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Tel. +44 (0)20 7287 4414
Email. info@brugesgroup.com
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.

No deal – an opportunity not a problem

A Second Referendum?

I find it ironic that the basis on which the EU Fifth Column (the anti-democratic 'remoaners') have been waging war since the result of the referendum was announced is broadly that the public were not told all the facts that would come into play if they voted 'leave' in 2016.Their convoluted logic goes: we need another referendum. Chief amongst these anti-democratic 'remoaners' is Tony Blair, the man who withheld facts over the 'Dodgy Dossier' as to the reasons for going to war in Iraq, and then tried desperately to find weapons of mass destruction on which to lay his excuses for the subsequent deaths of UK service personnel. One should never take lessons on moral values from politicians with blood on their hands!

Both 'leave' and 'remain' camps were guilty of not providing the public with sufficient facts on which to base an opinion. This lack of factual information is consistently used as a stick with which to beat Brexit. People complain that they were lied to, and that had they known the true situation, they might have voted 'remain'. Possibly so, but these same people are apparently not as upset by the lack of information relating to remaining in the EU. Whilst the future cannot be predicted with absolute certainty, past performance and current pronouncements suggest that the process of total EU integration will continue unabated. We are likely to see both deeper and wider integration within the remaining members of the EU – after all, the ultimate objective of the EU is to absorb all member states within a United States of Europe, and in the process to strip individual nations of their independence and sovereignty. This is not speculation on my part – for those who doubt it, the evidence has been available since 1952, when the path to Federalism was outlined by French politician – and de facto father of the EU, Jean Monnet (AEI, 1952).

Nor is more recent evidence for total integration difficult to find, and much of it is linked to ambitions of the unelected bureaucrats who run the EU. For example, in his 'Presidential' 'State of the Union' address to the EU Parliament in Strasbourg in September 2017, Jean-Claude Juncker suggested that all EU states should join the Euro, and called for the creation of a European Finance Minister, in addition to a widening of the Schengen passport-free travel area (Juncker, 2017). He also suggested that, by 2025 the EU would have "... a fully-fledged European defence union..." which he claimed was needed, and that NATO wanted it (Boffey, 2017). It is highly unlikely that this is true, and furthermore, in view of the befuddled and confused EU policy towards external threats, it is undoubtedly safer to leave the defence of the West in NATO, rather than EU hands. As further evidence of the undesired direction of travel of the EU, Juncker suggested that the EU needed to be "…more flexible and streamlined…", and to achieve this he proposed combining "...the presidencies of the European commission and the European council ..." claiming that if this were done "Europe would be easier to understand if one captain was steering the ship" (Boffey, 2017). Although he did not put himself forward for the new position, in articulating this desire, Juncker has taken the first tentative steps to greater centralisation of power to be vested in the hands of himself or his successor. It was through the amalgamation of key influential positions that men such as Hitler eventually gained dictatorial powers. As Nigel Farage MEP, pointed out: "More Europe in every single direction and all of it to be done without the consent of the people.... thank God we are leaving. You have learned nothing from Brexit" (Boffey, 2017).

Whilst many such EU plans were deliberately kept out of the public arena prior to the UK Referendum for fear that they would only benefit the Brexit camp, they are now in the public domain; yet I can find no example of any 'remoaners' referring to them, despite their professed desire for information that will allow people to make an informed decision! Instead, they continue to bleat about 'being mislead' or 'not having all the facts'. It would appear then, that even when facts are available, 'remoaners' choose to ignore them if they do not fit their political agenda. Worryingly, over two years after the referendum, there are still people who remain unaware of the EU's long-term plans. For example, I have spoken with many people who were unaware of the EU plans for a European 'super state' (with countries relegated to the equivalent of regions); nor are they aware that the EU has plans to force all member states to adopt the Euro by 2025. I have spoken to journalists who were unaware that the EU currently dictates with which countries we trade (and on what terms); I suggest that the majority of the population have never ever heard of the European External Action Service (EEAS) – let alone know that the long-term objective of this organisation is to replace each country's diplomatic representatives with those of the EU, by appointing 'EU Ambassadors'.

