My experience – mastering those detailed briefs, winning support, driving through reform – leaves me in the best position to achieve Brexit.
Most of the sound and furore about making it happen is all about means, but there has been virtually no debate about the ends.
The solution to the challenges we face doesn’t lie in burying our heads in the sand or in jumping ship to another party.
Precisely because it would be a rather unnecessary addition to the current deal, it is hard to argue that the proposal would be a disaster for Brexit.
I voted for the Prime Minister’s deal today. But the Commons didn’t – and we now all need a positive alternative.
We have secured legally-binding changes which address MPs’ concerns about the need to protect the UK from being stuck in the backstop against its will.
It amounts to wishful thinking, not a workable, sustainable answer. And it’s not as easy to implement as some of its advocates make out.
The more one thinks about it, the more problematic it becomes.
Plus: We must be the Party for social housing as well as home ownership. And: why don’t we trumpet our history of social reform?
Were it not for the backstop, May’s deal would get over the line – with support from an overwhelming majority of Conservatives, including us.
Our plan is supported by remainers like me, by leavers such as David Davis and Dominic Raab and, crucially, by the DUP.
Norway-to-Canada was one thing. Norway-plus-the-backstop is another. It is inferior even to the Prime Minister’s proposed deal.
If I had been offered this before the referendum in 2016, I would have seen it as a much better alternative to the status quo inside the EU.
If you want to be sure that Brexit happens, however much you might dislike this plan, there is only one course of action – vote for it.
Instead of leaving the Customs Union but retaining chunks of the Single Market – we shall end up staying in the Customs Union but leaving most of the Single Market.