On a day for lovers, all eyes were on Boris Johnson, who attempted to arouse emotions behind a successful Brexit.
The Foreign Secretary wanted to unite both sides in the debate in a bid to ”bring the best of Britain into our new future.”
The Foreign Secretary said he and the Government “must reach out to those who still have anxieties and I want to today anatomise at least some of the fears and to show to the best of my ability that these fears can be allayed and that the very opposite is true – that Brexit can be grounds for optimism, rather than fear”.
.@BorisJohnson : I want to show you today that Brexit need not be nationalist but can be internationalist; not an economic threat but a considerable opportunity; not un British but a manifestation of this country’s historic national genius.
— CCHQ Press Office (@CCHQPress) 14 February 2018
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson says that stopping Brexit from happening would be a “disastrous mistake”
— Sky News Newsdesk (@SkyNewsBreak) 14 February 2018
The three arguments he says he is going to tackle in a bid to make Brexit a success are:
1) That the UK was protected as a small nation within the larger bloc of the EU
2) That the vote to Leave was a vote for nationalism and xenophobia
3) That the UK will be economically worse off as a result of leaving
“Whatever the superficial attractions of these points, they can be turned on their head today,” he said.
Boris says he recognises the grief and alienation felt by remainers, including friends and family, as well as people abusing him in the street
— Jessica Elgot (@jessicaelgot) 14 February 2018
‘We are still European’
Johnson said “Brexit need not be nationalist but can be internationalist” and it should not be thought of as “unBritish”.
He added it is “this Government’s duty to advocate and explain this mission on which we are engaged” and claims the “argument will make itself”.
He referenced this as a mistake the EU elite made at the EU referendum.
On security, the Foreign Secretary said “our commitment to the defence of Europe is unconditional and immovable”.
He highlights Britain’s large aid and defence spending and says the UK will “continue to be European both practically and psychologically”