Britain’s decision to leave the EU has seriously undermined the peace efforts in Europe, a former Tory politician has claimed.
Lord Michael Heseltine, a former Tory deputy prime minister under John Major, said he was saddened by his country’s decision to vote for Brexit.
Speaking with Sky News’ Kay Burley on the prospect of a no-deal Brexit, the former first secretary of state said it was ‘incredible’ that Britain voted in favour of installing trade barriers between itself and its biggest trading partner.
He said: “What about the delays at the frontiers? What about the forms and the regulations? The uncertainty? The breaking of supply lines?
“All of these things are the ‘hidden evil’ of creating barriers between ourselves and our most important export market.
“It’s not just a question of tariffs, it’s the whole apparatus of leaving the arrangements that we have built up over the last 40 years.”
Expressing his own thoughts on Brexit, Lord Heseltine confessed: “Having watched this whole issue evolve from the Second World War, [of which] we celebrated the anniversary just the other day, I couldn’t help think that this was incredible to me that Britain, who played such an incredible role in those wars, was the country that broke the political solution – which is the European Union – that was put in place to stop all that happening again.
“I cannot believe it has been my country that has done this.”
The former cabinet minister also cast doubt on the lucrativeness of post-Brexit trade deals, asserting: “The outcome [of post-Brexit trade talks] has been minimal. There’s been a deal with Japan which broadly reserves the status quo as though we had remained within the European Union and I can’t think of any other significant deals that have taken place.”
Heseltine’s remarks were praised by pro-Europeans.
Pamela Sammons tweeted: “Spot on the risks for the future are enormous and the Brexiteers wilfully put peace, security and economy at high risk.”
Spot on the risks for the future are enormous and the Brexiteers wilfully put peace, security and economy at high risk
— pamela.sammons (@sammons_pamela) November 16, 2020
@R_Casey94 followed up: “Whether you agreed with them generally or not, old school politicians like Lord Heseltine understood the concept of ‘stewardship’.”
Jayne Phoenix wrote: “You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone. We all now appreciate John Major, Michael Heseltine, Anna Soubry and, the one I miss the most Dominic Grieve.”
A statesman. Wasn't a fan historically but he has integrity and our best interests at heart. https://t.co/fCKF2fqGmm
— John Woke 3.5% (@SwissRollTony1) November 16, 2020
Kaylee Brown described how the EU “creates an atmosphere of cooperation between nations that have kicked the shi**e out of each other for a millennium”.
Nina de Ayala Parker noted: “There is a reason why the EU won the Nobel Peace prize, because it was created for just that. More peace than ever before on the continent of Europe.”