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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.

Bruges Group Blog

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

The Brexit Speeches


 The following article and above PDF are speeches by Richard Tice MEP for the Brexit Party and also property businessman; Swedish-British billionaire businessman Johan Eliasch who is CEO of sportswear giant Head; Sir John Nott the former Secretary of State for Trade and Industry then Defence under Margaret Thatcher; Peter Lilley the former Secretary of State for Trade and Industry then Social Security before serving as Deputy Leader and Shadow Chancellor; Professor Patrick Minford CBE a Professor of Applied Economics at Cardiff University Business School; and finally the veteran Tory Eurosceptic MP for Stone, Sir Bill Cash who also chairs the parliamentary European Scrutiny Committee.

Richard Tice is the Chairman of the Brexit Party and a former Conservative activist; Tice also founded and chaired Leave Means Leave before joining Nigel Farage's new party. As well as this, he is a successful businessman in the property and financial sectors and is currently CEO of Quidnet.

The Brexit Party Chairman describes how David Cameron should be thanked for calling the referendum and then "playing his cards so incredibly badly" before going on to explain why he felt the need to establish Leave Means Leave with John Longworth, who like Tice is a Brexit Party MEP. Mr Tice outlines how the EU have bailed out several nations following the Euro Crisis with German led bailouts of hundreds of billions of pounds to bailout Italian and Greek banks especially. The speech also includes his problems with the single market and the customs union and how Britain should avoid any deal which includes membership of any of these two establishments; he goes on to talk about an often forgotten point of the single market now favouring transfer of goods rather than services, our largest export.

Furthermore, he suggests that we should reduce Corporation Tax to 15pc which was supported in my last article when I spoke to Dr Eamonn Butler from the Adam Smith Institute, a free market economist. Richard Tice is one of the good guys and Brexit optimist who embraces free markets to the full and is a great admirer of Mrs Thatcher, as I found out when I spoke to him earlier in the year. His full speech can be found in the PDF report which is linked above.

Johan Eliasch is a dual British-Swedish citizen and businessman who currently holds the position of CEO at American sportswear company 'Head'. Mr Eliasch also has the role of Chairman of the Saatchi Gallery as well as being involved with firms such as London Films, on the board of IMG and the British Paralympics Association; he also served as Young Conservative Chairman in his homeland in Sweden's only Conservative constituency.

In his speech, Eliasch outlines how he realises the importance of the EU to co-operate with Britain in trade negotiations as a no deal Brexit would damage the EU's trade, a point often missed in the media. It is in both of our interests to negotiate a free trade agreement; nobody knows this more than Mr Eliasch who served as the Austrian President's delegation on trade. He points out in his speech that the EU are almost frightened that Brexit will be a success as it will essentially mean the end of the federal European project to a United States of Europe. The billionaire businessman goes on to say how France and Germany may have come to their senses to negotiate a trade deal and points out how Mrs Merkel may be slightly softening up.

Eliasch also suggests that the government needs support and advice from the business community and points out that there are only three key areas of a deal: immigration, trade and financial services. He goes on to quote figures of the trade surplus ran by the EU to Britain and how a no deal would affect the Eu economy and especially the Eurozone nations, and why a free trade deal is essential for both parties.

Furthermore, the main points that the British government should do post-Brexit according to Mr Eliasch is to reduce Corporation Tax to 15pc, lower Stamp Duty on property, reduce VAT, abolish Stamp Duty on share transfers and offer foreign source income tax, capital gains, and dividend tax exemption to boost investment and the economy. Eliasch believes we should be a pro-business environment with the aforementioned measures as well as cutting back regulation as well as provide certainty.

John Nott's speech is a fine one at that, the former Defence Secretary under Mrs Thatcher during the Falklands War is also an avid Brexiteer who believes we must stop "the moaners and doubters from undoing it all". Mr Nott describes how even Tory Remainers backed the government in pushing through Article 50 and with the support of the DUP we can deliver a successful Brexit what the people voted for. Sir John also supports the theory that government-backed Remain would've won if the Cameron administration has argued the pros and cons correctly rather than project fear nonsense. He goes on to say how the Commission has everything to lose, all of its power for one if we make a success of Brexit, it is the Commission which needs to defend its own back and it's the member states who have everything to gain from more democracy, which we've been fighting for, for the last 30 years. The former Economic Secretary to the Treasury describes his time at HMT under Tony Barber and Ted Heath in the early 1970s as a great moment when we floated the pound, "economic independence that a floating currency gives us cannot be exaggerated". There is a very important history lesson to learn from this and one the European Central Bank haven't paid attention to, John Nott points out how a fixed exchange rate always fails as seen in the late 1980s when Nigel Lawson shadowed the Deutschmark before John Major then took us into the ERM which was an even bigger mistake.