I challenge those who claim we need a new referendum to prove that my assertions are false. As already indicated, this is not speculation: either it has already happened, is currently happening, or is a long term politico-economic objective of the EU Project. Finally, I would point out that regardless of which camp an individual ultimately locates themselves, they should consider two undeniable truths, both based on historic fact:

1)Tony Blair says that "… the people voted without knowledge of the terms of Brexit. As these terms become clear, it is their right to change their mind."Possibly so, but nobody ever knows all the outcomes associated with a choice of action; this is true even when desired plans of action are laid out in a Party Election Manifesto during a General Election campaign, and promises made based on these and other 'facts.' In the 2001 Labour Party General Election Manifesto, there is no mention of the forthcoming war in Iraq, yet almost two years later (19th March 2003), UK forces were sent to Iraq under 'Operation Telic'. There was huge opposition to the UK's involvement at the time, and as The Chilcot Inquiry found, Blair's government decided to join in the US–led invasion before all peaceful options had been exhausted. It also found that, in order to justify his desire for intervention, Blair deliberately exaggerated the threat that Saddam Hussein posed to world peace. So by Blair's logic, as people were not told all the facts prior to the election (ie, that he would send UK forces to war in Iraq), there would have been a case to re-run the 2001 election, once the evidence of Blair's intentions towards Iraq became clear. After all, many people voted for Blair undoubtedly unaware that he was going to take the country to war if re-elected, and during the course of this war, condemn hundreds of UK service personnel to death.

2)Secondly, there is the sheer scale of the referendum 'leave' outcome – it dwarfs all preceding General Election results. Take for example the last UK election fought by Blair (in 2005), which saw Labour take power by 9,567,589 votes to the 8,784,915 polled by the Conservatives, giving Blair a majority of 782, 674 votes, on a 61.4% turnout of the electorate. In the 2016 EU referendum, by contrast, the 'leavers' polled 17,410,742 votes, compared with 16,141,241 for 'remain' – a lead of 1,269,501 votes on a turnout of 72%. In other words, the referendum result was more decisive both in terms of numbers (1,269,501 votes as compared to 782, 674), and of those who actually voted: 72% as compared to 61% (UK Political Info, 2005). The 'leavers' in the 2016 referendum won by a larger majority than Tony Blair did, and on a much larger turn-out! Blair was happy to accept the results of the 2005 election as it went in his favour, yet he (and many other embittered 'remoaners') now have the temerity to call for another referendum (Wright, 2017:11).

In the 2015 Election (voter turnout of 66.2%) the Conservatives polled 11,299,600 votes (36.8% of the electorate), and Labour received 9,347,300 (30.4%) – a margin of 1,952,300 - with the Liberal Democrats polling only 2,371,861 (7.37%). In the last three elections, neither Cameron (in 2010 or 2015) nor Theresa May (2017) managed to attract so many votes as did the 'leave' campaign, nor such a high turnout of the electorate. No recent General Election has presented such a convincing set of figures, suggesting that politicians who gripe about the referendum are unwilling to face the reality of democracy. In view of this, how people such as Blair can demand a new referendum is difficult to understand. A democracy cannot function in this way, otherwise after every General Election those who were unhappy with the result could call for a re-run. Blair was happy to accept the outcome of the 2005 General Election, yet moans about the outcome of the referendum, and calls on the electorate to 'rise up' against the outcome; surely no better example of an embittered loser can exist than this man? He might be a multi-millionaire, with at least ten houses to his name, but what he cannot buy is respectability.

Where do we go from here?

In addition to the 'we-lost-and-we-want-to-try-gain' second referendum (now referred to as a 'people's vote), there are other suggested solutions to the current impasse, such 'Norway +' (or an EEA Brexit). Norway is not a member of the European Union but it does have access to the bloc's single market through its membership of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and European Economic Area (EEA); this would entail the UK becoming part of the European Economic Area (EEA). On the plus side, this would give us access to the Single European Market and Customs Union, and the ability to strike our own trade deals. On the minus side, we would continue to pay millions into the EU, would have to accept freedom of movement, and lose any voting rights and subsequent ability to influence future policy: this would not, in effect, allow us to leave the EU, nor would it give us control of our borders: verdict – no thank you.

