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.

We Can Work It Out


 "Life is very short, and there's no time, for fussing and fighting, my friend."

(John Lennon and Paul McCartney – 1965 "We Can Work It Out")

We had one deadline - 29th March – for leaving the EU, which was inexplicably lost in the mists of political time. (Political time is like real time, but without reality, adherence to deadlines, or to electoral promises that might have been inadvertently made). Quite a feat from a Conservative Prime minister, who upon her elevation to the 'top job' in politics promised in her first speech from outside No. 10 that:

         "The Government I lead will be driven, not by the interests of the privileged few, but by yours. We will do everything we can to give you more control over your lives. When we take the big calls, we'll think not of the powerful, but you. When we pass new laws, we'll listen not to the mighty, but to you…. As we leave the European Union, we will forge a bold, new, positive role for ourselves in the world, and we will make Britain a country that works not for a privileged few, but for every one of us" (May, 2016).

Unfortunately the rhetoric of the moment in which she promised to give people 'more control' over their lives, was eclipsed by the very group of vested interests she promised not to consider: the 'privileged few.' All this is ironic, when one considers that from the start of her Premiership she had but one task to do, one mandate from the nation: 'leave the EU.' Unfortunately, as I have previously suggested (Swift, 2018a); it became increasingly apparent that May (a 'remainer') never had any intention of delivering Brexit. Instead, I suggest, she has been the willing tool of the 'establishment' – a bastion of opposition to Brexit. As a previous Home Secretary, she must have been aware of the strength of anti-Brexit feeling within government in general, and in particular within the Treasury, Civil Service, and the Foreign Office. After uttering platitudes such as "Brexit means Brexit" (whatever that meant) she then delayed the triggering of Article 50 for some nine months: enough time for the Establishment to muster its forces and launch a series of guerrilla strikes designed to slow down and ultimately stop Brexit. This was the start of 'Project Fear' (part two).

Some time ago, I asked rhetorically on this website whether we could trust those involved in Brexit to tell us the truth (Swift, 2018b), and concluded that (with the honourable exception of the then Brexit Secretary David Davis) and his successor, Dominic Raab, the answer had to be 'no.' It is with no sense of vindication that I pointed out then that "…we appear to be losing the essence of Brexit…" I further speculated that: "In the minds of some people, there will always be the suspicion that May, either by accident or design, did not pursue the Brexit agenda with sufficient vigour and sense of purpose…"

After a long line of betrayals, u-turns, ambiguous statements, and stubborn persistence over her so-called 'deal', the PM decided to ditch her MPs and rely instead on support from the Marxist Opposition as personified by Jeremy Corbyn. Despite being warned against this by loyal Conservative MPs, she persisted in this approach, sacrificing the last vestiges of her self-respect, and in the process making the Conservatives even less electable than they have been at any point during the last two years. As predicted, Corbyn used her for a cloak of dubious respectability, and having got her to agree to some of his requests (such as a second referendum), then left her in the lurch, having got precisely what he wanted from this very brief dalliance. Even were Michael Dobbs to have written such a scenario for Francis Urquart, I suspect the publisher would have rejected it as too unbelievable! 

Her resignation is welcome, as it should go a long way to lancing the boil of betrayal that she has managed to cultivate over the last three years. Had she not agreed to stand down, then as we saw in the recent euro-elections, the Conservatives would have gone into meltdown at the next General Election. As it is, the damage that she has done may yet prove irreparable: I have spoken to friends who have said that they will never vote Conservative again, despite having voted for the Party for the last thirty/forty years. The Conservative Party is still in danger of total collapse, and this is the fault of Mrs May and the UK Establishment, working in tandem with the anti-UK Eurocrats. They have spent two years enacting Project Fear 2 and are now at the stage they view as the 'last gasp' of the Brexit madness. In addition, the largely 'remoaner' Cabinet (Hammond, Rudd), appear to have worked tirelessly over the last few years to stop Brexit (Jackson, 2019), added to which are the activities of the Brussels Fifth Column (Blair, Major, Hesseltine, Cable), the bias of the media (as typified by the BBC), and the constant aggression from the Eurocrats who hold the real power in Brussels. In this respect, Donald Tusk and Guy Verhofstadt appear to be have been vying with each other to see who can be the most offensive and deliberately provocative to the UK (Swift, 2019b). Is there any wonder that the process has stalled?

