The Bruges Group spearheaded the intellectual battle to win a vote to leave the European Union and, above all, against the emergence of a centralised EU state.

NOTE! This site uses cookies and similar technologies.

If you not change browser settings, you agree to it. Learn more

I understand

Cookies are a technology which we use to provide you with tailored information on our website. A cookie is a piece of code that is sent to your internet browser and is stored on your system.

Please see below for a list of cookies this website uses:

Cookie name: _utma, _utmb, _utmc, _utmz

Purpose: Google Analytics cookies. Google Analytics is software that lets us analyse how visitors use our site. We use this information to improve our website and provide the best experience to visitors.

Function: These cookies collect data in an anonymous form. Please see Google's privacy policy for further information. To opt out of these cookies, please visit Google's website.

Cookie name: Sitecore

Purpose: Stores information, such as language and regional preferences, that our content management system (the system we use to update our website) relies on to function.

Function: This is a session cookie and will be destroyed when you close your browser. This cookie is essential for our website to function.

Cookie name: ASP.net_session

Purpose: Allows the website to save your session state across different pages. For example, if you have completed a survey, the website will remember that you have done so and will not ask you to complete it again when you view another page on the website.

Function: This is a session cookie and will be destroyed when you close your browser. This cookie is essential for our website to function.

Cookie name: website#sc_wede

Purpose: Indicates whether the user's browser supports inline editing of content. This indicates whether our content management system will work for our website administrators in their internet browsers.

Function: This is a session cookie and will be destroyed when you close your browser. This cookie is essential for our website to function.

Cookie name: redirected

Purpose: Remembers when the site forwards you from one page to another, so you can return to the first page. For example, go back to the home page after viewing a special 'splash' page.

Function: This is a session cookie, which your browser will destroy when it shuts down. The website needs this cookie to function.

Cookie name: tccookiesprefs

Purpose: Remembers when you respond to the site cookie policy, so you do not see the cookie preferences notice on every page.

Function: If you choose to remember your preference with a temporary cookie, your browser will remove it when you shut it down, otherwise the cookie will be stored for about a year.

Cookie name: _ga

Purpose: Additional Google Analytics cookie. Google Analytics is software that lets us analyse how visitors use our site. We use this information to improve our website and provide the best experience to visitors.

Function: These cookies collect data in an anonymous form. Please see Google's privacy policy for further information.

Cookie name: SC_ANALYTICS_GLOBAL_COOKIE, SC_ANALYTICS_SESSION_COOKIE

Purpose: Sitecore Analytics is software that lets us analyse how visitors use our site. We use this information to improve our website and provide the best experience to visitors.

Function: These cookies collect data in an anonymous form. When you close your browser, it will delete the 'session' cookie; it will keep the 'global' cookie for about one year.

Facebook cookies

We use Facebook 'Like' buttons to share site feedback. For further information, see Facebook's cookie policy page.

Twitter cookies

We use Twitter 'Tweet' buttons to share site feedback. For further information, see Twitter's privacy statement.

YouTube cookies

We embed videos from our official YouTube channel. YouTube uses cookies to help maintain the integrity of video statistics, prevent fraud and to improve their site experience. If you view a video, YouTube may set cookies on your computer once you click on the video player.

Cookies pop-up

When you close the cookies pop-up box by clicking "OK", a permanent cookie will be set on your machine. This will remember your preference so that the pop-up doesn't display across any pages whenever you visit the website.

Opting out/removing cookies

To opt out of Google Analytics cookies, please visit Google’s website.

You can also control what cookies you accept through your internet browser. For details on how to do this, please visit aboutcookies.org. Please note that by deleting our cookies or disabling future cookies you may not be able to access certain areas or features of our website.

mailing list
donate now
join now
shop

Bruges Group Blog

Spearheading the intellectual battle against the EU. And for new thinking in international affairs.

Will the Netherlands be the next domino to fall?

Opinion poll shows Dutch opposition to the EU is strong and can win.

56% = Support Nexit (EFTA + FTA)

Only 44% = Support for EU

26th February 2017
Type text for SEO (example Bruges Group : Image Title)

A new Dutch poll commissioned by the Bruges Group, carried out by www.peil.nl, shows that more Dutch people prefer the alternatives to the European Union than they do EU membership. As the alternatives are already gathering more support than EU membership a concerted campaign in the Netherlands, which could force a referendum[1], will mean Holland voting to leave the EU.

