has moved the agenda on. In reality a growing array of clouds initiate the storms ahead.
While Boris Johnson was boasting to the media today that his Brexit is "seizing the potential" of the UK, I spoke out against this dangerous illusion:
"Storm clouds are gathering on the horizon, chief among them the threat to the Good Friday peace agreement in Northern Ireland. The fishing industry has now voiced its betrayal and the Australian trade deal will slowly erode the competitiveness of British farmers over the next 15 years. Meanwhile, the financial services industry quietly moves its activities to Europe in order to escape the continuing Brexit uncertainty."
Far from being 'done' Brexit has only just begun.
We face our biggest fight yet. Five years on from the Brexit referendum, our European community will never stop fighting the government’s harmful plans and making the positive case for a European future for the UK.
As Dominic Grieve wrote to European Movement supporters earlier this month, it was scarcely a generation ago in 1975 that Britain voted overwhelmingly to stay in Europe. We know that things can change, if we fight to make it happen.
If you believe in a better relationship with Europe, join the movement and fight with us.