The Times: We need a standard bearer for the middle ground — it could be me

In an interview with The Times published on 13 April, Rory detailed how he would deliver Brexit and start a new chapter for Britain.

Here are some of the highlights from the article:

Every Sunday night, Rory Stewart draws a multi-coloured flow chart mapping out the possible Brexit scenarios. “It begins with six or seven immediate paths but then each one divides and subdivides,” he explains. “You have to hold in your head 25 outcomes and if you are me all bar two or three are horrendous.” The prisons minister, who was an officer in the Black Watch, a diplomat in the Balkans, deputy governor of an Iraqi province and a Harvard professor, and also set up a charity in Afghanistan and advised Barack Obama before becoming Conservative MP for Penrith & the Border, is using all his negotiating skills to persuade colleagues to look beyond the immediate Brexit crisis...

Now Mr Stewart is talked of as a possible Tory leader. Unlike some of his colleagues he doesn’t obfuscate when we ask him about this. “There’s only any point somebody like me standing for the leadership if I can win. I wouldn’t do it as an academic exercise, I’d do it because of the cause,” he says. “The question is finding a standard bearer for the cause of the middle ground of British politics. . . It could be me.”

His priority is to ensure that the Commons uses the six-month Brexit delay, granted by the EU this week, to agree a deal. He worries that if the sense of urgency goes “the impatience of Leavers will grow” and they will become determined to crash out. “No-deal isn’t a destination it is a failure to reach a destination,” he insists. Revoking Article 50 or calling another referendum would be just as damaging. “Brexit is only a symptom of the polarisation of British politics, the danger that we are going to follow a US-European path to increasingly right-wing and left-wing politics.”

Read the full article here.

Rory Stewart