Today Great Britain stands at a crossroads; it is here where we must decide whether we will stand strong and boldly go forward or whether we will cower before a group of unelected bureaucrats thrust out from power in their home countries.
Our Brexit negotiations have featured heavily in the news recently over the Government's supposed plan to stay within the customs union past 2021. How we react to this will not only determine the future of our Brexit negotiations but also our negotiations with other nations post-Brexit. If we appear weak then future trading partners will view us as a pushover and our standing on the world stage will become more questionable.
Britain must remain steadfast in her negotiations and not allow any extension of the transition period. An extension will leave our nation, as Jacob Rees-Mogg so eloquently stated, in a perpetual Brexit purgatory where we are neither out nor in the EU. If we acquiesce to the EU then we will likely follow the same route of European countries that had referenda on particular issues and then were either forced to vote again or their results ignored. Make no mistake; the customs union is the EU's method of keeping us tied to them and trying to ensure as soft a Brexit as possible or, if possible, stop Brexit happening altogether. This will be a betrayal not only of the 17.4m people who voted to leave the EU but also of Eurosceptic Europeans who are looking to the UK for guidance.
Brexit has given Britain the opportunity be a beacon of hope for the millions of people on the European continent who agree with us yet, at this moment, have no voice and we must not squander this one-in-a-lifetime chance. If we accept the EU's demands regarding the customs union then we will be sending a message to other countries in Europe that there is no realistic way out of the EU; essentially proving that the EU is one giant Roach Motel where you can check in but you can never check out.
A perfect example of this is Poland where the EU is trying to force the Polish people to adopt the Euro as their currency despite there being a mere 15% support for it. If we can stand firm and refuse to bow to the European Union's demands then we can act as a perfect example to Poland and other European countries that have their own grievances with the EU but need a figurehead to mimic and rally behind.
To those who say that we cannot negotiate a good deal and we must accept whatever the EU offers us I would remind them that Britain has always been a nation that has faced impossible odds and won. In 1984 Mrs Thatcher went to Fontainebleau and achieved what many had said was unachievable; she went to the EU negotiating table and she won. She succeeded where all had expected her to fail and achieved a permanent rebate for the UK; in doing so she demonstrated that the EU can and should be negotiated with in a tough, direct manner. This is a lesson that we should take great care to not forget for Europe's sake as well as our own.
Just after the 2016 referendum Peter Hitchens stated that he feared that we would not truly leave the European Union; he used the line 'I fear we may go from one foot in to one foot out.' This is something that the Government must ensure does not happen because, if it does, we will have to ask ourselves if Brexit was even worth it. If we choke at this point in the negotiations we will appear weak to Europe and the wider world, our post Brexit trade will suffer and the Elites in Europe will have won. This cannot be allowed to happen.