UK voters have spoken and have rejected the European Union. Following the results of yesterday’s referendum, the UK government will begin the process of invoking Article 50 of the European Union treaty and start the painful process of separation. None of this will happen over night, and the UK will face a multitude of complex negotiations and difficult choices over the coming years.
I have been clear I wanted the UK to remain in the EU. The last few weeks I have been more outspoken as I think leaving the European Union is a very sad decision that will do enormous damage to both Britain’s economy and Europe’s stability. This decision will create volatility and will threaten much of the good work delivered by the EU over the last 40 years. Nevertheless we must all accept and respect the majority vote.
Now is not the time for further complaints and anger. Now is the time to come together as a nation and heal the wounds created by the divisive tone and aggressive rhetoric that has dominated this campaign. The UK and its amazing, resilient people have weathered many storms – with determination, resolve and sense of what is right. Those qualities will be needed over the testing months and years to come.
To put it in the words of the late Jo Cox, “we are far more united and have far more in common with each other than things that divide us.” It’s time to build on that as the UK navigates the choppy waters ahead.