HAYES IN THE HOUSE: We will rise and shine as one nation
For almost as long as time itself, there have been those convinced that the end is nigh – perpetual prophets of doom determined to channel the intrinsic anxiety of the precarious human condition. It seems that there is something intuitive about pessimism.
Each morning since the summer of 2016, entering the Palace of Westminster, Members of Parliament have been greeted by a chorus of such dire predictions; a cacophony of anguish, orchestrated by a small but vocal group of protestors draped in the flag of the European Union.
To be measured in decision making is admirable. The EU has, after all, been a political fixture in all our lives for the last quarter of a century, which is why I understand many decent people came to think that a vote to remain was the safest choice.
Yet, in our historic referendum, optimism triumphed. Since then, I have been enthused by the refusal of my constituents – regardless of how they voted – to be cajoled and convinced by the unrelenting espousal of ‘project fear’.
In order to preserve the
status-quo, too many have spent too long predicting imminent disaster, exploiting fear and causing more. To distort the natural caution of patriotic Britons and talk down our great nation is a grave mistake, as defeated Europhiles like Ms Soubry and Mr Grieve found at the General Election.
There have been others who insisted that conservatism is merely an opposition to change; an unthinking preservation of the present - they could not be more wrong.
As the philosopher, Russel Kirk reminds us, institutions, nations and values worth conservation must first be cultivated; the rotten and corrupt; the distant and supranational, must be swept away in the cause of renewal and restoration of place and nation.
This considered, though Brexit does indeed mark dramatic change, it brings enormous opportunities. At home, a sense of national pride and belonging can help us strengthen civil society and rebuild an inclusive identity rooted in Christian teaching, shared language, unifying values and the common good. Those left behind must now be front and centre of Government thinking; as policies are crafted in the national interest.
Overseas, our independence will enable allegiances and relationships with friends old and new. The Commonwealth, now home to one third of the globes population, is a wealth of dynamism and opportunity. Reciprocal trade deals - based not on the vapid vested interests of global governance, but the shared history and cultural bonds of ordinary people - can secure our commonwealth for the common good.
There will be challenges ahead, in an uncertain world there are bound to be. But, when all is said and done, little matters more than Briton’s freedom to determine our own terms of trade, control the seas around our Kingdom and enforce our laws free from interference by foreign courts. Having chosen hope over fear, on February 1, we will rise and shine as one nation. Let us now come together in a shared love of country, friends and neighbours.