The final straw is that there are a number of self-serving MPs (such as Anna Soubry, Oliver Letwin, Yvette Cooper), who, despite the outcome of the referendum, still arrogantly assume that they know better than those people who voted 'leave' in 2016 and believe that given sufficient incentive (of either the carrot or stick variety), we will eventually say 'Ok, yes… it's too difficult, so let's stop Brexit, and ask to be readmitted into the EU.' In their actions such MPs are traitors to the democratic principles of this nation, and I would love to see them voted out of office at the next election – a just desert for treachery. A particularly damaging piece of legislation was passed earlier this year when (with the help of a convicted Labour MP) the House voted to eliminate the possibility of our leaving without a deal (Yorke and Mikhailova, 2019). The fact that such a person was allowed to cast a vote on matters relating to the long-term future of the UK beggars belief, or could it be that The Establishment considered her the proverbial 'useful idiot' in their attempts to halt Brexit? In the end, to their eternal shame, the House voted to not allow 'no deal' as a possible outcome of negotiations, thus taking away our one remaining negotiating weapon; this should be remembered henceforth as the collective nadir in the history of this current crop of politicians. 

As I have suggested on more than one occasion, the 'no deal' option is the only real negotiating weapon we have, and to voluntarily decommission it is the height of folly (Swift, 2019b). I suspect, however, the heavy hand of the Establishment at work, aided by the usual bag of 'remoaners', fellow-travellers and opportunists. I cannot think of a more stupid, short-sighted, crass decision than to remove this option: doubtless the Brussels Fifth Column and the 'remoaners' liked it, as at a stroke it has made us powerless, and handed the final outcome of Brexit to the EU. In view of the fact that they do not want us to go, it looks very much as if we shall never leave; unless we are rescued by a miracle - or the Brexit Party - I can see us still being under the EU thumb in December of this year, by which time an overwhelming majority of people would be likely to conclude that escaping is impossible, and accept that we may have to return to Brussels diktat once more. This is exactly what Brussels and the 'remainers' want.

Mrs May will go down in history as one of our worst Prime Ministers: judging by the rise of the Brexit Party, she will certainly be remembered as the Conservative Leader who destroyed her Party, who betrayed UK democracy, and who sold out our future to the unelected 'reject politicians' of Brussels. We must not forget that this first stage (supposedly two years) is but the first half of a four year process; the second – negotiating future trading relations with the EU – will be even harder! We therefore need a strong pro-Brexit Cabinet to see it through, and having given much thought to the matter, might I be allowed to be possibly the first person to put their pitch in writing? My suggestions for a Cabinet that would deliver Brexit (without a 'deal' if necessary), would be as follows: Boris for the top job, Jacob Rees-Mogg as Chancellor of the Exchequer, David Davis (Foreign Secretary), Esther McVey (Home Secretary), Bob Stewart (Defence Secretary), Angela Leadsom (Deputy PM and Leader of the House), Iain D-S (Work & Pensions Secretary), Dominic Raab (Brexit Secretary), Priti Patel (Education Secretary), Sir Bill Cash (Justice Secretary – Lord Chancellor), Liam Fox (International Trade), Graham Brady (Business), Michael Gove (Environment), Chris Grayling (Transport), Gavin Williamson (Chief Whip), and possibly even offer Nigel Farage the temporary job as UK Ambassador to the EU!


Jackson, Stewart (2019) "This craven Cabinet must move now to stop the Brexit betrayal, or they will never be forgiven." The Telegraph (30th April);

May, Theresa (2016) "Theresa May's first speech as Prime Minister: full text." The Spectator (13th July);

Swift, Jonathan S. (2018a) "Do you expect us to negotiate?" The Bruges Group (Blog: 26th September);
Swift, Jonathan S. (2018b) "Gimme some truth." The Bruges Group (Blog: 30th October);

Swift, Jonathan S. (2019a) "Is there a 'special place in hell' reserved for Donald Tusk?" The Bruges Group (Blog: 11th February);

Swift, J.S. (2019b) "'No Deal' is our only remaining negotiation weapon; don't decommission it." The Bruges Group (Blog: 10th March); /no-deal-is-our-only-remaining-negotiating-weapon-don-t-decommission-it

Yorke, Harry and Mikhailova, Manna (2019) "The 'disgraced criminal' who foiled Brexit while on licence." The Daily Telegraph (5th April), p. 6

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