Then there is 'Canada ++', which is similar to the Norway option, but as it is a looser arrangement, it is subject to far more stringent export controls: the initial deal took over seven years to negotiate, and was almost halted at the last minute by Belgium. Whilst being a 'rule –taker' and not a 'rule-maker', the Canada option does not allow for the freedom of movement: verdict – better than Norway, but still not we wanted. Then there is Mrs May's proposed deal: as this was rejected by the both the EU and the House of Commons, there is little point in even considering it further. Other options muted include delaying our exit (until when? And on what grounds?), and recalling the Article 50 letter. None of the above deliver what 'leavers' such as myself wanted. So that I cannot be accused of being 'nebulous', and for the benefit of self-confessed liars such as Jean-Claude Juncker, and those UK MPs who find the concept of 'leaving' and 'democracy' difficult to understand, I will repeat what we voted for: we want to cease being members of the EU Single Market, and the current Customs Union, and we no longer want to have our external tariffs decided by unelected Eurocrats in Brussels. We want to free ourselves from EU legislation covering the judiciary, fishing grounds, farming, and diplomatic representation. We do not want to be part of a European Army – we are already a founder member of NATO, the only organisation that has kept the Russians from attacking the West since WW2. We want to control our own borders (ie. no automatic freedom of movement), to keep Northern Ireland within the UK, and we want to make our own diplomatic representations throughout the world. Rather than let the EU strike trade deals with the rest of the world, we want to do this ourselves (as we used to – very effectively), and to deal with whichever countries we want to in the process. There is one last point – and I view it as THE key reason why we MUST leave – to retain our national sovereignty.

There is one option that is increasingly talked about as a 'last resort', and that is to leave without any deal at all. I admit that this would represent a huge step, but I feel that the time has finally arrived at which we can no longer remain the subject of EU ridicule and bullying, and we must simple get on and leave on 29th March, 2019. The government has been criticised for making a 'mess' over the leaving deal with Brussels; my criticism is that they did not take a sufficiently hard line from the outset. Look at the facts: various key EU figures are on record as saying that they do not want the UK to leave – Barnier has been quoted as saying that his job is to make it as hard for us as possible. Why? Surely if we want to leave then let us leave (I thought that the EU was a democratic organisation, supportive of human rights and individual freedoms) – why not make the leaving process easy so as to get rid of us and our awkward insistence on the truth, quicker? After all, the UK has generally been the country that has challenged EU policy most frequently, we have a number of MEPs whose aim is to get us out of the union, and we have managed to avoid membership of the Euro. Surely the best solution would be to get rid of the 'bolshie brits' asap?

There are two main reasons why the EU does not want us to leave: one is finance, and the other is cohesion. Dealing firstly with finance; when we leave, our significant contribution to EU funds will automatically stop. This will leave a great hole in the EU budget, which other members will be forced to cover. This is the reason why they have demanded the outrageously high sum of £39 billion from us – is this the price of freedom? The attitude that many (if not most) UK citizens have is that we are leaving a club, and once we have paid any outstanding club duties, we leave – as simple as that! When I recently ceased to be a member of my local leisure centre, I paid up to the end of my period of notice – I was not asked for a contribution to future projected spending on a range of unnecessary and outrageously expensive initiatives and projects (termed 'projected future expenditure'), nor was I expected to make a contribution to future employee pension schemes and subsidise employee expense accounts. However, I understand that the EU does not view the process as one of 'cessation of club membership' – despite referring to countries as 'Member states'; they view our departure as akin to a divorce. Using EU logic (a dangerous procedure at best of times) it must be pointed out that in a divorce, the marital assets are shared between the divorcing parties – yet to date I have been unable to find out what the UK is to get from the £39 billion divorce settlement we are expected to pay? For instance, what is our share of the thousands of bottles of vintage wine, the Ministerial (and other) cars, the valuable paintings that adorn office walls, the dinner services costing £ thousands for the EEAS, the IT equipment, office furniture, stationery, etc, etc? And all of this is replicated in the EU offices in Strasbourg. It is yet another example of the EU's duplicitous and opaque financial dealings – all of which are designed to keep people such as Juncker in the over-inflated life-style to which they have become accustomed, at our expense. At a November 2018 meeting of the Bruges Group ('Brexit or Bust') I was assured by an MP that we have NOTHING to show in return for this obscene amount. I have previously challenged the government to detail exactly what we would receive; I extend this challenge once more, but again, with little hope that I will receive a detailed (or indeed any) response.

