Boris is the one person to restore trust, says JACOB REES-MOGG

The ignominious failure of Theresa May and her team to deliver Brexit and to deny earlier promises by saying that the words "no-deal is better than a bad deal" was only meant in the abstract has corroded trust in politicians and alas, especially, in the Conservative Party. A symptom of this and the expression of the degree of failure has been the surge in support for the Brexit Party which, under Nigel Farage's effective leadership, triumphed in the European elections and now leads in the opinion polls. This leaves a formidable task for Mrs May's successor to restore trust and to rebuild the fortunes of Thetories.

Boris is the one person who can do this. He has devoted his distinguished career to making the case against Brussels. As a young journalist he exposed its folly, vanity and hunger for power. It was Boris's campaigning skills that tipped the scales in the referendum and took the Leave argument from one that would have been an honourable runner-up to victory.

Since then, he has tirelessly made the case for leaving properly, rejecting efforts by the metropolitan establishment to keep us so closely bound into the European Union that it would have been hard to tell the difference between leaving and staying.

Most nobly, Boris resigned as foreign secretary because he could not accept the "Chequers proposals", which would have made the United Kingdom a vassal state compelled to pay tribute to its European overlords and to follow their rules.

This history of Euroscepticism is the starting point to restoring trust. His track record is reliable, nor has he wavered in the campaign to be leader of the party. Boris has received the endorsement of some loyal Conservatives who have been committed, lifelong supporters of European Union integration.

They have not come on board because Boris offered to trim his Euroscepticism, they have done so because they honestly accept the result of the referendum. He has not bought success at the cost of his beliefs.

The past is positive, the words are good but ultimately it is deeds that will matter.

Boris will have 100 days to lead us out of the European Union. He will offer citizens' rights unilaterally because the United Kingdom is not the type of nation that applies retrospective laws to people who live here legally but he knows and has said that the withdrawal agreement is defunct.

He will make it clear that unless the EU moves significantly we will go without a deal, for the deadline is sacrosanct: not political suicide but the only way to restore trust and the best way to achieve an agreement. If we leave the EU by October 31, then there will be something to trust in once more. I hope we will be able to welcome back AnnWiddecombe and more importantly, as far as I am concerned, my brilliant sister Annunziata, for we shall have moved back towards them rather than them to us.

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