If she wants a deal, Theresa May must summon the courage to walk away, writes Peter Bingle

I was a reluctant Remain voter in the EU referendum. I have never been a fan of the various EU institutions but believed, head over heart, that it made more sense to try and reform the EU from within rather than walk away.

My major concern over the Leave campaign was their reluctance, or inability, to talk about the impact on the economy. Whilst I never really bought the Project Fear arguments espoused by Cameron & Osborne, and neither did they, I was nonetheless unconvinced by the Leave arguments that everything would be fine.

Thus far the government’s handling of the EU negotiations has been both shambolic and embarrassing. Michel Barnier is, I am afraid, in a different class to David Davis and the rest of the Brexit gang. Yet his intellectual arrogance and failure to understand British public opinion is a strategic mistake of momentous proportions. We British don’t like seeing our PM being humiliated by a bunch of foreigners!

Put to one side the fact that at a moment of national crisis when we need a PM of the stature of Thatcher, we instead have somebody very ordinary, realpolitik dictates that public opinion will inevitably rally behind Theresa May rather than Jean-Claude Juncker or Donald Tusk.

The EU has overplayed its hand and has therefore provided the PM with an opportunity to turn the tables and eventually win the day. To do so, however, she needs to acquire Thatcher’s political courage and tell the EU that she will walk away if negotiations on trade do not start before Christmas. This is the only tactic that will work with the EU, which is becoming more arrogant by the hour.

Most British voters don’t care about the future of the EU or Brexit. They never have. The EU referendum was a moment of madness. Nevertheless, on that fateful day the people spoke and the PM must now deliver Brexit. Most sensible Remainers understand and accept this. It is time for the EU to understand some simple facts of life. We won’t tolerate our PM, even this PM, being bullied and humiliated by out of touch Brussels bureaucrats.

This is why I am more certain than ever we will get a good deal and make a clean break from the EU in March 2019! C’est la vie …

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