The second reason why they do not want us to leave is more long-term, and more dangerous for the continued existence of the EU. If we leave, and are seen to flourish having escaped from Stalagluft Brussels, this will encourage other countries to do likewise. There are already significant anti-EU movements in France, Italy, Spain, and much of Eastern Europe. We are being used as an example of what will happen to those countries that dare to challenge the authority of the unelected EUROcrats that run the EU. In the last Presidential elections in France, for example, the anti-EU, anti-Euro, and anti-immigration party led by Marine Le Penn (Front National), polled 33% of the votes – in other words one in three French citizens agreed sufficiently with the policies of the FN to vote for them. The EU leadership is scared stiff that many other countries will attempt to follow the example set by the UK; from their point of view, this would be disastrous as it would lead to the break-up of the EU, and the loss of hundreds of highly-paid, high-powered jobs, in addition to significant expense accounts. What other employment could these people secure? Most are only in positions of power because they have persuaded the 'old boy' networks to vote them into these positions. Were they to attempt to seek employment on the open market, they would soon find that their skill sets were not in demand: after all, as Sir Nicolas Ridley famously once said, they are nothing but unelected 'reject politicians.'

So, eventually we come to the final option open to Mrs May – that of leaving without a deal. For a variety of reasons, people view this option with horror and trepidation, yet there is no need for such attitudes. We are increasingly told by the EU Fifth Column (which has been promoting 'Project Fear Part Two' since the decision to leave was made) that a 'no deal' scenario would be disastrous for British industry.If we were to leave without a deal, there would be queues of lorries on both sides of the channel waiting to cross, we would run out of food and medicines, BAE would move its investment in Airbus out of the country (having been prompted to say this by the Department of Trade?), the supply of kiwi fruit would dry up, foreign au pairs would be prevented from entering the UK, Waitrose would run out of Beaujolais nouveau, we would be forced to eat Somerset brie instead of French brie, British holiday makers would be banned from going to Spain and France, the army would have to reclaim the streets from ravaging hordes, planes could not take off – or if they did, would plummet uncontrollably out of the skies due to a lack of Air Traffic controllers, and British business people would be denied entry to all EU countries! The more outrageous claims of doom and gloom are parroted nightly by remain–leaning TV networks such as the BBC and Channel Four, and supported through interviews by so-called 'experts.' What dangerous nonsense; it was the Nazi Propaganda Chief Josef Goebbels who said that if you tell a big enough lie, people will believe it. Consider, if you would, who exactly these experts on trade-after-Brexit are? On what do they base their predictions?As no country to date has left the EU, on what do they base their 'expert' predictions of the outcome? No, the truth is that we are being treated to an extension of the lies and disinformation that we first suffered during the referendum campaign. We were lied to by the remainers then; they are lying to us now.

