As many of you know, I have long been in favour of an In/Out Referendum on the European Union. In fact, I was one of the original 81 Conservative Members of Parliament who defied the Party Whip early in the last Parliament and voted for an EU Referendum to be held .
I was particularly pleased, therefore, when the Referendum finally took place on 23rd June 2016 and a majority of people in the City of Lincoln and around our county shared my view that the long term future of our great country was best served by voting Leave the European Union.
I see a great long term future for all of us outside the EU that will include taking back control of our borders, our fisheries, our agriculture and our taxation levels. As a result, the regulations on our businesses should be more straightforward.
David Cameron’s desire to step down as Prime Minister of our country and Leader of our Party was one outcome of the Referendum that disappointed me given his years of outstanding service to us, but I respect his decision.
When Mr Cameron became Prime Minister back in 2010 in the aftermath of Labour’s Great Recession, we had the largest budget deficit in the G20 and unemployment had risen by over 450,000. Today, the deficit has been cut by two-thirds and the number of people in work is up by almost 2.5 million. Mr Cameron led the United Kingdom, just as he led the Conservative Party, with great honour and distinction. I warmly congratulate our new Prime Minister, Rt Hon Theresa May MP, on her selection as Conservative Leader and I am confident that she can be a great Prime Minister. I first met Mrs May in the early 1990s when she was a Merton Councillor and have seen her political skills at various levels within the Party deployed effectively ever since then.
It will be up to our new Prime Minister and her Cabinet to decide which European laws, regulations and rules we would wish to keep, amend or scrap.
Ultimately, those of us who stood up for British values and our sovereignty and voted to Leave can feel comfort that despite whatever was thrown at us, we stood firm.
Now we need to all work together, maintaining calm efficiency and embracing the people's majority decision to leave the European Union. That is what we Conservatives in a British democracy do.
Karl McCartney JP MP