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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Bruges Group Blog

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

​International Brexit: In Conversation with Kate Hoey MP

Euro skepticism and Brexit is synonymous with right-wing politics.

The reality is the Leave vote was ushered in by a broad coalition of both left-leaning and right-leaning voters, said Labour Party MP Kate Hoey, a proponent of Brexit.

Speaking with Morten Dam of Peoples Movement Against the EU in Denmark, Hoey discussed the position of the Labour Party in Brexit, its changing relationship with voters, and the possibility of a hard border with Ireland.

The labor movement was historically very anti EU, Hoey said, members of parliament such as Tony Benn and Peter Shore tried to stop UK from joining the EU. However, the view shifted under former Prime Minister Tony Blair and the party saw the EU as a way to protect workers' rights. It proved to be a mistake.

"I've been so against the EU because of its reliance and priority given to the global corporations that have actually done so much damage," Hoey said. "Free movement of labor has brought down wages and has not been in the interests of working people."

Siding with the EU is hurting Labour's relationship with its core base, such as trade union members, who largely voted to Leave.

"There was a kind of feeling that we had lost touch with peoples' aspirations and concerns about the way we had been led into doing things within the EU," Hoey said.

With the Leave vote, there is no turning back. The power of the Remain establishment, however, should not be underestimated.

"It does worry me that we could be out of the EU but still subject to a lot of its diktats, because the decisions would be made by people who didn't want us to leave in the first place," Hoey said.

Briefly touching on the subject of a hard border with Ireland, Hoey said she rejects completely the idea that normal customs controls or ways of doing it in with new technology should in any way stop the peace process.

The course of Brexit negotiations isn't just important domestically, the UK is setting an example for other countries that may wish to consider leaving the EU. Watch the video interview for a more in depth discussion on international Brexit. 

Bordering on Madness
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Saturday, 16 December 2017