European Movement President Lord Michael Heseltine joined a cross-party group of Politicians and Activists to speak at our 'No to No Deal' Virtual Rally.
“Everybody knows that the battle for Brexit was deeply felt and of historic proportions. And those of us who fought to remain within the EU have to accept that the British people took a decision democratically in favour of severing that relationship. I believe they were wrong, I believe that the matter will come up for further review and that one day we will rejoin the neighbours in Europe. But that decision is no longer on the political table. We’ve moved on. We have effectively taken the decision to leave and implemented it. But of course that is oversimplifying the situation. We haven’t actually left in practical terms. That’s why we have a transitional period - to work out the details, to try and find solutions, to reduce to the minimum the damaging effects. Now you’ll have to throw into this the Coronavirus tragedy. No one could have seen it coming, and it’s not for me to do anything other than recognise the government has done what it believes to be best to try and cope. And things are getting better, and that is excellent news. But the coincidence of these two events is potentially disastrous for our economy. Every statistic published shows how much damage is being done. And to inject the uncertainty of a No-Deal at the end of this calendar year into the chaos of the Coronavirus epidemic is in my view grossly irresponsible. Now of course I understand that those who believe in Brexit will say “Oh yes, you’re just another remainer trying to have another go”. I don’t believe that. We are simply facing the reality which no one could have foreseen, and I think that a government should be big enough to recognise that it has secured its objective, but to do everything practical to make that objective work in the national interest. And if that means changing the date on which the transitional period ends, so be it. It would be quite wrong to make capital out of such a review of the timetable. I believe the government has a responsibility, now, to put at the top of its agenda the best possible deal, not the worst possible outcome, which is a No Deal.”
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