I wanted Scotland to be an independent nation.
But the majority of Scottish voters disagreed, and I respect the result of the 2014 referendum.
I would have preferred to remain a citizen of the European Union.
But the majority of British voters disagreed, and I respect the result of the 2016 Brexit referendum.
However, the process for agreeing the future relationship between the United Kingdom and the rest of the EU has become not just a national embarrassment, but frighteningly acrimonious.
The shrill anger and extreme rhetoric, particularly from pro-Brexit campaigners, could be misconstrued as a signal of hatred for you, our fellow EU citizens.
I want you to know that nothing could be further from the truth and want to apologise for that misunderstanding.
The anger of those who insist we have a responsibility to deliver on the result of the Brexit referendum (and I am one of them), is directed entirely towards our uncompromising representatives in parliament, who have, through incompetence or selfish ambitions, failed to deliver on their promises to us.
We don’t hate Europe. We love Europe.
Once we leave the EU — and it is imperative for the credibility of our democracy that we do leave the EU — there will be no clamour for Britain to raise the metaphorical drawbridge and isolate ourselves from our closest neighbours.
We love Europe.
We’ll still want to drive German cars, devour French cheeses, sit on Swedish furniture, wear Italian fashions, drink Spanish sangria, and enjoy all the other commercial and cultural imports from the EU to which we’ve become accustomed. We love Europe.
Have no doubt that we’ll still want to sun ourselves on your beaches, admire your historic architecture, shop in your city centres, take leisurely drives through your countryside, and applaud your entertainers and artists.
We love Europe.
Junaid Abbas Bhatti
The Baron of Ballencrieff