Former MP Ann ‘filled with hope’ over Brexit
Catholic politician Ann Widdecombe has told pupils at a Benedictine school that she is “filled with hope” that Brexit will open up “huge new opportunities” for Britain in enabling trade with other advanced economies and the third world.
The former prisons minister, writer and broadcaster was invited to speak at St Benedict’s School, Ealing, by sixth form student Ben Michael, who wanted to hear a positive view of post-Brexit Britain.
Addressing an audience of over 300 students, parents and teachers, Ms Widdecombe said: “In 1975 I voted to stay in the EEC, and it is one of the few political decisions I regret.”
What had started as a tariff agreement, she said, had “transformed” into the EU – “a rather large protectionist block. We had no control over the way we ran our country. When there was an EU dictat – which they called a ‘directive’ – we had to negotiate opt outs. It changed from being in favour of the European vision to something different.”
Speaking to the students at St Benedict’s, she said she believes that Brexit will affect their generation “for the better”, and that in four years’ time “everyone will be asking what all the gloom was about.
“I can remember life before the EU and it wasn’t the dark ages. There’s panic about virtually nothing, and a fear of change. The doom and gloom predicted by the Remain campaign, such as threats of an austerity budget and rising unemployment, haven’t happened. There will be some bumps along the way but I am cautiously excited about what lies beyond.”
Read more on this story in this week’s Universe.
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Picture: Miss Widdecombe with students and staff at St Benedict’s.Tags: Ann Widdecombe, Ben Michael, Brexit, Ealing, EU, St Benedict's, Widdecombe