What is it that the man who came second to David Cameron last time there was a leadership contest within the Conservative Party has said that I question? First of all to preface, he mentioned that if the country votes to Leave on June 23rd, David Cameron should remain as prime minister. So far, so uncontroversial. But this is the bit I have wonder about:
“If we vote for Brexit then it’s clear that David Cameron can’t lead that bit of his government’s activities, the renegotiation. He would have to appoint somebody who the public had faith in, who his own party had faith in but most importantly who believed in the negotiations. If he did that, I don’t see the reason why he can’t go on.”
So Davis is suggesting that Cameron should continue being prime minister – but at the same time not lead the most important set of negotiations the country has very possibly ever faced. That makes no sense at all.
But more than that: the problem, as I see it, for the Leave camp, is the ever present fear factor. Basically, how much disruption will a vote to Leave cause the country? The Remain side wants to push the idea that it will be plenty – and surely the Leavers want to say it will not be that big a deal? But by Davis talking about Cameron as prime minister but not leader of the country (essentially), it creates confusion and uncertainty where it doesn’t need to be present. Davis, in other words, is muddying waters that his side should surely be trying to keep clear. But hey, if that’s what he wants to do, I will be the last person to stand in his way.
However, it’s this portion of the same Telegraph article that announced Davis’ words above to the world that gave me the chills:
“Chris Grayling, the Leader of the Commons who appeared on the same show, said Mr Cameron must stay on because a Tory leadership battle after Brexit would be “disastrous”. “I actively want David Cameron to stay, not only because he is a very good prime minister but because he has got the relationships we need around Europe to build a negotiating process,” he said. “It would be disastrous in my view for the Leave cause if we vote to leave and then we get distracted by a leadership contest.”
“Mr Grayling suggested other politicians would have to take part in the negotiations, saying Mr Cameron would be “part of a team”, but said the Prime Minister’s relationships with other EU leaders would be helpful.”
Yes, folks – if we vote to Leave in the EU referendum, the future of this country could very well be placed in the hands of Chris Grayling. If that is not enough to get you to vote to Remain, then your name is Nigel Farage.
Steve Peers says
The discussion about Cameron staying around isn’t technically about the referendum at all. It’s about jockeying for the leadership when it becomes open. Since open stabbing of the leader always backfires politically, Grayling must pretend that he wants Cameron to stay and Davis must discuss that prospect as if he takes it seriously.
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