Michael Fabricant MP: 'Mad' Boris is the man to rattle the EU
Michael Fabricant has evoked the spirit of Margaret Thatcher by urging the next Prime Minister to embrace "a little madness" to get Britain out of the EU.
The Lichfield MP reflected on Mrs Thatcher's threat to quit the EEC in 1980 over Britain's high payments, a move that led the bloc to hand back more than €5 billion in rebates by 2018.
At the time President Francois Mitterrand of France and Germany’s Chancellor Helmut Kohl said they caved in to the demands because they thought Mrs Thatcher was "unpredictable and mad enough" to leave the EEC – qualities Mr Fabricant says are needed now.
“Madness is a quality that impresses the EU. It’s an asset. Not a liability," he said, adding that it was no surprise that Theresa May's "sane" approach to negotiations had failed.
Mr Fabricant said Boris Johnson was considered "both unpredictable and maybe a little mad" by many in Brussels, while his Tory leadership opponent Jeremy Hunt "suffers from being a decent person in indecent times".
He said that if he becomes Prime Minister, Mr Johnson will "prove to be a very different beast" from Mrs May.
"Whether you agree with him or not that apocalyptic predictions of a 'no deal' Brexit are “wildly overdone”, there can be little doubt that he would be seen as ‘mad enough’ to go through with it," he added.
"The UK is reaching the final stages of a high stakes game of chicken, and the EU might be about to blink first when the October 31 Brexit deadline approaches.
"But if it does not, and if, as threatened, the House of Commons brings down the Government and Britain faces a Halloween general election, it will need a little madness and pizazz for the Conservatives to overcome the twin threat of the Brexit Party and Labour."
The winner of the Conservative leadership election is set to be announced in the week beginning July 22.