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Sacrifices for a united free world

Opinion Piece

The few remaining veterans of the D-Day landings 75 years ago could be excused for wondering what kind of world they have left behind them, particularly in the United Kingdom from where many of them hailed and this largest seaborne invasion in history was launched.

World leaders who recognised their sacrifice last week should also be wary of what the future might bring.

The Second World War and the battle to defeat fascism was the most significant event of the last century, a time when the free world was agreed and united.

That is far from the case now with a world of rising tensions between the three predominant powers, the United States, China and Russia.

Even worse, a flood of immigrants has opened the door for the rise of nationalist right-wing parties that mirror the Nazis in some ways.

The UK is in turmoil, divided between those who want to leave Europe and those who want to stay.

That conflict saw Prime Minister Theresa May finally forced to step down, a clear victim of Brexit.

If timing is everything in politics, Britain’s second woman prime minister was rather unlucky. Taking over when David Cameron abruptly stepped aside three years ago, she had a difficult task in trying to get agreement on an exit deal that would get the approval of a majority, not least in her own party. Her dismal failure to meet this challenge has left the United Kingdom and its politics in a terrible mess.

The Conservatives have started the process to determine the next party leader and prime minister.

There will be a series of ballots among MPs in which candidates who fail to get 5 percent drop out until two are left. Then there will be a poll among 160,000 Conservative Party members, with the result scheduled for July 22.

It does not leave a lot of time before the Brexit date of October 31 for which of the 10 candidates finally emerges to negotiate with an increasingly obdurate Europe.

Just what those who gave their lives on the Normandy beaches and following European campaign battles would have thought of this situation is a matter for speculation, but their heroism is beyond dispute and always will be.