City’s Tory chairman: My talks with PM over Brexit

Theresa May
Prime Minister Theresa May

The Prime Minister has assured the chairman of the Canterbury Conservative Association that there will be no re-run of the EU referendum.

Greig Baker was granted special access to Theresa May shortly after the government produced its White Paper on exiting the European Union next year.

It has come in for criticism from numerous directions, but particularly from Brexiteers who do not think it is robust enough in severing the UK’s ties with the European Union.

Mr Baker, whose wife Amy is a Conservative councillor for Blean, was one of a number of chairman who spoke to the PM as the debate over the terms of departure becomes increasingly intense.

“She gave me a categorical and personal assurance about how the White Paper on Brexit had been drafted, and she promised she would honour the vote,” Mr Baker said.

Conservative chairman Greig Baker

“We will not just rerun the whole thing – it’s time for the country to get back together.”

Mr Baker says he shared the concerns of people living in Canterbury with Mrs May.

He added: “I want to make sure we have a good Brexit and the kind that people voted for. A good Brexit lets us set as few rules as we need and makes sure those rules are ones that work.

“It means we can trade freely with the whole world and make things cheaper in the shops. And it means local taxpayers can keep more of their own money, which is a good thing because people, not politicians, know the best way to spend their cash.”

But Liberal Democrats, whose party is committed to remaining inside the European Union, have rounded on Mr Baker’s assurances.

Cllr Mike Dixey, the leader of the Lib Dem group on Canterbury City Council, fears that divisions within the Conservative Party could lead to a no deal Brexit.

Cllr Michael Dixey

He said: “The infighting over the Brexit White Paper shows just how divided the government is.

“This White Paper is more about trying to please all sides in a fractured Conservative Party than about acting in the national interest.

“The government has had over two years to come up with a plan. It’s possible this one won’t get through Parliament.

“Then we run the risk of crashing out of the EU without an agreement – and that won’t provide opportunities for future generations.

“Instead, it will harm the UK economy, cost jobs, and result in further savage cuts to public services.”

Cllr Dixey added that the Lib Dems are calling for another vote on the “destination” of Brexit which should also include the “opportunity to exit from Brexit”.

Mrs May believes the White Paper, which provoked two cabinet resignations, will allow the two sides to reach a compromise on post-Brexit relations by the autumn in order to avoid the UK leaving the EU without a deal in March next year.

It outlines close ties in some areas, such as the trade in goods, but will end free movement and the jurisdiction of the European Court, and will allow the UK to agree trade deals with other nations.

Critics fear it is an unworkable compromise which would leave the UK being governed by the EU in numerous areas, but without a voice in shaping its rules.


  1. It’s hard to “work together” who are happy to destroy our economy because they adhere to prejudice about the EU and immigrants. Brexit is like setting out on a sea of sharks on a lilo.


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