On Friday 20th December 2019 the newly elected Tory Government used their majority to get the bill approved which will take us out of the EU at the end of January 2020.

Although I have been passionate about our membership of the European Union, I have concluded that all the debate must end, and we should now leave the EU and focus on becoming an excellent independent country.

Obviously, its going to be critical that we develop excellent trading relationships with the EU and as many countries as possible around the world which is going to take a major effort and focus.

In June 2016 I wrote and published the following on Facebook:

I have had the privilege of working and becoming friends with people from many countries – here in the UK, in Europe, and beyond. My life experiences and perspectives have been expanded and enriched as a result – just as our culture and lives have been enhanced by the vast majority of immigrants to our country who work hard and pay their way. As we exit the European Union, we must not deny future generations the immense opportunity of being able to study and work in cultures and countries different to our own. Nor should we deny access to our country the many talented immigrants who contribute so much to our diversity, progress and richness.

As we move into the new reality, I believe we all need a period of reflection and calm. During the campaign we have been subjected to misinformation and scare tactics by the politicians and media. Now we need to take stock and assemble the best possible team to negotiate our EU exit on terms which are good for all.  We get the politicians we deserve, and I believe this process and debate has shown we deserve and need better than many of the current crop. In particular it has sent a clear message that those outside London and a few major cities do not feel engaged or cared for by Westminster. The process of negotiation must be inclusive, transparent and free from personal agendas or political ambitions. The future of our country is so much more important than the transient nature and ambitions of our politicians. 

A number of my European friends are already telling me how worried they are about their future and their safety in our country. We must take this seriously, our leaders should now move quickly to reassure all immigrants already in our country they are welcome, valued and safe, and that will continue after we have left the EU. I welcome and applaud the comments made on this aspect by the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition in the House of Commons this afternoon. We have witnessed the unintended consequences of our actions in the Middle East – we must not repeat similar mistakes as we now move forward to leave the EU. 

My grandfather, my father and his brothers fought for our freedoms, our values and our place in the world. They did not fight for us to become racist and insular. 

I did not vote to leave the EU. However, I recognise the result and now engage to move forward in the most positive way possible for the benefit of us all.