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.

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Brexit and Beyond

John Kerr set about penning Article 50 in the early 2000's. The initial draft was subsequently changed due to elections in France and elsewhere providing a curved ball that Brussels had not anticipated. However, in 2009 – 7 long years before the EU referendum vote in the UK – The Lisbon Treaty was signed and Article 50 was brought into European law. The decision to create Article 50 was not forced by the British. It was created by the EU.

Some would paint the picture of a noble parliament in Brussels doing all in it's power to retain the UK as a member state. Yet, other elements within the European sphere have experienced what it is like to feel the wrath of the European Commission. Some have even attempted to thwart the biggest democratic vote in UK history and say a 2nd referendum should be called to essentially derail the 1st vote. Many MPs have come to realize that the public will is by and large opposed to such a deflection of national sovereignty. However, many of their counterparts in Lords have yet to realize or accept this.

Brexit was not just a once in a generation vote as mainstream media would pretend it was. For if such were to be believed then merely waiting 5 years would change that vote. Nor was Brexit the result of xenophobia. Nor was it captained by a bunch of racists. That is where much of the opposition put their arguments with a rhetoric that did more to harm their cause than help it. Like the signing of the Magna Carta, the Reformation or the formation of Parliament itself, Brexit was an expression of liberty. The unique set of circumstances that led to each of these historical events nevertheless contain one inescapable common element; a shift in the general psyche.

Like a ripple effect on a pond, Brexit has encouraged other member states to question the mission of the EU Commission. Europhiles have been met with a rise in anti-EU parties in Austria, Hungary and Italy. Like a current that runs through the deep ocean or a tsunami, this change is not going away. It is only the start of things to come. Perhaps a better analogy would be to compare Brexit to a political tsunami. It has become a force beyond the control of either President Juncker or Theresa May – a natural entity that moving forward will not be reasoned with, threatened, shamed or intimidated. To employ such tactics is to miss the entire point UK voters made on 23 June 2016.

So why did the EU repeatedly fail to appeal to the majority of UK voters? To delve into the depths of the answer to this will not present the UK as a desert island, isolated and inward looking. What emerged on 24th June 2016 was a nation sustained by self belief, realising now it was right to do so and that forecasts made then by the Bank of England and IMF have since been shown to be wildly inaccurate. What is remarkable is that few critics with perhaps the exception of Sebastian Kurz, Jacob Rees Mogg, Viktor Orban, Bill Cash and Robert Oulds have taken the EU to task over their handling of the UK. This identifies another problem for the EU Parliament – the psychological abyss between official news sources like the BBC and users of new technology. Bypassing official news outlets has created a new dynamic in the political landscape that also avoids much propaganda and spin. If you know where to look on the Web you will not find remote and disenfranchised loners, but groups of organised individuals who have gained confidence from the Brexit breakthrough. It is not a new wave of thought to go beyond the EU, but has evolved with technology where it could be argued the corporate style of the European Commission has not.

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Tuesday, 25 September 2018