Sir Vince Cable headlines Wandsworth & Merton's European Movement social gathering

Published on January 18, 2024

On the 16th of January European Movement Wandsworth & Merton hosted a London Region social gathering for the European Movement in Balham. Here guest speaker Sir Vince Cable, Vice-President of the EM, gave a stimulating and insightful talk and led a lively and productive Q&A session with the 50-strong audience.  

Sir Vince gave his explanation of why politicians of all parties are reluctant to be too strident in challenging where Brexit has now taken the country.  He made the following points: 

  • We should not expect the mistakes of Brexit to be rectified for some time, not least as the EU will wait for a settled UK consensus before re-engaging with us.   
  • The younger generation will have to drive efforts to establish a better relationship with the rest of Europe.    
  • Our aim should not centre on the backward-looking sense of ‘rejoin’, as we have to recognise that the EU is itself changing.  With the prospect of Ukraine and other countries in south-eastern Europe joining, a new broader ‘EU Mark II’ might be a possible entry point for the UK.   
  • Defence could well be the main basis for closer cooperation with our European neighbours, and the UK will be able to add real value with its military expertise.  
  • We have also been much appreciated in the past for the pragmatism that we have brought to EU business; there may be concern from our European partners that arises from an essentially transactional motivation for our engagement – we would always seek something in return – rather than being inspired by a European ideal.   
  • The UK, like other countries, should understand that pursuing that ideal should not present any threat to our national identity. 

The event closed with a lively raffle of EU themed items, and several of the new participants signing up as new members of European Movement. 

If you didn’t get a chance to sign up on the night you can join the European Movement here. 

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