Let’s Get Brexit Done! (December, 2019)
Every election is referred to as an important election – but this one really is! Commonly known as the “Brexit Election”, this election will truly determine the fate of Brexit – especially on whether it is delivered at all! Your vote in this election therefore matters now more than ever before as it will shape the future of our great country.
The vote to leave the EU was a vote for change. But nothing has changed since. The last Parliament was left in gridlock and unable to deliver anything. It paralysed the country and aside from the business uncertainty around Brexit, we have been unable to focus on the other priorities that our Government so desperately needed to focus on, such as our NHS, schools and police force. Only by getting Brexit done, can we move on and finally invest in our other priorities.
I class myself as a “moderate Brexiteer”. Someone who voted to remain in the 2016 referendum but over the year’s I’ve come to see the great opportunities that Brexit offers for Britain, which will help unleash our country’s tremendous potential.
As the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Rwanda and Uganda – two of the fastest growing economies in the African subcontinent, I have seen first-hand the opportunities that Brexit can bring. My role has helped me to see that Britain has run a balance of payments deficit for decades. Quite simply, we do not export enough to pay for our imports. This is neither desirable nor sustainable, yet it receives very little attention or coverage in the wider Brexit debate.
June 2016’s EU referendum allowed our country to wake up and reassess many aspects of our economic set-up, including how pitiful we have become at exporting, especially exporting outside the European Union. Our EU membership has resulted in a form of paralysis; far from making us free-trading global entrepreneurs, it has—with a few exceptions—made our businesses insular, complacent and risk-averse.
Possibly the greatest victim of our insular approach has been the great continent of Africa. Only a few decades ago, Britain could boast of having 25% of total trade with Africa; now it is barely 4%. It continues even now, as we sit idly by, as our leading brands like British Airways and Barclays Bank depart Africa to focus elsewhere.
We often speak of emerging markets, and given that I was born in Uganda I may be biased, but I believe that Africa is the emerging continent. Democracy is becoming more firmly established across the continent; six of the 10 fastest-growing economies in the world are there; it has some of the most innovative and largest cities, 52 of which now have a population of over 1 million; and Africa is home to a third of the world’s natural resources.
Africa is just one example of an open market ready for us to engage with post-Brexit. However, coming back to this election, it’s not just about promoting a post-Brexit agenda. It’s about getting Brexit done and delivering the will of the British people. Having knocked on doors up and down the country, I share the sentiments of thousands over “remainers” like me, who also want to see Brexit done.
The debate around this General Election has shown that only the Conservative Party can deliver Brexit. The Liberal Democrats will scrap Brexit by revoking Article 50 and Labour still remain undecided leading to further uncertainty which is the last thing this country need. Labour propose a second referendum, but Corbyn provides no clue on how he will lead it.
All Conservative candidates standing in this election have confirmed that they back Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal. This means that only a Conservative majority can get Brexit through Parliament. The choice in this election is simple; vote for the certainty that a majority government brings, or a hung Parliament and the chaos associated with it.
With a Conservative majority, you can be sure that on day one of a new Parliament we will start the process to get Brexit done and leave with the deal that has already been agreed by the end of January – giving businesses and families the confidence to invest in out economy.
This election is a choice between driving real change for our country or more of the same old un-divisiveness. Only by getting Brexit done can we start to unleash Britain’s true potential and engage with markets in Africa and across the world.
The Conservatives just need nine more seats than in 2017 to unblock Parliament. Your vote can bring that change and get Britain working again.