Grantham Journal column: We must take back control of our borders
Last June I received more than 60 per cent of the votes cast by the people of Grantham and Stamford.
The voters were sending two messages: they wanted the Conservative government to get on and deliver Brexit; and they wanted to stop Jeremy Corbyn from becoming Prime Minister.
It may not seem obvious but these objectives are linked.
The way we leave the EU will influence our ability to stop Jeremy Corbyn winning the next election.
The Prime Minister is right to insist that Brexit must mean that we take back control of our money, our borders and our laws.
We need to leave the Single Market and agree a free trade agreement with the EU.
But she is also right to be exploring a compromise in the kind of relationship we have with the EU in future.
At the next election in 2022, we will only be able to stop Jeremy Corbyn inflicting an extreme version of socialism on this country if the economy has continued to grow and if people who voted to remain in the EU recognise that Brexit has not been the disaster that many predicted.
Passionate Brexiteers need to be careful that in their desire to cut all ties with the EU they don’t overreach themselves and end up making the election of Jeremy Corbyn inevitable.
He would do far more damage to Britain than EU membership ever could.
At the moment big industrial businesses are nervous that Brexit will disrupt their supply chains, making it impossible for car manufacturers to bring parts in from all over the EU without hugely complicated checks and expensive extra paperwork.
We should be doing everything we can to agree a new partnership that allows manufacturers to carry on operating in the way they do now.
If we have to agree to limit future changes in regulations governing emissions or other technical matters, that is surely a price worth paying for continued growth in a key sector of the economy.
In the 2016 referendum a majority voted to leave the EU and leave we must.
But the way we leave needs to take into account the views and interests of those who voted to remain as well as those who voted to leave.
The worst thing that could happen to Britain would be for a brutally hard Brexit to cause big economic difficulties, alienate millions of sensible Remainers and lead to the election of a far left government.
I know that Leavers love their country as much as I do.
Together we must ensure that we leave the EU without letting Jeremy Corbyn into No 10.