Tel. +44 (0)20 7287 4414
Tel. +44 (0)20 7287 4414
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.

Brexit: an urgent appeal to Tory MPs

 A comfort zone gives the comforted a false sense of safety. For now, it would be quite possible to carry on as if nothing significant has changed: assuring messages from Conservative Party HQ; 'crisis – what crisis' coverage on the BBC or comment pages of the Times; social media bubbles where agreeable opinions are heard.

But believe us at the Bruges Group – this really is a crisis. We have been warning of this for weeks . But since Theresa May presented her 'done deal' to a captive Cabinet at Chequers last Friday, the conditions for civil unrest have been set. Please do not think this will die down, or that normal service will be resumed.

For calm and considered party loyalists to speak of treason by their own leader, and Prime Minister, should be worrying. The term is not used unjustifiably. Theresa May has not merely blundered or acquiesced to a bullying Brussels autocracy – she has obviously decided (long ago) to deceive the British people and to defy democracy. This is worse than Tony Blair's WMD. The Conservatives' manifesto pledge to enact the verdict of the EU referendum has been revealed as a damned lie.

Choose your barometer. The Sun today has Theresa May writing in support of her plan. But the comments below the line are almost entirely negative – and extremely angry. Here is a typical example: -

'What an load of utter rollocks from the EU 5th columnist, May. You have sold us out to the EU and your chickens will soon be coming home to roost. You can write in newspapers and you can send your minions out to do your dirty work (Nick Timothy and William Hague in the Telegraph), BUT you have betrayed us and we no longer trust you. Any Prime Minister who allows Merkel to dictate policy BEFORE even discussing it with her own Cabinet is worthy only of our loathing.'

The Telegraph letters page, every day this week, has been reserved for the spleens of the traditional Tory shires. Telegraph columnist Allison Pearson has savaged May, while Tim Stanley tweeted 'May's government will probably now fall'. Staid Tory servants such as Stewart Jackson (barred from working with Davis's DExEU successor Dominic Raab) is openly challenging the official party line.

But why not sit back and read the opinion polls. A mere 13% think May's deal is good for Britain. For months the Tories have kept Labour at bay, but now they are facing a rapidly resurgent UKIP (gaining thousands of new members this week, and up to 6% in latest YouGov poll). This is just the start of a rebellion against the Conservative Party by its own representatives, members and voters.

People are not stupid. They see Liam Fox trying to defend the basically Remain deal in a Commons Committee, speaking like a doomed man at Stalin's show trials. Perhaps the most profound portrayal of May's Brexit betrayal is by Telegraph cartoonist Matt: the score Croatia 2 England 1 is promoted as just what the people want.

Do not let May limp on. Unchallenged, she will go on to wreak lasting damage on your party and your career, while shattering your constituents' faith in democracy. We urge you to act now, to mount an urgent rescue operation. Otherwise, the Tory party is finished. 

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Contact us

Director : Robert Oulds
Tel: 020 7287 4414
Chairman: Barry Legg
The Bruges Group
246 Linen Hall, 162-168 Regent Street
London W1B 5TB
United Kingdom
Founder President :
The Rt Hon. the Baroness Thatcher of Kesteven LG, OM, FRS 
Vice-President : The Rt Hon. the Lord Lamont of Lerwick,
Chairman: Barry Legg
Director : Robert Oulds MA, FRSA
Washington D.C. Representative : John O'Sullivan CBE
Founder Chairman : Lord Harris of High Cross
Head of Media: Jack Soames