VIEW FROM THE HOUSE

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - OPINION - DO­MINIC GRIEVE MP for Beaconsfield

BY the time you read this, the process of elect­ing a new leader of the Con­ser­va­tive Party will be well un­der way, fol­low­ing the Prime Min­is­ter’s de­ci­sion to re­sign af­ter the out­come of the vote on the Euro­pean Ref­er­en­dum. It may have seemed like a pre­cip­i­tate de­ci­sion, but the elec­torate made their views clear on June 23, with the ma­jor­ity want­ing to leave the Euro­pean Union. It was there­fore in­evitable that Mr Cameron would want to step aside, as he could not lead on a pol­icy with which he does not con­sider to be in the na­tional in­ter­est. He is how­ever con­tin­u­ing to work with Cabi­net col­leagues and oth­ers to calm the global mar­kets and sta­bilise our econ­omy. We have rea­son, in my view, to be very grate­ful to him for the work he has done on re­viv­ing our econ­omy over the last six years.

Prob­a­bly no-one will ever wish to make a po­lit­i­cal pre­dic­tion ever again af­ter the few days at West­min­ster which fol­lowed on from the Prime Min­is­ter’s state­ment. But who­ever be­comes Prime Min­is­ter will need to give care­ful con­sid­er­a­tion to the po­lit­i­cal, eco­nomic and con­sti­tu­tional chal­lenges that fol­low from the ref­er­en­dum re­sult. In par­tic­u­lar there is a need to fo­cus on the process of trig­ger­ing Ar­ti­cle 50 of the Lis­bon Treaty, by which the UK sets in train leav­ing the Euro­pean Union.

Fresh eyes and a dis­pas­sion­ate ex­am­i­na­tion of the nec­es­sary ac­tions are needed. We should not close off any op­tions as we go ahead. The Con­ser­va­tive Gov­ern­ment re­ceived a man­date in May 2015 to con­tinue to grow the econ­omy and im­prove the qual­ity of life of UK cit­i­zens. Rec­on­cil­ing this with pulling out of the EU is go­ing to be very dif­fi­cult. Any fu­ture PM will be judged on how suc­cess­fully this can be done. We are a sov­er­eign state, but in prac­ti­cal terms we can­not tear across the fab­ric of the past 40 years in one go, with­out prob­lems and chal­lenges.

I my­self am sup­port­ing Theresa May, as I be­lieve that she has the pro­fes­sion­al­ism and com­mon sense to take on this oner­ous bur­den. But who­ever wins, I will work with them and with col­leagues to try to meet the elec­torate’s as­pi­ra­tions.

Mr Grieve’s copy was filed be­fore An­drea Lead­som de­cided not to con­test the lead­er­ship, leav­ing Theresa May as the new Prime Min­is­ter

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