We are one month on from what I believe to be the worst decision of modern times. We are already seeing the impact of Brexit at our ports, in our financial sector and in people’s livelihoods, writes Michael Heseltine, President EMUK.
But alongside the large-scale economic trauma of Brexit, we are also experiencing a personal loss that cannot be captured on a balance sheet. As I wrote at the end of last year:
“The personal and human relationships between us and our continental neighbours are priceless. We work in each others’ companies, holiday in each others’ resorts, marry across the frontiers and share a cultural and historic heritage beyond price.”
I know that many of you like me feel this loss keenly. But these personal and cultural ties cannot be taken away from us. No trade agreement, not even leaving the EU, can take away our identity as Europeans.
These priceless connections with our European neighbours and friends may have been strained by 4 years of this government’s recklessness and incompetence. But they cannot be broken, and this government does not have the power to define who we are.
They are French, German, Italian and many more. Just as I am British. Like them, I remain proud to say that I am still European.
Even the most ardent supporters of Brexit are already seeing that last month was not the end of the story, it is just the beginning. We have already begun the journey of building back what we lost, brick by brick.
This will be our most important fight. The fight for who we are as individuals and who we are as a country.