 

The Dutch general election will take place on 15th March and the question of the EU is becoming increasingly important. The Netherlands’ terms of EU membership are already being questioned by an increasing amount of political parties; namely the Centre Democrats (Netherlands)‎, ChristianUnion, Party for Freedom‎, Party for the Animals, Libertarian party, Reformed Political Party, and Socialist Party (Netherlands). Which can make gains. The issues are immigration, who makes law, and size of the Dutch financial contribution.

 

A new party, Forum voor Democratie (FvD)[2], which helped organise the recent Dutch Ukraine referendum is a supporter of exiting the EU and joining the European Free Trade Association:
https://forumvoordemocratie.nl/standpunten/europese-unie

 

Across the continent of Europe and beyond people want to take back control of their lives. A concerted campaign for Nexit, along the lines that we saw in the UK, can overtime, just like it did in Britain, move the Netherlands towards the exit. Britain will welcome our allies, the Dutch people, in a new post-EU Europe.

 

The question asked respondents which of 3 options they preferred, the results are below:

39% = EU

23% = EFTA (European Free Trade Association)

27% = FTA   (Free Trade Agreement)

11% = Don't Know

 

Without Don't Knows

56% = Nexit (EFTA + FTA)

44% = EU

 

1,174 people were polled over 14-15/2/17

 

The results show also (without Don't Knows):

Men 56% Nexit (EFTA +FTA), 44% EU

Women 57% Nexit (EFTA + FTA), 43% EU

 

Also all age groups 25 and over support Nexit options

And all regions prefer Nexit, even in the large cities a majority prefer the alternatives to EU membership.

 

In past referendums in the Netherlands, people have voted for less EU:

61.6% said Nee in 2005 to the EU constitution and 64% voted against the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement in 2016.


[1] Referendums, known in Dutch as volksraadpleging (people's consultation), can with political pressure, as in the UK, be held.

[2] FvD Press contact: Jeroen de Vries

Number: +31 642807493

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Continue reading
3970 Hits
0 Comments

Opinion Poll: There is an alternative to EU Membership

EU referendum Opinion Poll

Robert Oulds
29th March 2016

58% said they would prefer Britain being a part of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) rather than the EU, 42%

A majority of voters would prefer the UK to be a member of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) as opposed to the EU, according to a new survey published today by the Bruges Group.

Removing don’t knows, of those expressing a preference in the survey, a clear 58% said that Britain would be better off as a member of the trade group EFTA, as opposed to 42% who thought that Britain should remain a member of the EU.


EFTA differs from the EU in that it would not have jurisdiction over the UK’s agriculture, fisheries, home affairs or justice policies. It takes Britain out of the Europe Union whilst still giving UK businesses full access to the EU’s Single Market. EFTA membership would also allow the UK to negotiate free trade agreements with countries outside of the EU.
In addition, Britain would become again a sovereign nation with more power over its domestic affairs. This is the positive alternative to EU control.


Also, taking out the don't knows:

  • Scotland, EFTA 52%, EU 47%
  • Wales, EFTA 54%, EU 46%
  • London, EFTA 55%, EU 45%
  • 18-34, EFTA, 50%, EU 50%


Robert Oulds, Director of the Bruges Group, said:

“There is a fully worked out exit plan that clearly sets out what Britain will be like once we vote to leave the EU. We have shown there is a viable alternative to EU membership and what is more this will win us the referendum.

“The option of re-joining EFTA is very popular with the British public.”

- ends -


- notes for editors -

The opinion poll was carried out by Opinium for the Bruges Group on 11th March 2016, with 2,001 interviewees. The question asked was:

“The European Economic Area (EEA) is the single market that allows for free movement of goods, services, people and capital between all participating European countries. There are two organisations which allow countries to access this EEA single market - the European Union (EU) and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA).

Members of the EFTA adopt some of the regulations that the EU passes in order to be able to access the EEA single market and contribute to the EU’s budget but are not bound by EU rules on agriculture, fisheries, home affairs or justice policies.

EFTA members are also able to negotiate trade agreements with outside countries whereas the EU does this for its member states. In return, EFTA members have much more limited influence over how EU rules are made.


