Written by a Conservative activist in the South East of England, as part of our general election series.

On the 23rd of June last year I voted to remain in the European Union. Just under a year later I will be voting for the Conservatives who have promised to take us out of the EU. This isn’t a hypocritical, unprincipled and going with the tide decision. I am voting Conservative for the same reason I voted to remain in the EU: to maintain Britain’s standing in the world.

Leaving the European Union is a tremendous challenge; ensuring we succeed will not be easy. However, it does create opportunities, and we could emerge with a stronger voice on the world’s stage. Firstly though, we must ensure we maintain our place in the world.

To do so, our priorities must be striking the best deal possible with the EU-27, strengthening security cooperation with our allies and rebuilding international support for NATO. We must also go out into the world again, establish new links, build on our relationships and be ready to reform Britain as a free trading nation.

Yes, leaving the EU presents challenges. The troubling international climate presents even more problems. We can’t shy away from them; we can’t undo the vote of last June. Nor can we isolate ourselves on our small island to avoid making tough decisions. We must meet them head on. Only the Conservatives are ready to do so. No other party is up to the challenge; some don’t even accept the referendum, and other want to unpick more of our alliances, partnerships – even the Union itself.

The Liberal Democrats don’t want us to leave the European Union and ultimately don’t want us to succeed in the Brexit negotiations. Corbyn’s Labour party doesn’t believe in NATO, Trident, our national security and has no Brexit policy, let alone a plan. All of this before you consider their absence of coherent economic policy. Nicola Sturgeon wants to end our United Kingdom, demolishing over 300 years of history. UKIP don’t have an alternative Brexit route and if they did it would be to hurtle off a cliff edge.

It is clear where the Conservative party stands:

  • Only the Conservative party has a plan for Brexit and wants to succeed in negotiations with the European Union.
  • Only the Conservative party fully supports our membership of NATO and our nuclear deterrent.
  • Only the Conservative party fully supports our precious Union of Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
  • Only the Conservative party will deliver a strong economy that can secure our defence.
  • Only our Prime Minister, Theresa May, can be respected on the world stage.

As we leave the European Union, we need to recast our place in the world. If we fail to maintain Britain’s global standing, we won’t be able to fight for our interests, our values or ensure our security and future prosperity. If you care about the future of Britain and its success, there is only one option. Thankfully, it’s a good one: vote Conservative.