Our forebears paid far more in blood and treasure than we ever will in our exit negotiations with the EU in order to achieve and maintain the freedom and liberty of our country.
None the less I have always held the view that we can also be better off economically outside the EU provided we seize the opportunities presented by Brexit.
The PMs Florence speech was a generous offering of the cup of kindness to a cash strapped European Commission, designed to unlock a reciprocal wave of warmth at the negotiating table.
Unfortunately, the proposition failed to recognise the game plan of the Commission, which is to put increasing pressure on the UK to give more money and concessions by delaying any conversations on a deal and thereby ensuring that the UK is “punished for Brexit”, in order to teach the rest not to think to do the same.
And what of Germany, silent in the wings? Well Germany need only be silent, Germany is the puppet master and need say nothing, after all why bark when you have dogs to do it for you!
One thing I have learned more forcefully since the referendum is that the “EU Project” is far too important for Germany, politically and economically, to allow any interference in its progress.
This is the view not just of the German government but also if it’s industry, who are quite prepared to “take one for the team”, in stark contrast to its British counterparts in the CBI and others, who are busily undermining the UK government.
The Florence speech, for all practical purposes, delays Brexit for a minimum of two years- the PM refusing to say that this is the end point.
With 67 per cent of the population saying in a recent survey by the LSE, that they were now prepared to Leave without a deal, I doubt that waiting for at least five years from the date of the referendum, in order to leave the EU is what the British people want.
Worse still, the policy being pursued by the UK Treasury department and the CBI will only result in us being worse off.
To put forward a proposition which would mean that we preserve some of what have now, pay more for it, have no say and delay the ability to execute the economic benefits of Brexit (which can only be implemented if we are no longer subject to the Single Market and the Customs Union) will, by definition, make us worse off.
This is exactly what the Cabinet Secretary/Treasury inspired Florence speech defined as government policy.
The PMs more recent statement in Parliament merely wrapped in sweet words more concessions- an open ended implementation period and ECJ jurisdiction.
Eighty years ago next year a past British PM returned from Munich with a ground breaking deal.
The period running up to that was characterised by repeated concessions, appeasement by another name.
The parallels with our present predicament are stark. The lesson is to bite the bullet early and stop trying to buy time.
This means there must be no more concessions from this Government to persuade the EU to move on to a trade deal.
Let us hope that this time the government stop appeasing and instead start to prepare to leave with no deal and crystallise the manifest economic benefits of doing so, rather than merely planning for it.
Then and only then will we be richer out of the EU, than we otherwise would have been by staying in.
Ironically, it may also, incidentally, produce an EU free trade arrangement, desirable although by no means essential, and certainly not at any price.
October 13th, 2017: Express