Telegraph: May's catastrophic plan poisons the well for her successors

If the Tories let her tie us into an arrangement we cannot escape from, the voters will never forgive us

I am deeply concerned that the British people have been betrayed. From what I am hearing, the Prime Minister’s draft agreement will result in a bad deal and fails to deliver on the promises she made.

For many, a potential withdrawal agreement will come as a relief after a tiresome and drawn-out process. No-one would like to get us out of the EU faster than me, but the details of this agreement are incredibly important, and unless we get this right there could be huge ramifications for the party and country.

It appears we could be staying in the customs union, perhaps indefinitely. This would be completely unacceptable, leaving us unable to take advantage of the freedoms that Brexit offers, and tied from negotiating free trade deals with non-EU countries.

Leave-supporting MPs will come under increased pressure to reject the draft agreement. Now it is time for them to show some steel.

It appears Mrs May doesn’t have the numbers to get this deal through the House relying only on Conservative and DUP votes. However, a small number of Labour backbenchers have sounded out the idea of supporting her if this stops us leaving the EU with no deal. What effect will this have on the morale and trust of our Parliamentary party and hard working Conservative party members? To see their leader relying on Labour votes to enact her defining - and damaging - policy will be a bitter pill to swallow.

Indeed, a poor agreement could be the biggest disaster for the Conservative party in a generation. The Prime Minister’s agreement is not only a bad deal today - it risks poisoning the well for her future successors.

Following the 2017 general election, Theresa May has shown that we cannot win again with her as leader. No matter what happens, she is the past. For the Tories to allow her to sign us up to an agreement that the next Prime Minister cannot escape from would be catastrophic. The promise of Brexit will be forever tarnished, and we will be blamed.

For the sake of both our country and party, I hope that my colleagues see beyond the draft agreement and look ahead to the future. Many of them have aspirations of their own, and could find themselves one day having to deal with the consequences of a deal that is not Brexit and a population dismayed by false promises. If any of them want to one day lead our party then they must now make their voices heard publicly.

We need to be rule makers when we leave. We need to take back control, and be true to all the promises made to the British people at the 2016 referendum.

If we don’t deliver on our promise now and reject a bad deal, I fear for the future of our country, which desperately needs a party in power advocating the principles of hard work, personal responsibility and freedom. Without the Conservatives in government, the economy will suffer and we will be poorer as a result.

It isn’t Brexit which poses a risk to the UK: it is a future where the Conservative party is in opposition.