Campaign diary may 1st

Early starts these days — handing out leaflets for the London elections.

That black thing on my leg is to protect my on-brand yellow trousers from my bike chain.

Later I was in Parliament square

Europe was the issue that brought me back into politics after a thirty-year absence. And  “How’s Brexit working out for you?” is one of our best questions during our daily doorknocking sessions. Nobody’s happy with the way it turned out. The “Leave” campaign’s rainbows and unicorns never happened. For us Remainers, many of our worst fears have been realised. Britain is poorer and weaker as a result. And it’s getting worse. We can’t rejoin immediately. It’s not on offer.  We have to rebuild trust and confidence first. But we can start fixing the mess. 

The EU’s offered a new deal for the under-30s, for example: the generation that most strongly opposed Brexit, and are bearing the biggest consequences. We should grab that chance. We could also have a veterinary agreement.  And we must deepen our defence cooperation, particular with another Trump presidency all too likely.
We also need to learn some lessons. People backed Brexit out of justifiable frustrations. This country’s been run unfairly and incompetently for too long, by a smug elite who grab the best for themselves and dump the costs on everyone else. For many people, the referendum was the first time in their lives that they could cast a vote that really mattered.

In June 1983 I chained myself to the railings outside Parliament in a protest against our electoral system. I’m still campaigning to change it! But the EU needs to learn lessons too. For decades it failed to take security seriously, for example.
I’ve spent all my life dealing with European issues, as a journalist, author, security expert and adviser.  Later this month I’ll be in Estonia and then in Lithuania. I’ll keep you posted.

As an MP, I will make rebuilding our ties with Europe a top priority. No other candidate can say that.

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