Let the UK flourish as an independent country

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John Redwood’s latest diary discusses Brexit Britain’s bright future

It was amusing to read yesterday morning that the UK has emerged as the second most influential country in the world after the USA in some new assessment of power, influence and diplomatic success in the year after Brexit. This position can be strengthened if the UK sees through Brexit in a positive and outward looking way.

UK voters who voted for Brexit had confidence in our ability govern ourselves, to spend our money on our own priorities and to make our own way in a world where power and economic might is shifting to the Pacific regions.

Now many Remain voters also agree that we should get on with implementing the decision. The fears about the short term economic consequences put round by the Remain campaign have been proved comprehensively wrong.

The oddity is how negative so many in the UK establishment are. It is senior lawyers, large company executives, senior civil servants and some MPs who are the ones who refuse to take back control and have such a low opinion of our country and its capabilities.

Some senior officials seem to want to stay wedded to Brussels instructions instead of fashioning a new global presence and UK policy. Trade associations that have spent the last forty years trying to stop or amend EU regulations now often want to protect every last one and sign up to all future ones as well. When MPs and MInisters urge the UK machine to develop the capacity it needs to develop new UK solutions there is often a reluctance to welcome the freedoms we will soon enjoy fully.

The UK has much to offer the world. We wish to remain a reliable ally and partner of the EU, but can see ways to improve and amend our government for the conditions of the modern world. It makes it strange to see so many of the establishment huddled in the EU legal cell, the door now wide open, asking to be shut in again as they think the world too big and interesting for them. They should take heart from this latest survey, and ask themselves how we can we do more to enhance the lives of UK citizens and to contribute more to the exciting growing world as a whole.

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