A hundred years ago the First World War came to an end . Just twenty years after that, seven months before I was born, the storm clouds were gathering from another hideous conflict. Just a few years after that, as a small boy in a basement air raid shelter in Newcastle, I heard German bombs exploding in the street outside.
The Common Market which became the EU was established, not only to facilitate trade but, vitally, to put a stop to the wars which had raged
in Europe for centuries. In this it has been brilliantly successful, a prize which relegates arguments about economics into insignificance.
At the referendum in 2016 the electorate was seriously and deliberately misled as to the effect of a leave vote. That effect is much clearer to
us now and very unappealing it looks. The Conservative and Labour parties are in total disarray on the issue. Liberal Democrats have been
united from the outset on the desirability of remaining in union with our continental friends and, bearing in mind the chaotic situation we
are now faced with, champion a Peoples Vote, a second referendum now that we all know how damaging Brexit would be.
I am not blind to the faults in the EU and a good outcome of this turbulent exercise, and bearing in mind the nationalist movements
gathering strength in various European countries, could be that the EU examines its governance to address the issues which I know trouble many people but which should not blind us to the over-riding value of the institution.