"The UK is back," says Iain Duncan Smith as he celebrates Brexit

31 January 2020, 22:59

Sir Iain Duncan Smith says: "You cannot control 400 million people from a centre in Brussels... now we have an opportunity not just to set our own path but to influence the path of the rest of the world. We're back."

"The UK is peculiar in one way that whilst we are all these people we are not owned by them and I think the British people have made a final decision," said the former Tory party leader.

"At the end of the day they want to be independent. There's a streak of independence amongst British people which is their belief in their own country and the sense they like to run their own affairs," he said, interpreting Brexit as acknowledging others but not being run by them.

Nick asked: "What does the European Union need to learn from this?"

"I hear today that von der Leyen and the others all said that what we need now is to be more centralised, become more like a super state and take powers away from the people," Sir Iain said, "and that's completely wrong."

Even those Britons that voted remain have a "streak of independence", he insisted, "Independence is in the heart of everybody. Britain will lead the way but I think that other countries will begin to look to this and say this has gone in the wrong direction, it's time to change it."

Sir Iain felt sad that the UK weren't able to persuade the EU they were "heading in the wrong direction" and he said what the EU need to learn from this is "you cannot control some plus 400 million people from a centre in Brussels, they need to have their freedom."

"Cooperation, always, trade, good friends, allies, but not control from some central bureaucracy," he said, "Britain has made the break. Now we have an opportunity not just to set our own path but to influence the path of the rest of the world. We're back and they want us."

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