Douglas Carswell

25 JUL 2016

Boris can build a new consensus

Theresa May's decision to make Boris Johnson Foreign Secretary prompted howls of outrage in some quarters. But already the appointment looks inspired. Boris is showing that Brexit Britain will be optimistic and outward-looking. That's exactly the message we need.

As Foreign Secretary, Boris is delivering on the vision he presented as one of the leaders of Vote Leave. He envisaged a Britain that didn't wall itself into an outdated political union, but looked outward to new markets and global opportunities.

That message came across very clearly during the campaign. I saw it first hand when I joined Boris on Vote Leave's battle bus. His charisma may have drawn the crowds, but it was his message - Project Hope - which inspired them.

From the start, the received wisdom conveniently ignored the internationalism of the Leave campaign. Before the referendum, Brexiteers were smeared as parochial little Englanders. Now we're told the vote wasn't even about the EU, but just a bitter rebellion against globalisation. It's a narrative solely aimed at delegitimising the result.

Most people don't want to see Britain cut off from the world. Britain has always been a maritime, trading nation. Leaving the EU won't change that. Self-government doesn't mean isolation.

As the United States retreats from its role as global policeman under the current President, and perhaps even more so under the next, Britain may need to play a greater role in foreign affairs. European countries may have to put more resources into NATO. Cooperation with our allies will be increasingly vital to our national security. It's clear the new Brexit Government intends to deliver that.

Rather than provoke hysteria, Boris's appointment should actually reassure Remainers. The global outlook he is bringing to his new job offers the opportunity to both sides in the referendum for a new consensus. Let's help him build it.

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