Molly Scott Cato - What I Said at Saturday’s National Rejoin March

Published on October 27, 2022

On Saturday, thousands of us took to the streets of London for the National Rejoin March. Here’s the speech I gave at the event, where I had the privilege to speak alongside many other inspiring pro-European voices:

We are in an economic political calamity and it has one obvious cause: Brexit

The hashtag we have all been using becomes more self-evident by the day: Brexit broke Britain

It has broken our democracy, because it introduced the use of casual and outrageous lies into our political discourse.

It swept aside the skill of centuries of politicians, explaining to citizens the importance of trade-offs and replaced this political dialogue with lies about sunlit uplands with no downsides.

Having your cake and eating it moved from being a criticism of unrealistic expectations to the bread-and-butter of our political discourse.

This has culminated in the political disaster of Liz Truss’s Fairytale economics.

Finally the Brexit fantasy – and the oligarchs and economic extremists who created it – have been brought up short. I wonder if the market privateers appreciate the irony that it was actually the markets that took back control.

Brexit is also central to this economic calamity. It is not a coincidence that the £65bn that the IFS says is the size of the black hole in the public finances is almost exactly the same as the £66bn that Standard and Poors estimated as the cost of Brexit.

But Brexit has also shone a light on the weaknesses in our political system that the Brexiteers exploited. How easy it was for them to crash not just our economy but our democracy.

With just two parties chasing swing voters in a small number of marginal constituencies, our first-past-the-post system has pushed both Red and Blue parties to the destructive position of trying to make the disaster of Brexit work.

With just these two parties dominating political debate we have endured a conspiracy of silence about the damage Brexit is wreaking on our country.

But the silver lining in the current political turmoil is that this conspiracy of silence is finally being broken.

It is our duty to break this conspiracy of silence, to keep telling the truth about the damage Brexit is doing to us all. To our economy, to our society and to our reputation in the world.

We are the people who tell that truth, who are not just willing but proud to say that we know that rejoining the EU is the only possible future for the UK.

We are a European Movement and we are on the move. We know from our friends Terry Reintke and Guy Verhofstadt who are with us today that they are keeping the door open and keeping a light on.

We will find our way home.

Molly Scott Cato is a former Green Party MEP and a Senior Vice Chair of the European Movement UK.

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