Friday, June 24, 2016

We will miss David Cameron

There are many among those who supported the decision to Leave who hate David Cameron for not being right-wing enough or because he fought tooth and nail for the outcome he has always said he wanted.

There are many among those who did not support that decision who are furious with him for calling the referendum in the first place.

I am in neither group.

I am not at all happy with the decision which the electorate has taken, but the European project could not continue on the road represented by Juncker's words

"There is no democratic choice against the European Treaties."

I wanted to see the sort of Europe of Nations of which Mrs Thatcher spoke at Bruges. You cannot build a democratic Europe without a democratic mandate. And the very fact that it was possible for Leave to win this referendum demonstrates how far out of line both the political elite in this country and the EU establishment had become with half of our country.

David Cameron's critics said he could never win an election. He proved them wrong.

They said he could not get a cut in the EU budget. He proved them wrong.

They said he would not keep his promise to call a referendum. He proved them wrong.

They said he would cancel the referendum when it looked like he might lose it. He proved them wrong.

Most pathetic of all, they said people should take pens to the ballot because he might get MI5 to rub out Leave votes and replace them with Remain ones. The result proves that this too was wrong.

All those people owe David Cameron an apology, though I will be very pleasantly surprised if any of them are honest enough to deliver it.

I deeply regret his decision to stand down in the autumn but I think it is the right one for Britain for the reasons he explained in his speech and the valedictory letter.

A few months ago Stephen Bush of the New Statesman wrote that the Conservative Party would miss David Cameron when he had gone.

I do not think some of my colleagues have yet begun to realise how much. But they will.

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