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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.
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.

Bruges Group Blog

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

The EU Lobby’s Repudiation of UK Independence

6 minutes reading time (1110 words)
rejected-5250678_1920__20230330-144103_1 The Blob Rejects Democracy

The repudiation of the sovereignty of the UK's people by a pro EU elite has always been a puzzle. It is a puzzle because not one of them was able to explain their reason. In the absence of a cogent argument, independence opponents resorted to 'Project Fear' during the referendum campaign on leaving the EU. Blood curdling threats were rolled out explaining that the economic catastrophe of voting leave would impoverish and isolate the country. Cameron's government used the Civil Service as shock troops to deliver the message. It spent taxpayer money on bringing in President Obama to lecture us. It used taxpayer's money to print and distribute a 'horror' comic on leaving and the economic benefits of staying in the EU.

Past history? Leave won and, despite concerted attempts, including seeking to impose a parliamentary dictatorship, to overthrow democracy - we left the EU. It is now two years on and we ought to be forging ahead with our new lives. However, the pro EU lobby refuse to move on. They cling to the EU more tightly than a child to its comfort blanket. And yet, they still cannot explain why. Why we should give up our democracy, common law, right to free elections. The right to decide for ourselves our laws, government and future. Our right to keep our currency and armed forces. In the absence of an explanation why we should behave like a latter day Esau, we have a continuation of project fear.

According to the OBR and assorted EU supporters cheerfully reported by the BBC we are all going to hell in a handcart. In support they wheel out forecasts based on studies by those opposed to democracy. This campaign, supported by the Treasury and other Blob members is intended to weaken resolve and nullify the democratic decision to leave. They cite opinion polls claiming the majority believe Brexit is not working, or that life is cheaper and better in the EU. Demonstrably none of it is true, but as Joseph Goebbels said: "If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it."

In many ways the fault lies with those who supported Brexit. Remain were allowed to set the agenda and choose the topics upon which the campaign was fought. The pro EU lobby are still setting the agenda. To lay the ghost of EU Refusniks past, we must fight back. Fight by unrelentingly demanding they answer the only question that matters. "Why do you want to give away our individual sovereign rights?"

It is only right that we counter their doom laden predictions too. Trade was supposed to fall off a cliff. The treasury were foremost in predicting disaster. A damning analysis of the Treasury methodology by economists Semken and Hay cited 'methodological issues, unrealistic assumptions, and misrepresentations of established facts'.

In November 2022 the OBR stated "Our trade forecast reflects our assumption that Brexit will result in the UK's trade intensity being 15% lower in the long run than if the UK had remained in the EU." They fail to define 'Long Run'. PWC are different. They forecast in 2017 that by 2050 the UK will be the fastest growing economy in the G7 and remain a Top ten economy. A forecast predicated on the UK NOT being a member of the EU. Those opposed to democracy use forecasts, except ones that don't agree with their agenda.

Who is right? The OBR has a pitifully inaccurate forecasting record, but in fairness so do many other institutions. The OBR is important because its pronouncements are treated as holy writ by the treasury. There is, of course, another way of measuring performance. Use actual verified data. According to the ONS, our International Trade in Goods and Services has increased by 16.0% – Since we left the EU's 'transition period' on 31 December 2020 (Figure to September 2022). According to the OECD, from June 2016 to the second quarter of 2022 cumulative growth rate of real GDP was 6.8% in the UK. In Europe that was only exceeded by France at 7.6%. In the same period Italy was 4% and Germany 5.5%. From 2016 to 2021, the volume of greenfield investment into the UK rose from US$32 billion to US$44 billion and we have continued to attract more greenfield investment than any of the large EU countries. FDI (Foreign direct investment) data shows that the UK secured a greater number of 'new' projects (as opposed to expansions of existing projects), which tend to involve higher levels of job creation than any Country in the EU.

Out of the 63 UK financial services projects recorded in 2021, 54 were new projects and nine were expansions. According to EY's annual UK Attractiveness Survey "One of our most striking top-line findings is that sentiment towards UK investments is increasingly positive this year" Their 2021 report stated "The UK continues unchallenged as Europe's top location for financial services (FS) investment and is expected to keep outperforming the rest of Europe post-pandemic." TheCityUK's 'Key facts about UK-based financial and related professional services 2023 report states "The industry's economic output (gross value added (GVA)) also grew in 2022, rising 6.8% to £275bn, up £14bn year on year and accounting for 12% of the UK's total GVA". London continues to be the world's second biggest financial centre.

Vital to any countries success are markets. Independent UK has concluding many trade agreement. We are on the verge of joining the CPTPP (Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership) Its members are Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. When we join it will have a population of 582.5m compared to the EUs 446.8m. This not, however, simply a question of current numbers. The CPTPP countries have growing populations and wealth. The EU is in demographic decline and its share of world trade is shrinking every year. By 2100 it is predicted to have a 9.9% share of world trade compared to 22.4% in 2020. According to the Pardee Center of the University of Denver Only one European country is predicted to improve its standing in the ranking of the world's largest economies by the end of the century: Britain will go from the world's seventh largest economy to its sixth largest.

Facts speak for themselves. From facts one can electroplate future trends. On both counts we can be positive about the UK's future. It is an optimism that should be shared by the government. The treasuries misery is not supported by the facts. Our future will be supported by tax cuts, not kowtowing to failed financial orthodoxy. 

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