Lib Dem MEP applauded for telling parliament that Brexit is not inevitable

Martin Horwood is applauded in the European parliament. Photograph: European Parliament.

Martin Horwood is applauded in the European parliament. Photograph: European Parliament. - Credit: Archant

A newly-elected Liberal Democrat MEP has used his first speech to tell the European parliament that opinion was changing on Brexit, and it was why he and other anti-Brexit politicians had been elected.

Martin Horwood followed Brexit Party MEP Ann Widdecombe, who used her speech to knock the European parliament and compare the fight for Brexit to slaves fighting against their owners.

By contrast Horwood provided a passionate pro-EU message to unite pro-Europeans in the chamber in defiance of Brexit.

To jeers from Brexit Party MEPs, he told outgoing European president Donald Tusk: "As one of the large new group of British members of the European parliament, both Liberal Democrats and Green and other parties, who do not want to turn our backs on Europe, can I tell you Mr President that what you heard from that corner does not represent the views of everyone in the United Kingdom?

"Can I thank you president Tusk for your patience with our government and national parliament and to ask you to ask your successor to continue that policy of time and patience and understanding, even when it appears our government has no plan? Mr Bean or Monty Python might have done it better.

"But Brexit is not inevitable, opinion is shifting in the UK, otherwise we would not be here.

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And in an appeal to the European parliament, he said: "Those of us who support Europe also needs Europe's support."

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Horwood's anti-Brexit was message was applauded by fellow MEPs across the chamber.

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