End of a chapter

Christopher Harries

The latest chapter of our nation’s story is edging towards its conclusion. 

Tonight, the transition period will come to a close. The new year will see the United Kingdom embark on a new path outside of the European Union and in time forging a new relationship with the European Union. 

With the United Kingdom outside of the supranational body, it is time for the political class to assume full responsibility. For too long, Brussels has been the go-to cop-out for politicians. 

In apportioning ultimate responsibility to the European Union, our political class have absolved themselves of swathes of responsibility. With our departure from the European Union complete, there is no one to apportion blame to, but themselves and the electorate can duly hold them accountable.

The closing of this chapter will not be the end of the debate regarding the United Kingdom’s relations with the continent.

The rejection of the European Union was a vote for the continued existence of our nation. Some may deem that to be an exaggeration, but the direction of travel for the supranational body in the course of our membership was for ever closer union. 

The next chapter of our nation’s story must be one of renewal. The communities that proved crucial to the Leave campaign are the key to this renewal. Perceived as being neglected by the political elite, the focus must be on bridging the perception of neglect. 

Westminster has the opportunity to fill the void created with the end of European Union structural funding to reassert itself across the nation. To deploy the UK Shared Prosperity Fund where appropriate to counter the separatist narrative and demonstrate that Westminster cares about communities across the nation.

While we are poised to leave, the matter of our relationship with Europe is far from settled. 

Some of those who campaigned for Remain during the referendum, then sought to frustrate our departure, have intimated the debate moves to making the case that we now should seek to rejoin the European Union. 

We must make it clear that we have faith in our future as a self-governing parliamentary nation. In doing so, placing our faith in the judgement and the voice of the British people.

And to round off this musing, Happy New Year.

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