We must be as pro-European as President Joe Biden will be

FROM: Richard Wilson, Chairman, Leeds for Europe

Friday, 22nd January 2021, 6:00 am
Will President Biden be more pro-European than his predecessor? Picture: Drew Angerer/Getty Images.

THERE were more than 1,600 days between the EU referendum and Boris Johnson finally revealing his dreadful Brexit deal.

The delay, of course, was down to Vote Leave campaigners such as Mr Johnson having no idea themselves what Brexit meant. All they had were empty slogans, empty heads and vague, meaningless promises.

They have spent the last four years flailing around trying to fill a vacuum of their own creation.

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Now they have finally done so, Mrs J Green (‘Remain actions self defeating’ YEP letters, January 18) thinks progressive, enlightened voices such as Leeds for Europe and the national European Movement UK (europeanmovement.co.uk) should be silenced.

With the ink still drying on clarification of what Brexit means for Britain, I respectfully disagree. While by no means an exhaustive list, in the first fortnight of Brexit we have seen:

l Chaos in the fishing industry

l Disruption at our ports

l Threats to our food supplies

l Crippling new costs for small businesses which trade internationally

l Firms overwhelmed by a tsunami of Brexit red tape

l British musicians (one of our greatest export success stories in recent years) blocked from working in Europe – by our own government

l Opportunities to study in Europe denied to all but children of the very well-off.

None of the above can now be dismissed by Brexit slogan-writers as “Project Fear”. None of the above can in any way be blamed on Remainers or anyone else but our government.

Another letter writer said “go live in Europe”.

Freedom to do so is another one of our rights that the Prime Minister has thrown under his Brexit bus, of course.

To the relief of much of the Western world, a more grown-up and internationalist American president took charge on Wednesday.

President Joe Biden will undoubtedly be more pro-European than his predecessor – and so must we be if we are to maintain our US “special relationship” and repair the self-inflicted damage that Brexit has done to Britain’s international reputation.