OPINION: We need a clean break from the EU

PUBLISHED: 08:00 21 July 2018


Very soon after David Cameron resigned in the summer of 2016, I was interviewed on a TV News programme and asked who I think should become the next prime minster.

At that stage neither Boris Johnson, nor Michael Gove had put their respective hats into the ring, but Theresa May had. Rather than commit to either of the two Brexiters, I responded that I was not sure who it should be, but I would say who it shouldn’t be, and that was Theresa May.

When asked why, I explained that she was virtually silent throughout the entire referendum campaign. If you want to lead, you cannot be silent. You have to make your views known so that people can make a judgement about your leadership qualities. Silence is cowardice.

I also said that it would be a huge mistake to choose someone who was a Remainer and does not believe in Brexit.

If I had to recruit someone in my own business to manage a new project or venture, I would never employ someone who doesn’t believe in it. If the project failed, which would be a more likely outcome, they would always retort “told you so”.

We are now two years on. The huge mistake for Britain and for the Conservative party is that they have someone leading (I use the word loosely!) that doesn’t believe in her own main plank of policy. This is not leadership but management, and to be frank, it’s not great management at that.

She is in a difficult position admittedly, but this is only made worse by her own actions. She is not a natural salesman either, which doesn’t help. Leaders need to inspire not perspire.

The British people did not vote for “a deal”.

We simply voted to Leave. Cameron was offered a deal and the British people rejected it.

Leaving with no deal is what we should now do. It’s fine. Most countries in the world don’t have a trade deal with the EU. With this strategy, a deal is more likely to emerge as there are clearly areas of mutual benefit.

We need a clean break, not a fudge and if Theresa May does not understand this and won’t deliver it, she cannot survive.

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