Speak passionately in favour of Leave
The cat is out of the bag: Jeremy Corbyn says he would vote Remain if given the choice again. Many doubt that’s how he voted the first time around, for Mr Corbyn is a committed Bennite and a good number of the things he wants to do to Britain would be illegal under EU law. Nevertheless, he has drawn a line in the sand. Labour wants to be known as the party of Remain, or at least the party of a deal at any cost.
Mr Corbyn is out of touch with public sentiment. One recent poll found that 74 per cent think no deal is better than a bad deal. Of course, the question is flawed: who wouldn’t choose nothing over something bad? But the data betrays an emotional direction of travel: most Britons, regardless of how they voted last June, now want out. And every action by the EU gives them encouragement, be it the call for greater integration, the crisis in Spain or Michel Barnier’s grandstanding. Many Britons are getting tired of watching press conferences, such as yesterday’s, in which David Davis makes a sensible case for moving forward, and Mr Barnier speaks of a “disturbing” state of deadlock as if it has nothing to do with him.
The deadlock is entirely on the EU’S side. While Britain wants to agree a mutually beneficial trade deal as soon as possible, Brussels obsesses about the financial cost of the divorce because it desperately needs the UK’S cash. It is reported that Mr Barnier in fact wouldn’t object to moving the talks on but that Germany, a country that hasn’t even got a functioning government yet, has said no. An over-grown, dysfunctional EU – pulling in many directions – insults the British people while simultaneously trying to squeeze them for as much cash as is humanly possible. Why doesn’t Mr Corbyn direct some of his famously righteous anger at Brussels?
As he won’t, the Tories must. If Labour is to be the party of Remain, the Conservatives can speak for the majority of Britons as the committed party of Leave. That means preparing for a “no deal” outcome by spending the money necessary for it right now, reaching out to other countries to build a free-trade future, and reminding Europe of its reliance upon the UK for trade and defence. This must be done with passion. It is not enough to say that the Government is simply fulfilling the wishes of the voters: the case for Leave has to be restated over and over again, with full confidence in the UK’S tremendous potential.