Throughout the two years between the triggering of article 50 and our leaving the EU, we have been subjected to a constant drip-drip of anti-Brexit disinformation, generally done deliberately by members of 'The Establishment' (politicians, Civil servants, and those from the financial services sector); by the chattering classes from London (artists, writers, journalists, media people), and captains of industry. What we are not told, however, is why these people are so insistent that the result of a democratic referendum will not be implemented. The reason is predominately one of self-interest – nothing more. With the honourable exception of JCB, most multinationals appear to be anti-Brexit: why? Their commercial interests are generally pan-European, and whilst big business makes big profits, senior management also receive big salaries. Their motivation in general is money – pure and simple. What about politicians? Those who are involved in 'Project Fear' part 2 have been effectively 'paid off' by Brussels: the likes of Peter Mandleson – who used to be an EU Commissioner for trade – benefit from their pension. One could say the same about Neil Kinnock (remember him?) who also receives a pension from the EU from the days when he was an EU Commissioner (Transport if I remember correctly). Then we come to Tony Blair, who has tried to secure the highly-lucrative job of President of the EU commission. To date he has been blocked by other EU politicians and Civil Servants; it would be inconceivable that he would ever secure the top job if the UK were to leave. This must be incredibly frustrating for Blair, who has made no secret of his ambition. John Major and Gordon Brown have a special place in history reserved just for them, as respectfully, the Prime Ministers who signed the Maastricht and Lisbon Treaties. In another of life's little ironies, I find it amusing that because Bill Cash and others opposed Major when he (Major) was Prime Minister, they were labelled 'bastards'. Would Major now consider himself a 'bastard' as a consequence of his opposition to government policy/ That's one for the history books!

These represent just the tip of the iceberg, and there must be hundreds more people in public life who are beholden to the EU in one way or another. This being the case, should they not be made to declare their interests before subjecting us to their opinions that must inevitably be informed by their vested interests? I am sure that some research unit or 'think tank' somewhere will have the personnel and facilities to check the background of every high profile remainer, and expose their stance for what it really is – a point of view driven by personal gain more than love of country. What these and other 'Brussels Fifth Columnists' cannot (or will not) understand is that public pronouncements on the dangers of Brexit are aiding Brussels, not their fellow UK citizens.

So, we must retain our right to walk away without any deal. This is an essential part of the democratic process, and those who will not even consider a 'no deal' outcome are either naïve or have ulterior motives for their opposition to the concept. Jeremy Corbyn said that he will only talk with Mrs May if a 'no deal' outcome is taken off the table of options to MPs. The 'no deal' option must remain an option to MPs, as together with the 'reparations' payment of £39 billion, it is the only leverage left to us. In fact, MPs should be actively encouraged to vote for a 'no deal' option, as the only way we can depart the EU with our dignity and independence - in addition to retaining our £39 billion.

References AEI (1952) "Speech by Jean Monnet to National Press Club, Washington DC." ("Allocution de Monsieur Jean Monnet au National Press Club, Washington DC"). Archive of European Integration, University of Pittsburg, USA (30th April); http://aei.pitt.edu/14364/1/S4.pdf

Boffey, Daniel (2017) "Juncker saysEU will 'move on' from Brexit in state of union speech." The Guardian (13th September); https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/sep/13/jean-

claude-juncker-plays-down-brexit-in-eu-state-of-union-speech.

Juncker, Jean-Claude (2017) "State of the Union 2017" European Commission (13th September);https://ec.europa.eu/commission/priorities/state-union-speeches/state-union-2017_en

Swift, Jonathan S. (2018a) "We Won't Get Fooled Again." The Bruges Group (Blog: 19th November); https://www.brugesgroup.com/blog/ we-won-t-get-fooled-again

UK Political Info. (2005) "2005 General Election results summary." http://www. ukpolitical.info/2005.htm

Wright, Oliver (2017) "Oppose Brexit even if that means voting for the Tories, says Blair." The Times (24th April), p. 11 

Time to go on the offensive
A Dangerous Legacy
 

Comments 1

John Poynton on Sunday, 17 February 2019 16:14

Interesting reference to Peter Mandleson as an EU Commissioner for Trade, when our experience of free trade within the so-called free market of the EU Single Market and Customs Union has been an unmitigated disaster (see my own two posts on this site). A case of fiddling while Rome burned?

Interesting reference to Peter Mandleson as an EU Commissioner for Trade, when our experience of free trade within the so-called free market of the EU Single Market and Customs Union has been an unmitigated disaster (see my own two posts on this site). A case of fiddling while Rome burned?
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