Why did two thirds of people in Dover & Deal vote to leave the EU? Because they believed in better. They believe in Britain and the kind of country we can build – a land of opportunity, independent in the world.
They knew it wouldn't be easy. To vote for change on this scale is not for the faint-hearted. It takes political courage.
That means making the most of the opportunities that lie ahead. Everyone knows that Europe's share of the global economy has plummeted in recent decades. It used to account for 30% a few years ago. Now it's fallen to just 15%. If we make the most of our renewed national independence to reform our economy and forge stronger links the world over, we can grow as the rest of the world grows. With 90% of future global growth coming from outside Europe, that will be a brighter future for Britain.
Everyone has a part to play in delivering that future. We need to get past Remain and Leave – past the endless refighting of the referendum. We need to come together and make the most of our global future.
First, that means rejecting the politics of fear. Especially the sort we had in the EU referendum campaign. Now we're hearing dire warnings all over again. We need to reject it all and plan for the kind country we want Britain to become.
That's why we need to make sure we are ready on day one, deal or no deal. So we are fully prepared for Brexit to seize the opportunities that lie ahead. We must not make any agreement that will make it harder for Britain to make trade deals around the world. We must work together to overcome every barrier that may lie in our way. Take the Calais Jungle. They said it would come to Dover if we voted out. Yet after a strong campaign we managed to get the Jungle dismantled.
Moving forward, I have been working out how we can build the roads, lorry parking and improved customs systems we need to ensure trade keeps flowing at Dover. I've been working closely with the authorities in Calais. They know that trade with the EU benefits everyone – and the EU does best from this as they sell us £100 billion more in goods than we sell them. We all want to see that continue while we also seek out new trading opportunities across the globe.
What's more, leaving the EU will enable us to keep more of our hard-earned money. And it will enable us to put an end to uncontrolled European immigration.
Leaving the EU must mean just that. That we take back control of our laws, borders and money. Yet it is also about the belief in better. That's why it's time for the whole nation to come together and make the most of our national potential in the years to come.
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