The Scottish Mail on Sunday

For sake of Brexit, May must re­main

- By BERNARD JENKIN TORY MP FOR HARWICH & NORTH ES­SEX

‘Vot­ers left May in charge with her new man­date’

YES, Con­ser­va­tives are frus­trated by our Elec­tion cam­paign, but com­mon sense will pre­vail. Only a tiny num­ber of MPs are ag­i­tat­ing against Theresa May. They should stop feed­ing the head­lines, or they will start to feel the wrath of the rest of the Con­ser­va­tive Party.

Theresa will con­tinue as Prime Min­is­ter, be­cause she can and she must. And Jeremy Cor­byn’s sug­ges­tion that he should form a mi­nor­ity ad­min­is­tra­tion un­der­lines both the fan­tasy of his lead­er­ship, and the po­ten­tial dis­as­ter for the na­tion.

Our sit­u­a­tion to­day is very dif­fer­ent from when Gor­don Brown lost the 2010 Elec­tion and tried to hang on. Then he had only 258 seats and 29 per cent of the vote; to­day, we have 318 seats and are the largest party with the most votes – a cred­itable 42 per cent. In 2005, Tony Blair got barely 35 per cent, but no­body sug­gested he lacked the moral au­thor­ity to gov­ern.

Mr Cor­byn did fight a bet­ter cam­paign. He of­fered hope. He in­spired the young. We Con­ser­va­tives must change our at­ti­tude, and of­fer real and af­ford­able hope. Hope for the end to aus­ter­ity and for bet­ter pay for pub­lic-sec­tor work­ers.

Hope too for younger peo­ple, who have high ideals and feel op­pressed by high taxes, stu­dent debt and high prop­erty prices. Theresa May be­lieves we must tackle th­ese chal­lenges, and pro­mote equal­ity and op­por­tu­nity for all across so­ci­ety – for the many, not the few. We must do this, but with­out mak­ing prom­ises that the na­tion can­not af­ford.

Make no bones about it; Con­ser­va­tives are dis­ap­pointed, but the vot­ers left Theresa May in charge, and with her new man­date. That in­cludes Brexit, strength­en­ing the Union of the United King­dom, and con­tin­u­ing to re­store pros­per­ity and jobs.

Both Labour and the Con­ser­va­tives stood on Brexit man­i­festos. Labour made no com­mit­ment to re­main ‘in’ the sin­gle mar­ket or the cus­toms union. They also voted for Ar­ti­cle 50 be­fore the elec­tion. The proRe­main par­ties re­ceived a to­tal of 11 per cent of the vote: so no Lib Dem sec­ond EU ref­er­en­dum. Even the pro-EU SNP has been forced into re­treat, killing off any idea of a sec­ond Scot­tish in­de­pen­dence ref­er­en­dum.

It is wish­ful think­ing by Remainers who be­lieve this re­sult gives them a man­date to de­rail Brexit – along with the DUP, Mrs May will com­mand a Com­mons ma­jor­ity for her man­i­festo plans to leave the EU. If the UK were to re­main sub­ject to the EU courts, or not take back le­gal con­trol over our laws and who comes into the coun­try, or con­tinue mak­ing huge pay­ments into the EU bud­get, that would be­tray the ma­jor­ity who voted Leave last year. It would have an in­cen­di­ary ef­fect on Bri­tish pol­i­tics.

We also have a duty to pro­tect the UK from Mr Cor­byn’s crazy hard-Left poli­cies, which would have crashed the econ­omy. The coun­try would never thank us, or Theresa May, if she just threw in the towel. She has al­ready proved tougher than that.

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