If the UK left the European Union, it could become a member of the EFTA instead.

Supporters of this move say that the UK would have to adopt fewer European regulations and pay less into the EU budget than it does now while still being able to help shape the rules.

Opponents say that the UK would still have to abide by EU rules to be part of the EEA single market but would have no say in making those rules


With this in mind, which would you prefer the UK to be a member of?”

EEA & EU (European Economic Area and European Union) (513 respondents out of 2,001)

EEA & EFTA (European Economic Area and European Free Trade Association) (710 respondents out of 2,001)

Continue reading
141 Hits
0 Comments

Britain's Global Leadership

The positive future for a UK outside the EU

Ewen Stewart
19th June 2015

To purchase a copy please visit:
www.brugesgroup.com/shop

The Bruges Group firmly believes that we need to reframe the debate to focus on the positives that Britain poses, in particular our excellent global links, higher education, to the City of London and technical brilliance in manufacturing. The UK, when freed from the restraints of the EU, has numerous attributes. Quite simply we do not have to be governed by Brussels to secure our prosperity, in fact far from it. As things stand Britain, being subsumed within the EU, is punching below its weight. We want this country’s potential to be fulfilled. Establishing the confidence that we need will be an important part of this. This booklet makes this positive case. Members of the Bruges Group will receive this research for free.

• Inside the EU we are punching below our weight and should do better. Self-belief coupled with a hard analysis of the nexus of power and strategic advantage will lead to this being addressed but that can only be so once we are outside of the EU.

• The Eurocentric orientation of the UK is misplaced. Emerging markets, by 2018 are expected to account for 45% of world GDP and the European Union’s share will have declined from 34.1% to 20.2%, with the Eurozone representing an even smaller 14.6%. China’s share is predicted to surpass the entire Eurozone by 2018.

• Nations that can address this extraordinary shift in global growth will capitalise most effectively on these new trade flows. The attractive European trade bloc, of the 1970’s does not look so attractive in this light, given the Eurozone’s inexorable decline of the share of global GDP. The UK is uniquely well placed to exploit these shifting trading patterns given its global links and its service and financial sector bias.

• Britain is uniquely positioned globally in terms of economic, cultural and soft and hard power assets. The UK is home to the world’s global language, the world’s most global city and many of the most notable global universities and research institutes. British legal ideas and the common law approach is admired the world over. It is the basis of our stability. These advantages would continue irrespective of our membership of the EU.

• British manufacturing remains comfortably within the top ten, in terms of output, globally. The UK is now a net exporter of motor cars with four out of every five cars produced in Britain exported. Britain is the world’s second most significant aerospace manufacturer, possesses two out of the top ten global pharmaceutical companies while also having strong positions in marine, defence systems, food, beverage and tobacco manufacture, off-shore engineering and high-end engineering and electronics. British design, be it in fashion or sports cars, continues to be world beating.

• Britain’s manufacturing base has shrunk, in common with most other developed economies, as the Far East has undercut on price. However the UK retains a key skills base and has developed a high-end, high-margin capability. Membership of the EU, with its cost pressures has almost certainly done more harm than good to this capability. Industry has little to fear from withdrawal.

• The UK is a world leader in sport, media and culture. Higher education is also a great strength with British universities ranked amongst the best in the world. This coupled with the growing strength of the English language and our traditional excellent global links gives the UK real influence in world affairs. This will not change once we are outside the EU.

• While the US is the pre-eminent power accounting for 39% of all global defence expenditure and an even greater technological lead the UK’s defence expenditure remains in the global top 4. Technologically too Britain’s forces, while numerically modest, are highly advanced. Technology generally trumps numbers. The UK is perhaps one of only 5 or 6 nations that can still project power across the globe.

• As the world’s 5th largest economy Britain will not be isolated by leaving the EU. On the contrary British power would, in some cases, be enhanced. For example we would swap our 12% EU voting weight at the World Trade Organisation for a 100% British vote.

• The UK is currently estimated to be a member of 96 different international governmental organisations so the loss of one such organisation, albeit a very important one, is unlikely to be damaging.

Video - should we be pessimists or optimists?

The Author

Continue reading
143 Hits
0 Comments