In a softly-spoken pitch for the Tory leadership this morning, former Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab told the BBC‘s Andrew Marr ‘I’m a details guy’ three times in an apparent side-swipe at his boisterous leadership rival Boris Johnson.
Despite insisting he would not be bad-mouthing any fellow Conservatives, Mr Raab’s repetition of his eye for the fine print – he also mentioned his years as a lawyer and in the Foreign Office, twice – will be seen as an attempt to position himself as the ‘serious’ hard-Brexit candidate.
Mr Raab said he would not request an extension on the Brexit departure date, blaming the outgoing PM for not being ‘resolute’ enough in her negotiations.
Dominic Raab told the BBC’s Andrew Marr that he was a ‘details guy’ – three times
He blamed poor tactics by Theresa May’s team for the Brexit impasse and said as Brexit secretary he had been ‘undermined’ by others in the government.
He said: ‘We took no deal off the table. I don’t want a WTO Brexit, but if w’re not willing to walk away from a negotiation it doesn’t focus the mind of the other side.’
He said among his demands would be an end date for the Northern Irish backstop.
He told the BBC that as PM he would not ask for an extension to Britain’s departure on October 31, but denied he was the No Deal candidate, saying he would be the candidate to put Britain in the ‘best position to leave with a deal’.
He estimated that £25bn of the £39bn saved in a no deal would be available to give as a boost to British business to help ‘support British business through the transition’.
He said: ‘I don’t think we were resolute enough … it’s become a miserly, dour, risk-management exercise rather than grasping the opportunity to take back control of our laws, our borders, and our money – and also to have the global advantage and opportunities that free trade brings.’
Grammar school alumnus Mr Raab said his leadership of the party, and of the country, would include ‘fighting for a fairer society’ where ‘a kid from a humble home gets their shot’.