Mail: Saj says 'No, no, no' to second referendum

Sajid Javid has ruled out a second referendum, a general election and revoking Article 50

Sajid Javid has ruled out a second referendum, a general election and revoking Article 50 if he becomes the next PM.

Writing in Saturday's Daily Mail, the home secretary said another vote "would be disastrous for trust in politics".

Sajid Javid:

As much of the country basks in early summer sunshine, we are just weeks away from the third anniversary of that momentous June day when the British people stood up and told that the world that it was time for the UK to leave the European Union.

As politicians we are supposed to serve our electors. We asked them for their decision. They gave it in good faith.

And as I said at the time, MPs and government had a duty to get on and deliver on the result.

To seize all the opportunities offered by leaving the EU, and go out into the world as a fully independent nation, in control of our destiny once more.

Three years later – and after local, national and European elections in which too many good, honest Conservatives have been voted out of office – the British people's frustration and the need to make good on the referendum result have never been greater.

The responsibility of doing so will fall to the next leader of the Conservative Party – and if he or she fails in that task, we risk irreparable damage to the very fabric of our democracy.

Whoever they are, they will have a duty to be straight with the British people. And they will need a plan for getting the job done. 

Not empty slogans and fiery rhetoric, but an honest, credible set of proposals that recognises the significant challenges we face – and which will deliver results not in the Parliament and EU we would like to see, but the Parliament and EU that are before us today.

There's no point dwelling on how we got into the stormy seas that now surround us. 

What matters is how we steady the ship and plot a course to the bright horizon we all want to reach – and I'm the right person to do it.

I spent a career in business doing international deals. I know how to make them happen and how to get the best out of negotiations, and I've used those same skills in government to get things done at home and build bridges with other countries.

Now, I'm ready apply those skills to the biggest challenge this country has faced since 1945 – and I have a detailed plan for doing so.

First, we must unite as a party to get a deal through in this Parliament. Some argue we should have a second referendum. 

Others, a general election. Some even suggest revoking Article 50. Well, in the words of a great British Prime Minister who knew how to get what she wanted from the European Commission: No, no, no.

The voters have been asked their opinion more than enough times. Never in this country's history have we asked people to go to the polls a second time without implementing their verdict from the first. 

Another vote before we leave would be disastrous for trust in politics, and cause the kind of chaos that risks handing Jeremy Corbyn and his hard-left supporters the keys to No 10.

Second – we need to prepare fully for No Deal. This isn't because I want it. But we have to accept the reality of our situation.

The EU's insistence that negotiations happen under a ticking clock mean, come October 31, that is what we face if we don't have a deal.

As Prime Minister I would immediately step up No Deal preparations. We would aim to keep the impacts to a minimum. 

But, while too much apocalyptic language has been used, we have to be honest. It wouldn't be painless. So, as part of preparations we would have a broad, bold No Deal Budget ready. 

This would also show the EU we are ready – so when we turn up to negotiate, they know we are not afraid of walking out.

Third – we must focus on what we need to get a deal which can be agreed. That means accepting the realities of the parliamentary arithmetic, and what is practically possible.

We know the only thing that has got through our Parliament successfully is the Withdrawal Agreement with backstop provisions amended to include a time limit or exit clause. 

So, fourth – I would work directly with Ireland so we can amend the backstop. The backstop is important to the EU because it is important to Ireland. So that's where our efforts need to focus.

And there's something big in our favour. We both want the same thing – as now, an invisible and frictionless border.

What's currently missing is trust in our ability and determination to deliver that. That requires two things. 

Someone who could work with them constructively building a strong relationship of personal trust. And a credible solution.

I've looked at this in the Home Office, tasking a team from Border Force to look at what we'd need in place.

They were clear the technologies already exist to avoid a hard border, and important work in being undertaken by the Alternative Arrangement Commission on this front. What we need is the trust and will on both sides to make this work a reality.

Of course, some will say this isn't possible. I understand that caution. But in practice this is a feasible plan. 

And I think we will see more engagement as a new Commission takes place and we get closer to October.

Others will ask why Ireland should pay for the consequences of the UK's decision to leave. 

That's a fair point, so as Prime Minister I would agree to cover the cost to Ireland of delivering this. 

It's a small price to avoid No Deal – and the risks that would bring to the hard-won peace.

Fifth – we'll need to take this revised deal though Parliament. There is no getting around the fact that the timing for negotiations and then getting legislation through will be challenging. 

But I would take every step possible to ensure we leave with a deal by October 31.

This is an honest, realistic plan to get a deal through. I have to be straight – delivering it won't be easy. 

But if we succeed – and I believe we will – then this is the path that will lead our great country to a still greater future.

As Prime Minister I would have a clear position. We should leave on October 31. And if we cannot get a deal we should, with great regret, leave without one, having done everything we can to minimise disruption.

Of course, the arithmetic of a minority government is inescapable. As the recent comments of the Speaker demonstrated, it's simply not credible to promise you can deliver a No Deal if Parliament is set against it. 

And anyone who promised this would risk driving us to a pre-Brexit general election this year. 

A disaster first and foremost for our country and public trust in democracy, but also for our party.

That's why we need a leader who can unite the party, and country, behind a credible plan – and then go and actually deliver it.

I believe this is that plan.

And I know I am that leader.