The country is behind Brexit and wants Theresa May to get on with delivering it

The country is behind Brexit and wants Theresa May to get on with delivering it

“Thanks Saj! I’ve just promoted you, and you’ve gone and stuck a knife in my back over Brexit”, the Prime Minister didn’t say on Wednesday after Sajid Javid reportedly trashed the Customs Partnership model at her Brexit War Cabinet. Though perhaps she thought it.

Theresa May’s many challenges over Brexit are often reported, but it is not often observed that we are on a fine course, that the sun is bright, the sky is blue and that Brexit will be all wonderful if we just get on with it, provided the Prime Minister can avoid the pitfalls of the Customs Partnership, which is really the Customs Union by any other name.

Mrs May might be fighting rearguard action from Michel Barnier, who disgracefully wants to weaponise Northern Ireland. She might be facing a mass of lost votes from the other House, that bastion of unelected peers who think they know better than more than 17 million electors. She might be confronting a blunt message from the civil service that they are not ready for Brexit and won’t be ready until 2023, or perhaps later.

But Mrs May should have good cheer in her heart. She should recognise the wonderful news that the BBC’s election guru Sir John Curtice delivered her on Friday: yes, that her voters are Brexiteers and they want her to succeed.

The collective willingness of the country towards the Prime Minister was on display last Thursday, when voters trouped out to cast their vote to defy the Conservatives’ critics. Granted, the Tories lost in Remain Central of Richmond upon Thames, but across the country, voters showed the Conservatives that they were blue, tinged with a bit of Vote Leave red, and a hint maybe of ex-UKIP purple. Throw in a bit of lucky (Northern) Irish, and the PM has her mandate not to plough on, but more like to hop, skip and jump on.

The other bit of news she reportedly received is that the Lords rebellion is giving red meat to the Remainers in her party to vote for a customs union – that Ken Clarke has amassed an army of followers to vote with him for an EU Mark II solution. Yet I see no collective agony or spasms from Brexiteers worried about this malicious plan. Rather I see sunlight and brightness from the Leavers who know that they won at the War Cabinet and that the PM will just have to impose her will on these malcontents. When she puts her solution to a vote in the Commons and asks them to throw out the Lords amendments, will she lose? Well certainly not if the alternative is a Corbyn Government.

So the sooner she gets on with the vote, the better.

She has the support of the country, or certainly her voters. She will have the support of her party, and she will get a majority.

Show a bit of elbow, Prime Minister. Get on with it.

Let’s paint a picture of the clouds and depressing drizzle that will happen if the Government delays. Barnier will continue to try and corner the UK with his outrageous demands in Ireland. The civil servants will persist in thinking that they can get away with not doing anything to prepare a ‘no deal’ – and come September, the Government will have no option but to take the deal, any deal, any bad deal. And the Remainiacs will carry on pursuing any old plan to scupper Brexit, the customs union plan last week, the EEA plan this week.

But in the sunny uplands of reality, what happens if she gets on with the vote? She will have shown the EU that she can command the House of Commons. She has the votes to get a deal. The Government will be put, full steam ahead, to implement the “Max-Fac” technical solution that we need. She will have called Barnier’s bluff on Ireland. She will have put critics like the CBI back in their box. And the quivering bunch of Remainiac Lords will, for once, have a reason to be a-leaping come Christmas.

The sun is shining, Prime Minister. Recognise this and be happy. And get on with it.