Carmichael: Britain needs to hear liberal internationalist voices like never before

Alistair Carmichael has given his reaction to the referendum result on his Facebook page, reproduced here with his permission.

Facebook asks what is on my mind. This may not be the most coherent answer I can give in my sleep-deprived state but here goes :

1. As a result of the referendum vote we now have massive economic issues to face and deal with – the priority for all parties should be to tackle that.

2. We can not tackle these problems while, as a country, we are split down the middle so this is a time for bringing people together and healing the divisions if we can. I sense a lot of anger amongst my friends and I share the frustration but we can not allow that anger to be self-indulgent. There is too much at stake.

3. The only way in which a break up of the UK can now be avoided is if we go for a properly federal structure and elect it proportionately. Brexit is the consequence of a broken political system.

4. This is a time when Britain needs to hear liberal internationalist voices like never before. We can not allow this vote to define us in the eyes of the world. This is the biggest reverse I have ever known for liberalism and internationalism but, especially in an age of globalisation, it remains the only way to live.

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This entry was posted in Op-eds.


  • David Evershed 24th Jun '16 - 12:24pm

    The referendum result was a vote for internationalism.

    The EU is inward looking and protectionist.

    Now the UK can look outward to the 80% of the world that is not in the EU.

  • David,
    And what products will you be selling to Asia? Not much is made in England these days.
    Machine tools companies are South Korean and Taiwanese these days.

  • What too many liberals fail to realise however is that they have become increasingly very illiberal towards any opposing views.

  • David Evershed 25th Jun '16 - 1:43pm


    I started life working as an engineer in a machine tool company, James Archdale & Co, known particularly for its radial arm drilling machines.

    But the products were uncompetitive compared with Japanese equivalents.

    However, I moved into management consultancy where the UK is very competitive and can compete with the best in the world.

    So the UK should look to selling management consultancy to the 80% of the world not in the EU as well as in EU countries which tend to be more nationalistic when it comes to buying services from the UK than non EU countries.

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