Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson rebutted the idea Brexit is an “un-British spasm” that will threaten the cultural relationship between British people and the rest of Europe.
Speaking from central London today, the Foreign Secretary outlined the three key “fears” Remainers have clung to since the Brexit referendum.
Mr Johnson tackled the argument that Brexit was an “un-British, nationalist and illiberal” decision.
He said: “There are more than 300 languages spoken on our streets in London.
“Brexit is about re-engaging this country with its global identity and all the energy that can float from there.
“I absolutely refuse to accept the suggestion it is an un-British spasm of bad manners.
“It’s not some great V-sign from the cliffs of Dover. It is the expression of a legitimate and natural desire for self-government of the people by the people and for the people.”
In a move to shut down claims by Remainers, he said the benefits of remaining in the single market and the customs union were “nothing like as conspicuous or irrefutable” as is claimed.
He warned that any concession to demands from pro-EU campaigners to dilute the exit from the bloc would be a “disastrous mistake”.
Mr Johnson said he aims to restore “hope and optimism” to the nation and Brexit can be “grounds for hope rather than fear”.
He said: “The success of Brexit will depend on what we make of it. And it will be a success.”