The negotiations over our exit from the European Union are fundamental to our future. It is no exaggeration to say that they will shape everything we want to achieve as a country over the coming years and decades. We are doing nothing less than refashioning Britain’s place in the world. Our success or failure will determine and shape all our futures, so it is obviously a great responsibility but also a great opportunity, and it falls on all of us in this place—every one of us in this Parliament—to make a success of it. If we work together and we succeed, we can ensure a strong and growing economy that spreads prosperity and opportunity around the country, underpins well-funded public services and secures a better future for us and our children.
I have always made it clear that after Brexit the United Kingdom will continue to be the outward-looking global nation it has always been. Indeed, it should be more engaged in the world than ever before, for I firmly believe that last year’s vote to leave the EU was not a call for retrenchment—a call to look in on ourselves. The UK has the means, the ambition and, now, the freedom to play a more positive role in the world.