Nobody knows the Department for Trade better than Nott who served as Secretary of State in Thatcher's first government from 1979 until 1981 when he was reshuffled to Defence, therefore when he points out that EU food producers, manufacturers and wine producers rely on British customers and therefore they shouldn't wish for tariffs on goods. The real danger is not firms moving to the EU, it is moving to New York, especially those in the financial sector and of course this has no benefit whatsoever to the European Union. The former St. Ives MP has said how he hasn't been keen on any PMs since Margaret Thatcher (this was a quote before Mr Johnson became PM) and how although she argued, she just didn't give in or give up on her principles. For example, the European Budget contributions which was a battle she eventually won, despite Peter Carrington, the then Foreign Secretary, coming back eight times seeking her agreement to the revised contributions, all of which she refused!

The next speech is by the fantastic Lord Lilley, part of the Iron Lady's final cabinet as Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, a position held by such great ministers such as Nott, Tebbit, Lilley and now of course Andrea Leadsom. Lilley emphasises the point of getting Brexit done quickly to reduce uncertainty among businesses as well as getting out of the EU rapidly. The former DTI Secretary talks about the need to keep good links with our neighbours and it's important that we have a free trade deal as well as a good relationship but that doesn't mean we cannot be tough on immigration.

He goes on to say how we cannot stay part of the European economic area as we must accept "freedom of movement as well as a great cost" in addition to the inability to negotiate trade deals with other trade superpowers such as America and China in deals that suit us. It is crucial we negotiate tariffless trade with our European friends and it is in both of our interests to continue the status quo of tariffless trade. Not only that, the former Shadow Chancellor under William Hague draws upon how we must keep no deal on the table and that anyone in business must be prepared to walk away unless a favourable deal has been negotiated. Moving to WTO rules for trading wouldn't provide a huge shock to the economy as businesses will just get used to it and we will of course negotiate new trade deals with the Commonwealth to restore those fantastic trade links we once had that have now been somewhat diminished.

The penultimate speech by Patrick Minford, a Professor of Applied Economics at Cardiff University and Business School as well as a prominent supporter of Economists for Brexit and has an alma matter from Balliol College, Oxford and the London School of Economics. Professor Minford explains how when we voted to remain in the EEC, we were told how it was purely a trading group and would not interfere with democracy. Minford explains how if you control your laws then you control how you do business and therefore your economy, and currently the EU doesn't let us do that as they control our laws and there is no accountability.

Then of course there is the glaringly obvious point of the biggest failure of the whole European project: the Euro and this is exactly what Patrick Minford points out in his fantastic speech. He boldly goes on to say, "the answer to every problem is Europe" and is just an "alphabet soup of committees and councils" which are unelected and undemocratic. He points out that the EU is far too protectionist and does damage to our economic interests such as the Common Agricultural Policy, a policy Mrs Thatcher was a huge sceptic of, which raises the prices of food by as much as 20pc and the Customs Union which raises the price of manufacturing by up to 20pc. The suggestion from Minford is that if we cut back all of the protectionism, the cost of living will reduce by 8pc and will only continue to reduce the living costs. Professor Minford explains how we still need regulation but not unsustainable amounts where the EU control labour, finance, energy, climate change and products rather than just the quality of products and standards.

The final speech is by the legendary parliamentarian and veteran Eurosceptic Sir Bill Cash who was in the House back in 1992 and was one of the Maastricht rebels; he advised Mrs Thatcher on how the then EEC was becoming a federalist political union. The MP for Stone who won a by-election is 1984 has constantly fought for leaving the EU and credits Mrs Thatcher for "daring to suggest we should effectively leave the European Union". Cash is a true supporter of democracy and focuses on the fact that the EU is not only undemocratic but anti-democratic as well as constitutional benefits of leaving the failing project and the main point of accountability of the British Parliament. Sir Bill talks about how EU law is constructed by qualified majority voted officials, elected and accountable by and to nobody, all behind closed doors and all done by consensus rather than conviction politicians.

He also goes on to say how the EU is a failing project, pointing out the rising rates of youth unemployment, which is further explored in my paper on immigration to and from the EU, which in some cases is over 50pc for 16-25 year olds in Spain and Greece. This is all because of diverse economies mixed together and the fact that member states do not trust one another, and Sir Bill knows better than anyone as Chairman of the European Committee.

Finally, he makes another incredibly interesting point regarding immigration as outlines how he's not against immigration, after all we've had that for centuries, but about the numbers coming and who's coming in. Something which was very much prominent in the recent leadership campaign where both Mr Johnson and Mr Raab suggested points based immigration systems.

These are all incredibly interesting speeches and I urge you to read the full speeches in the above document, you can share your thoughts on Twitter and Instagram with me @ethan_thoburn

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