People often ask me what my stance on Leave vs Remain is. I voted to leave. I campaigned to leave. I was the joint constituency coordinator and led a small campaign coordinating team in my constituency. We managed to get a number of volunteers and between us, within weeks, we had delivered the constituency three times, run a number of street stalls, and also a few hustings – which I spoke at.
I still believe in Brexit. The reason being that I believe in democracy, and the accountability of politicians. We need to be able to hold our lawmakers to account and to vote them out if we aren’t happy with what they do. That’s why I also believe that MPs need to stand by their manifesto pledges. If they feel they can’t and want to stand for something else, then they need to call a by election and stand on a new platform. Otherwise they are, in effect, voted in on a false premise.
I do however respect people who voted remain. I have family and friends who did so for the best of reasons. But the majority of them now say “Just get on with it” and end the uncertainty.
So we need to get on with it and bring the country back together after. I agree with the PM that we need to get a deal if we can, and that being prepared to walk away is something you need to do in a serious negotiation.
We will make a success of Brexit, and it is important that that success delivers for everyone. We need to take the opportunity to bring democratic accountability closer to the people. Not just at UK level, but at county, town and village level. People need to feel that they have more control over their lives and that unelected people are not making decisions on our behalf in non-transparent ways, especially when we would not agree if informed and asked. Study after study has shown that people feel a greater sense of wellbeing and happiness, and also resilience, when they feel that they have control over their lives. So with Brexit we must bring a rejuvenation of local government and engagement of the people. We also need greater accountability of the judiciary and other officials who so often appear out of touch with the ordinary man and woman in the street.
Brexit must deliver for democracy, the economy, jobs, for our farmers, for the environment, for our borders, criminal justice system and education system. We must be an outward looking nation with a One Nation agenda which offers a sense of pride and real opportunity in our country. We can do it.