DAILY MAIL COMMENT: Don't be timid – take back control, Boris

DAILY MAIL COMMENT: Don’t be timid – take back control, Boris

Six years ago today, this country woke to joyous news. We had taken the momentous decision to leave the European Union and stride confidently into the world beyond.

Since then, embittered Remainers have challenged those who voted for Brexit to name a single advantage accrued by unshackling ourselves from the bloc.

The greatest one, of course, is reclaiming our status as a sovereign nation. We are free to make our own laws, and international commitments, unencumbered by Brussels.

And indeed we have, with many huge successes. We’ve signed lucrative new trade deals. We created a life-saving Covid vaccine programme at breakneck speed as Brussels squabbled.

If the PM can begin to show the concrete benefits of Brexit, voters should back the Conservatives again in the future

And we’ve led the world supporting Ukraine against Russian aggression, while EU states continue to pay billions for Vladimir Putin’s gas – helping fund his evil war. But even with so much to celebrate, it’s disappointing more is not being done to maximise our new freedoms.

Of course, it’s not all Boris Johnson’s fault. Since our departure, he’s been distracted by a conveyor belt of crises, not least the pandemic. Still for a boosterish Brexiteer, the Prime Minister has been remarkably timid about cutting the Brussels cord.

To help ease the throttling burden on families and help firms thrive and create jobs, Mr Johnson should cut taxes – notably VAT on energy – and slash red tape.

Wasn’t that the whole point of securing our prized liberation from the high-tax, heavily regulated, protectionist EU?

Regaining control also means strengthening our borders. If Prince Charles’s ill-advised criticism of the Rwanda policy to remove illegal migrants is raised when they meet at the Commonwealth summit, Boris should defend it vigorously.

He can’t afford complacency. Sir Keir Starmer and a motley cabal of Remainers are desperate to drag us back into Brussels’ web – and they can smell blood.

The Tories are braced for defeat in the Wakefield and Tiverton by-elections. But if the PM can begin to show the concrete benefits of Brexit, voters should back the Conservatives again in the future.

Taking back control means just that. Not becoming a lame Brussels on Thames.

Hellish holidays

Having suffered the misery of two pandemic-ruined summers, the country is itching to let its hair down.

Millions are dreaming of sun and sea. Tickets to sporting and cultural events have been snapped up. Fun is the name of the game. Or it would be but for the unions.

British Airways staff have voted to strike, wrecking families’ holiday plans. And the rail unions are now plotting to disrupt the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

Meanwhile Sir Keir, supposedly a champion of working people, has vanished again to avoid saying where he stands – with commuters or with the wreckers. Where can he be? We know – in the unions’ pocket!

Common goals

With more than 50 prime ministers or heads of state at its Rwanda summit, the Commonwealth provides a unique global network of political links.

But it should aim to bolster its reputation as a tool of soft power by more fiercely defending democratic values and not tolerating corrupt regimes.

This is vital as China strives to tie poorer countries to it economically and politically by trapping them in debt with huge loans.

Leadership is crucial. But during her inglorious stint, its secretary-general Baroness Scotland, a Labour peer, has been more noticeable for taxpayer-funded extravagance than espousing the values of the organisation she leads.

The first item on the Commonwealth agenda should be her removal from office.

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