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Rory Stewart puts the other TV debate challengers in the bin

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“You’ve got to believe in the bin.” Rory Stewart stole the show with a chaotic anecdote about his wife telling him he wouldn’t be able to fit three bags of rubbish in the dustbin. He compared his rivals’ solutions to Brexit to asserting that if he simply believed it was possible to get all the rubbish in the bin, it would be possible.

The accident of alphabetical order put Stewart next to Dominic Raab, the most forceful advocate of using the threat of walking away from negotiations to force the EU to offer a better Brexit deal.

Raab made a reasonable point. “The minute we telegraph to the EU that we are not willing to walk away, we lose our negotiating leverage.”

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But Stewart pointed out the flaw, which is that parliament is not prepared to let a prime minister “walk away” by taking the UK out of the EU without a deal. “A threat isn’t credible unless it can be delivered,” he said.........

© Independent