The Economist Asks: Who can lead Britain through Brexit?

Rory Stewart spoke with Anne McElvoy on The Economist Asks podcast about his plan for delivering Brexit:

The most interesting candidate in the race is a surprise challenger from England’s most northern constituency and a newcomer to the cabinet with a background as a diplomat and official in some of the world’s most war-torn countries. He’s been pounding the miles across the country in a rovering campaign.

“If you want to get Brexit done, there is only one Brexit deal and there is only one route, which is through parliament. In other words, what the Prime Minister has been trying to do has to be done more skillfully and there is no alternative.

“I believe the answer is to do what they did in Ireland over abortion, which is to have a Brexit Assembly which takes the heat and the energy out of parliament and gives people an ability to discuss the issues in detail and then come back into parliament with recommendations and unglue the system.

“I think Britain staying in the EU would be deeply divisive, would resolve nothing and leave at least half the country bitterly angry. One of the central points of my campaign is I believe in compromise - I believe in a centre ground, I believe in a common ground which brings together remain voters and Brexit voters, and that has to be a Brexit deal. It has to be a Brexit deal that works for the British economy - close to Europe economically, close to Europe politically, close to Europe diplomatically.”

Rory Stewart