Last week the referendum triggered a political earthquake in British politics and beyond.
After a contest with such deep-rooted passions, many feel bewildered and bruised. We now have a duty to maximise the benefits and opportunities that our people have made possible.
We need to move swiftly to deal with the uncertainty caused. It is time to correct those who seem to believe that our country cannot stand on its own two feet without the help of Brussels.
I do not believe there is room for membership of the single market, if it entails free movement of people.
We do not need to be part of the single market to sell into the single market; countries like the US do perfectly well in that position.
The unelected commission is likely to be stubborn but elected governments are likely to be different.
We need to make clear to them that it would be in our mutual interests to have a free and open trading relationship, but that we cannot accept the concept of free movement of people. This is not a requirement for a trading agreement.
No other country with whom we have such an agreement demands it in return.
Great Britain is an outward looking liberal democracy, which has helped shape much of the world around us with our values and behaviour.
We have exported concepts of free markets, democracy and rule of law around the globe and have resisted, sometimes alone, the threats to liberty and freedom.
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As a result we are a hugely connected country with a permanent seat on the UN Security Council, we have the world’s fifth biggest economy, with membership of the G7 and G20, seats on the IMF and the World Bank, the world’s fifth biggest defence budget at the heart of NATO, we are at the centre of the Commonwealth, have a special relationship with United States.
We are right to take control of our own destiny, recognising that cooperation is an indispensable part of the era of globalisation in which we live.
We are a land of opportunity, in a world of opportunity. We have huge natural economic advantages that we can exploit and build upon. We have a system of law that is admired the world over, making Britain one of the safest countries for inward investment anywhere.
We have a skilled workforce and low levels of industrial unrest, certainly compared to some of our continental neighbours. We have some of the world’s best universities; we speak English and are in one of the best time zones for global trade.
All these are unaffected by being outside the European Union. We should never forget that we are a special country. It is time to feel special again.
Part of this process must be to encourage a genuine opportunity society to all our citizens. We must understand that, on the social ladder, it is just as important to get from the bottom rung to the second bottom rung as it is to get from the second top rung to the top.
Aspiration must be king and we must recognise that poverty is not simply about lack of material wealth. Poverty of aspiration and poverty of hope are destructive powers in even the wealthiest societies.
Talent and effort must be rewarded. I am a capitalist, but my capitalist heroes are not the big bankers who pocket bonuses whether or not they are successful, but the corner shop owners and the small businessmen and women who sacrifice family time and holidays in order to pass something on to the next generation.
We must encourage a society where it does not matter what your parents did, where you went to school, what part of this nation you come from, what regional accent you have or have not, or how you choose to worship your God.
All that should matter is that you share the same values, aspirations and goals for our country, keeping it strong, proud and free. Last week we showed that we truly value our freedom.
That freedom was forged in the heat of our history, snatched from the hands of tyrants and defended against dictators, fascists and communists.
It is now time to take pride in our achievement and make this special country ever stronger, not just for ourselves but in helping to shape a better, stronger and more secure world around us.