This is a historic day, whether you voted to leave the EU or to remain.


And our future will be judged by how we respond now to this moment.   I want to be honest.  My heart is breaking.   


Of course, like all institutions, the EU has its flaws - but for me it has always stood for ambition, courage and vision.


This is what helped us emerge from the rubble and destruction of the 2nd world war into a country that’s been at peace with its neighbours ever since. A miracle few would have dreamed possible when the bombs were raining down.


And ambition, courage and vision are what we still have in common.


We will need them all to rise to the greatest challenge we face today – the climate emergency.


Only by working co-operatively with our closest neighbours - as well as with those further afield – will we be able to take the urgent and ambitious action the science demands to prevent the worst of the climate crisis.  And we need the vision to completely transform our economic system.


To work in harmony with nature. To leave behind a world where weapons and money can go anywhere, but refugees are vilified and compassion chased out of town. And we need for climate justice to go hand in hand with social justice.   


The Leave vote was a howl of rage at a status quo in this country that is intolerable for huge numbers of people. The social contract is broken and the power game is rigged.  We need the vision to build a democratic consensus about changing that, together, for good.  


The potential power of our collective action demands that we reach out, with courage, to those from whom we have become so dangerously divided.   Bravely build bridges in our communities and around the world, not burn them.   


We live in turbulent times. The political tides are unpredictable. The real tides are rising. Far right populism is once more stoking fear, division and despair.


The future has never felt so uncertain.


Yet if Brexit has taught us anything, it’s that what we previously imagined unthinkable is in fact possible.


We may have lost the battle to keep Britain in the EU but what kind of endings do we believe in?


I believe in those that are also beginnings.


And the struggle for a compassionate, fair, green, peaceful, future begins anew right now.


In the love and sadness so many of us are feeling right now, we affirm, rather than deny our fellowship with Europe and the world.


We begin again knowing hope is always more powerful than hate, that our common humanity matters more than what divides us.


That ambition, vision and courage call.  



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