Time to look forward to realising our potential - Duncan Crow, councillor for Furnace Green

The fifth anniversary of our referendum on EU membership passed quietly last week.

This feels right as I take the view that looking forward and making the best of new opportunities is what matters now, rather than going over old ground and reigniting the divisions of the past.

That isn’t always a view shared by representatives from other political parties, some of whom continue to talk our country down and stoke division, but I believe most ordinary people want to move on from the old arguments of leave or remain.

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Duncan Crow, councillor for Furnace Green

Having left the EU, we have started a new chapter in our history. For the first time in almost 50 years we are free to be open to the world, tread our own path, and to forge new and deeper relationships, as well as maintaining our good relations with our friends and allies in Europe and in the EU.

I’ve always viewed the UK as a truly global nation, something that is backed up by our history. Outside of the EU, which seems to put protectionist policies first at the expense of doing what is right for the wider world, the UK can truly determine its own course.

To make the most of this historic opportunity, our Conservative Government set out a new foreign policy approach in the Integrated Review, which was backed by record spending on defence and research. This will promote Global Britain’s values, strengthen our security, and champion free trade around the world.

Working with our allies, our country will act as a force for good in the world, defending democracy and human rights, allowing open societies and economies to flourish, and striking ambitious new free trade deals such as our recent one with Australia.

The pandemic has complicated many things, but I’m optimistic that it is only a temporary blip. We have great potential if we are outward looking rather than just inward looking. In my opinion, London is the world’s global city and post pandemic, Crawley has even greater potential to benefit from our proximity to London and from having Gatwick Airport on our doorstep.