The next Prime Minister should be someone whose DNA is not all over the current Brexit mess

The next Prime Minister should be someone whose DNA is not all over the current Brexit mess

I have reached a point of frustration with the Brexit debate, where I would like to make some pleas to those who I hope are like-minded people.

While I could be described as “apolitical”, I am certainly passionate about business, proud to be British and of its democratic reputation and all that it stands for. Like others running companies that are dependent upon overseas trade, I am of course concerned about recent events. However, I am not worried about the UK leaving the EU without a deal, especially when compared to the proposal tabled by the Prime Minister.

Specifically, I am concerned about the current lack of political leadership and courage that I expect from the UK Government. If businesses were run along similar lines, insolvency would be a certain outcome. The naivety of the approach taken to the recent EU negotiations is shocking and, frankly, embarrassing. I have absolute confidence in this country succeeding and it’s about time we took a deep breath and stopped behaving submissively to the EU and got on with leaving.

I am sure that companies in the EU will want a deal. I would, if I were running a business based within the EU and serving customers in the UK. Once we have left, we are much more likely be able to have win/win discussions which will result in a common sense approach to trade – much like the “Common Market” of old. And if we do not end up with a deal, let’s be absolutely determined to make a success of Brexit, knowing British businesses are more than capable of doing so.

I see Brexit as a great opportunity in many respects. Bringing back the fate of the nation on all levels to Westminster and opening up more trading opportunities is worth living through some challenges as we manage the changes required. I manage companies operating in places such as the Middle East, South Africa, Australia and China, where the UK brand is highly respected for quality, reliability and trust. We need to maximise this without EU bureaucracy and restrictions holding us back. I want the UK to have its own ambitions and directly benefit from its efforts.

But one significant issue needs to be resolved before anything else: that is the Conservative Party choosing a new leader and thus our new Prime Minister. This is a huge responsibility on all those able to influence the outcome. For me, it has to be a person who clearly supports and is enthusiastic about the UK leaving the EU, has made their position clear to the Government and put their career on the line by standing against the direction that was being force fed to the country.

Out of the flock of contenders in the mix so far, I am not sure there are many who are not already tarnished by having some of their DNA on the mess in which we find ourselves. I would much prefer a fresh approach from someone outside of Cabinet.

To this end, I am very disappointed not to see Steve Baker’s name on the list of contenders with evidence of him being heavily supported by fellow MPs. I would trust Steve Baker not only to deliver Brexit safely but to go on to unite the Conservative Party and the majority of the country for many years ahead.

If anyone has influence to convince Mr Baker to stand and for other MPs to support him then, for all our sakes, do whatever you can before it’s too late.