The European Movement in Northern Ireland has said it looks forward to working with the new chair of The European Movement UK, Stephen Dorrell.
Mr Dorrell was elected at a national council meeting in December and urged those wanting to prevent Brexit to join the European Movement after vowing to oppose the Government’s plans to take the UK out of the European Union on its own terms.
In an interview with The Sunday Times upon his appointment, Mr Dorrell made it clear that European Movement UK will be seeking to reject Brexit on the basis that the Government would not be representing the nation’s best interests in doing so:
“Brexit is a mistake and we shall seek to build support for that point of view. The government has a mandate but I don’t think the mandate it has reflects this country’s interests, so I will seek to defeat it.”
In acknowledging the fears that the events following the vote in June could lead to a widespread resurgence in nationalism, he added:
“The European Union is the creation of a generation that had learnt from experience what happens when people trust nationalist politicians rather than principles and law,” he said. “Nationalism does not work. It works for tyrants; it doesn’t work for citizens. If we destroy rules, we open ourselves up to a world where we trust strongmen, and I don’t trust strongmen.
Welcoming his election, EMNI Chair Ian Parsley said he looked forward to working with Mr Dorrell to fight the UK Governments’ plan for a ‘Hard Brexit’.
“While I’m sorry that we didn’t get a successful result in the Referendum when Laura Sandys was chair, we believe EMUK is in good hands, and we wish Mr Dorrell well in his new position. We have a good relationship with EMUK and hopefully, we can insure the position of Northern Ireland is represented in EMUK’s lobbying plans.”