Remainers should take inspiration from leavers

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Article 50 has been triggered. It is still just about possible that Brexit can be stopped. But that seems an extremely remote possibility.

However, Britains who support international co-operation and an open economy should not be despondent. Today’s victors faced a defeat far worse than ours. In 2016, they won the referendum 52%-48%. In 1975 they lost one by a staggering amount: 67% to 33%.

After that they were largely marginalised. The Labour Party continued to oppose EC membership for a while, but it eventually took a hard turn towards Europhillia. At one point it even supported membership of the single currency.

After that the battle for Brexit was largely waged by fringe figures within the Conservative Party and then by the strange band of insurgents that is UKIP.

But now the position has flipped. They are on the fringe and, despite the narrowness of our defeat, we are the fringe.

It is our job to make sure it changes back. When Margaret Mead said:

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.
She probably didn’t have Bill Cash, Nigel Farage and Daniel Hannan in mind. But if such an unappealing band can change the destiny of the country, so can we.
So yes, I accept, albeit most unwillingly, that we are leaving. But I see no reason that means we cannot return. The relentless determination of Brexiteers must be an inspiration to us. It took them thirty years to overturn the 1975 referendum. If it takes us as long to reverse the 2016 vote, then we must be equally persistent.
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