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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.

Time to go on the offensive

People who have voted to leave the European Union have recently woken up to the reality that several political/economic figures in the United Kingdom and abroad are intent on stealing the referendum to ensure we remain in the customs union and abide by laws made in Brussels. Campaigns targeting MPs who are openly defying their party manifesto and their constituents are in full swing whilst the House of Commons wrestles in between honouring the results and using this parliamentary opportunity to STOP BREXIT at all cost.

In the past, Brexiteers in Parliament may have felt isolated, but not anymore. The latest strings of amendments designed to block Brexit or extend the period of uncertainty have not garnered as much support as previously stated.

The exit date of March 29th is edging closer and there is room to ensure we break away from the European Union. It is basically the perfect time to go on the offensive!

Occupy the media

One of the ways Remainers were able to take back control of the debate surrounding Brexit was because the architects of the campaign to leave the European Union retreated from 'public life' soon after the referendum results. Nigel Farage announced his retirement having campaigned tirelessly to leave for over 25 years; Boris Johnson and Michael Gove joined Theresa May's Cabinet forcing them to stick to party lines rather than increase the pressure on the new leader of the party.

The main players may have changed and so has the balance of power as both the European Research Group and the Democratic Unionist Party exert their influence in parliament. Tweets from Brexit Central corroborate this argument.

These people should have as much media coverage as possible even if it is for soundbites, stealing the limelight away from Remainers. We have a variety of media outlets available and these people and others who support our exit from the European Union should make use of it relegating Remainers to their rightful place.

Come up with 'solutions'

The best way to occupy the public space is to come up with solutions forcing both media outlets and the population at large to debate on ideas brought forward.

So far, the European Union has taken the lead on the negotiations even drafting the much-disliked Withdrawal Trade Agreement (WTA) and one of the biggest mistakes would be for this to continue this way.

It is essential to realise the European Union has suffered numerous defeats over the last few weeks. The first was to underestimate the scale of resistance within the Tory party, which became clear after the vote of no confidence in December 2018. Political journalist and political editor of The Spectator Magazine James Forsyth said that "If May had kept the number of those voting against her below 100, it would have been a good result for her. If she had kept it to below 80, it would have strengthened her position considerably. But anything over 105 was always going to be tricky for her as that meant a 1/3rd of her MPs didn't have confidence in her." (full article) Theresa May does not have the confidence of 117 Conservative MPs prompting the expression that she may be a Prime Minister in Name Only (PRINO).

Second, the European Union hoped the Leader of the Opposition would back calls for a second referendum and/or table a vote of no confidence in the government to trigger a snap selection. Neither plans have worked out.

Third, the EU was hoping that continuous pressure from Remainder MPs would have led to the desired outcome, but they have undermined our political system – one they fear and are intent on either controlling through WTA or any other subsequent treaty to impose the European rule of law thus challenging our Statute Book.

So, the idea behind coming up with 'solutions' is to distract and occupy the media forcing the European Union to ponder on what we bring forward taking charge of the debate around Brexit. There is a high likelihood these 'solutions' will be dismissed by the EU, but this is not a problem, it allows us to beat them at their own game, which is primarily time wasting in the hope parliamentarians will write off Brexit or accept WTA.

One of those solutions for example regarding the 'backstop' could be the creation of a 'free zone' around the Southern Irish border to check goods for instance. The EU is using the 'backstop' to stir up tensions in Northern Ireland and trap us in the Customs Union for the foreseeable future. Bringing ideas to the table creates the perception that Brexiteers are willing to compromise thus threatening the presumed unity of the block.

It is erroneous to believe EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker when they say the EU27 are united and it is a good idea to stir things up there. German chancellor Angela Merkel believes in 'ideals' but she has resigned, and the country is potentially heading for a recession. Germany desperately needs the UK market as pressures on the Chinese market and tensions with the American president puts a dent on its and European economic growth. Macron is facing one of the biggest crises of the entire 5th Republic with no end in sight. Italy's debt and Greece's economic ill-health are putting pressure on the solvability of the European Union especially if the European Central Bank decides to stop its quantitative easing programme (very unlikely!).

There is a popular yearn for renewal and the United Kingdom is at the forefront of a global change of paradigm.

Promote young MPs

Renewal is usually a symbol of rebirth and what we have been good at in this country is creating a path for younger minds to serve their country in parliament. We must go back to the essence of the Tory Party, work with grassroots movement to promote a new generation of politician.

Established politicians could share platforms with up and coming tory MPs giving them legitimacy and perhaps enabling us to perpetuate our democratic traditions. Besides reenergising the party, it could also destabilise eurocrats who have relied on established members of our political and economic elite to 'influence' the House of Commons.

Sir John Redwood rightly said that we will do very well outside the European Union on World Trade Organisation terms and perhaps this what European technocrats are dreading hence their objective in the WTA, which is to keep us inside the block unable to influence or veto any decisions the EU will take in the future. 

EU directives and the expression of opinion
No deal – an opportunity not a problem

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