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We must not let racists hijack the referendum result

August 31, 2016 6:04 PM
By admin

Britain is better than the forces of hatred, intolerance and division stirred up by the referendum. We can't let those forces hijack politics.

Tim Farron gave a speech at the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) in Manchester earlier today. He says:

We, the political classes, have left a country bitterly divided as a result. Between parents and children, families, neighbours. Between the nations of our own union, who have worked and fought together for centuries. Between us and our continental neighbours.

And now the biggest danger of them all.

That because of those divisions, we are in danger of letting malevolent forces hijack the result.

Plenty of my mates voted leave and I can tell you that the majority of those who did vote leave are utterly appalled that Farage, Le Pen and their ilk now seek to claim the result as a victory for their hateful brand of intolerance, racism and insularity. Britain is better than that.

But we must not ignore that the referendum has begun to reshape British politics:

Because there's a new battle emerging. Between the forces of tolerant liberalism and intolerant, closed-minded nationalism.

And, of course, you know, as leader of the Liberal Democrats, which side I'm on.

Since the referendum, we have also seen some horrifying rhetoric about EU citizens who live, work and love here. They have been described as bargaining chips, insulted and abused. To EU citizens in the UK, I have this to say:

We will stand by you, no matter what.

And to you, EU citizens, who have made your lives here and are contributing to our country, I make this absolute promise:

We will use what power we can muster, to make sure that those who have committed their lives and families to this country will be protected. That no kneejerk populism will be allowed to threaten them or uproot you.

Read more and sign our "right to stay" petition here: