Day: 31 January 2020

Half the country will celebrate tonight but only history will show whether Brexit was the right decision

What are you streaming tonight? The 1740s Rule Britannia with its jingoistic slavery era language? “Rule, Britannia! rule the waves. Britons never will be slaves.” Or the slightly later Ode to Joy, an anthem that celebrates collaboration over conflict: “This kiss to all the world!”? Ode to Joy is the theme of a united Europe that has put wars within our continent behind it and is a force for good in the world. It’s also currently No 1 on the UK download charts. Perhaps instead you are singing Auld Lang Syne, which reverberated around the European Parliament two days ago after the withdrawal bill passed. We must put the rancour and division of the last few years behind us. But we can’t go back to the future. We need to forge a new role in the world. A role that is neither divisive nor self-centred. Protecting our own interests but working for the wider good of our planet. Tackling climate change, inequality, violence and war. We had more strength to achieve those aims within the EU. Now, we are on our own, desperately wanting to be in the company of others but no longer in their company.

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