UK graduates
The real roaring lions are Britain's young people. Reuters

The youth of Britain have been left bewildered by this Government. The Conservative Party has lost its way, even lost its soul, but the emptiness of its promises to young people is particularly disheartening.

Just a year and a half ago, the UK was at the top table of the world, not a super power but definitely a global power, and fully in charge of its destiny. The Conservatives held a majority in Parliament, albeit a small one, with over four years to run in Government.

The UK had the fastest-growing global economy in the West. But now, thanks to the wretched referendum, we have the slowest growth in the G7, slower even than the Eurozone.

We no longer take part in EU talks and we are swiftly losing our place and our respect at the top table of the world.

We have a Conservative Party without a majority, dependent on the Northern Irish DUP, clinging on to power. And we have a Prime Minister whose authority has been shattered, not just this week but repeatedly since she made her first speech on the steps of Downing Street.

The Conservative Party conference was the ideal opportunity for her to show her true leadership, bring the Party together and, in her own words, 'to renew the British Dream of progress between generations'.

The omens looked bleak, even before the conference began when the Prime Minister had the sting taken out of her widely-awaited speech in Florence completely out of the blue by Boris Johnson's 4,000-word article in the Daily Telegraph, undermining the Prime Minister and projecting his undesired authority onto the front pages.

Many people in the Conservative Party are unhappy at his antics but did that deter the Arch-Brexiteer, Boris Johnson? Not one bit.

Before the conference, he once again spoke out, setting out in The Sun his four red lines, in particular his stipulation that the transition period after March 2019 should last not one day longer than two years.

In doing so, he undermined his fellow Cabinet members, including Chancellor Phillip Hammond, who has made clear that he prefers a transition of up to five years to allow businesses to make the transition out of the single market.

Here is the Foreign Secretary, the laughing stock of the world, who is not taken seriously in a single country, making manoeuvres of a purely political nature in exactly the same way that he did when he betrayed this country by deciding to support Brexit, a year and a half ago.

He was playing pure politics, putting himself before his party and showing no principles whatsoever. In the end, the Prime Minister's speech at the conference was, like her speech in Florence, a cold serving. Far from exerting authority or demonstrating a new vision for the country, the Prime Minster showed she held little understanding of business or economics.

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Prime Minister Theresa May sits in front of Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson during the 72nd United Nations General Assembly in New York, USA Lucas Jackson/Reuters

She supported good initiatives such as building more houses. However, amounting to just 5,000 new homes per year, the £2bn injection into housing, is far from visionary. In the context of our £800bn annual public spending, it is a drop in the ocean.

And it is difficult to understate just how discredited the party has become since just a year and a half ago, when the country was flying high. The Conservative Party is now found in a desperate scramble to prove to young people that capitalism is a good thing.

Now, it is somehow struggling to retrieve voters' support from Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who supports disastrous socialist policies that have failed time and again around the world throughout the past century.

The reasons behind young people's desertion of the Conservative Party all lie in one place: Brexit.

The PM talks about the British Dream; the reality is that she, her Government and the Brexiteers in the Conservative Party, and beyond, are robbing the British Dream from our children and future generations.

From travelling the length and breadth of this country and speaking to young people in schools and universities, I know that virtually none of them want Brexit to happen.

Britain's young people do not want their global, outward-looking international future taken away from them, yet they believe it is already gone for good.

Remaining in the EU is the only practical solution for the youth of this country.

If the Conservative Party had the guts, it would have dealt with the aggressive Brexiteers who are bringing this country to its knees with the threat of Hard Brexit.

It is the youth of this country who will be the roaring lions and who will demand that their future is not stolen from them. When will the country wake up to see that the Brexit "Emperor" has no clothes?


Lord Bilimoria is Founder and Chairman of Cobra Beer, cross bench peer, Chancellor of the University of Birmingham and Founding Chairman of the UK-India Business Council.