On Friday, Theresa May formally resigned as Conservative Party leader, after failing to deliver a Brexit deal. Ten Tory MPs are currently vying to replace her, with the winner expected to be announced in late July. A no deal scenario has re-emerged as a potential conclusion to Brexit negotiations, with Boris Johnson, Dominic Raab and Esther McVey expressing their willingness to crash out of the EU without an agreement.
Leaving the EU without a formal withdrawal agreement with Brussels would result in all commercial arrangements currently in place between Britain and the bloc ceasing at 11pm on October 31.
As Britain has now been stranded in a Brexit limbo until a new Prime Minister is elected, a brilliant speech made by former Labour MP Peter Shore over 40 years ago has re-emerged, which can be seen as resoundingly prophetic for many Brexiteers.
Conservative Prime Minister Edward Heath took Britain into the European Economic Community – the precursor of the EU – in 1973, but his successor, Harold Wilson, was forced to call a referendum on the country’s membership after only two years.
The vote saw the country divided into Yes and No campaigns, as opposed to 2016’s “Leave” and “Remain”.
Labour MP for Stepney Peter Shore was leading the No campaign alongside another prominent eurosceptic figure in his party, then Secretary of State for Industry Tony Benn.
Just before the referendum, Mr Shore took part in a debate at the prestigious Oxford Union and addressed issues which still exists today.
In particular, the Labour politician made a brilliant argument on why Britain should not stay in a confined bloc.
He said: “We should put to ourselves the facts that the eight countries of Western Europe, important as they are, are not even half of Western Europe itself, let alone the whole of the continent of Europe.
“Nor for that matter should we ignore the fact that there exist outside the continent of Europe altogether more European people or people of European origin? And that [there are more people] in the great continents of North America, Latin America and Australasia that exists in the whole common market put together?
“Beyond that we should recall the fact that our horizon and the concerns that we have in the world as a country and as people are not limited to eight nations and 200million people in Western Europe, but to the 3000million people and 140 nations that exist in the six continents of the world
“The policies that we praise as a Government, the causes that we follow as people, the concerns that we have, are not confined and limited to this narrow area across the channel.”
Mr Shore concluded: “For that to happen to Britain it will be a contraction and a reduction of all the things with we have been concerned
“It is the world we belong to and it is mankind of which we are part, so let us hear.”
The speech was followed by a big round of applause.
Published at Mon, 10 Jun 2019 17:37:00 +0000