Statement on Brexit
Britain must now make the best of Brexit. The decision is made, and we
should be energetic and optimistic. We need to remind people that
this is still the same Britain, that the things about Britain that we
fundamentally enjoy, remain the same. I personally believe that we
need to invest now more than ever in rebuilding Britain’s
international position. More than ever, we need nimble and intelligent
ways of thinking about Britain in the world. I would love to have the
opportunity now to try and frame for the next fifty years what this
country is and what our values are, and reassure people that we can
make a success of this.
We need now to make commitments: to increase the foreign office
budget; to strike new and interesting deals with Commonwealth
countries; to work on new military cooperation agreements. But the
first priority of the government has to be to spend a lot of time in
Europe. Our cabinet needs to go to Europe again, and again, and again
until the Commission and European leaders are totally familiar with
who we are and what we are trying to do. I don’t accept the Commission
saying ‘there is no deal'; there is always a deal. It needs to be a
deal that is good for Britain and good for Europe; a win-win deal.
These will be difficult negotiations, but we should start by being as
open and honest as we can with our European partners.