Leaked dossier ‘reveals details of a £6m campaign backed by foreign billionaire George Soros to keep Britain in the EU’
- Best for Britain is backed by billionaire George Soros and plans to stop Brexit
- The pro-Remain group plans to spend £5.6m on the campaign to thwart it
- Involves advertising and social media blitz and getting MPs to vote down deal
- Papers uncovered by the Daily Mail claim to show extent of group’s plans
The Daily Mail newspaper has today claimed there is a £5.6million plan to thwart Brexit.
Leaked papers apparently show that a pro-Remain group has launched a six-month plan to stop Britain leaving the EU.
Backed by billionaire financier George Soros, Best for Britain aims to spend nearly £6million on the campaign, according to the documents.
They allegedly reveal that the group will contradict whatever final agreement Theresa May strikes with Brussels – arguing it is ‘not what we voted for’.
Best for Britain wants to persuade MPs to vote down the Prime Minister’s deal in October.
The plans include using trade unions to change Labour’s stance on Brexit.
It will also see an advertising blitz, social media, a speaking tour by leading Labour Remainers and local campaigning.
Best for Britain has amassed a £2.4million already but is asking wealthy donors for £3.2million more, saying: ‘We have less than six months to stop Brexit.’
The 26-page plan reveals that:
- Best for Britain will claim leaving the EU will put national security at risk;
- Remain activists will blame Brexit for funding cuts at local councils;
- They will also claim Leave voters were rejecting Westminster and not Brussels.
It is understood that Best for Britain started sending the documents to potential donors over the past few days.
Former Cabinet minister Owen Paterson said they reveal how far some Remainers would go to overturn the result of the referendum of June 2016.
‘The cynical plan to manipulate the British voter and stop Brexit has now been laid bare,’ added the Conservative MP.
‘Leave voters up and down the country will be disgusted that George Soros thinks he can spend his fortune to determine the direction of our great country. Most Remain voters too just want us to get on with it.
‘My colleagues in Parliament, whether they were for Leave or Remain, must denounce this brazen attempt to undermine our democracy.
‘Those MPs who are seeking to dilute or delay Brexit must now admit that their meaningful vote is really just their plan to stop Brexit – as this document sets out unambiguously.’
Richard Tice, of the pro-Brexit group Leave Means Leave, said: ‘George Soros, the billionaire who does not live in the UK, will stop at nothing with his elitist friends to stop Brexit, deceitfully masking their plans as a people’s vote.
‘Shamefully, they want to deny the poorest in our society from benefiting the most from Brexit.’
Best for Britain was launched last April ahead of the snap general election.
It was fronted by Gina Miller, who took the Government to court over Brexit, but she quit earlier this year after becoming uncomfortable with the group’s tactics.
It emerged in February that Best for Britain had accepted a £400,000 donation from Mr Soros, the Hungarian-born financier who bet against sterling on Black Wednesday in 1992 – earning him one billion dollars.
He then promised £100,000 more, matching a crowdfunding push, and later gave another £300,000.
Board members include Lord Malloch-Brown, who was a foreign minister under Gordon Brown, and chief executive Eloise Todd, who worked in Brussels for Bono’s charity ONE.
When the campaign was founded, its backers claimed they respected the result of the EU referendum.
But it has been putting up billboards around the country calling for a second vote and the document says its strategic goals include: ‘stop Brexit’ and ‘win a people’s vote to stay and lead in Europe’.
It sets out a three-pronged strategy to persuade ‘soft’ Leave voters to change their minds, mobilise hardline Remainers into action, and shift the Labour Party into an anti-Brexit stance.
Best for Britain says it will ‘attach our case to the big non-Brexit issues that have emotional resonance – we need to break out from the Brexit bubble’.
Using social media, it wants ‘reach out to where people are engaged – physically but mostly digitally’.
It also pledges to ‘cut through by being bold and embracing the disruptive’.
In the next few weeks Best for Britain will start arguing the Brexit referendum was not a rejection of the EU: ‘This was a vote against London as much as Brussels.’
Over the summer, its message will focus on how Brexit is ‘putting the UK’s unity and security at risk’.
In October – when it is expected that the outline of the Prime Minister’s deal with Brussels will be known – the document reveals that the group has already decided to argue: ‘Now we can finally see the real facts, this is not what we voted for.’
Best for Britain activists are instructed to ‘survey local issues and concerns and link these to impact of Brexit’.
They started with grassroots events for constituency Labour parties earlier this month, with plans to start work on ‘mobilising the unions’ in the next fortnight.
In July, the group is planning to lobby the policy conference of Unite, the country’s largest trade union.
In August, it is organising a ‘Labour Against Brexit’ speaking tour that will see senior figures make the case for remaining in the EU.
In September it will have a presence at both the TUC and Labour Party annual conferences.
When MPs return to Parliament after party conference season, it is planning to bring hundreds of activists to London to confront them. The document says: ‘We’ve raised £2.4million, we need another £3.2million.
‘Our activity is essentially scalable – how many we reach is directly proportional to what we can spend.’
A Best for Britain spokesman said: ‘We have never hidden our agenda. Our aim as an organisation is to stop Brexit democratically.
‘We want to connect people across the country to their MPs, particularly in the Labour Party, so they directly hear from their membership and their voters, the vast majority of whom want to make sure we have a real debate on Brexit before our options are taken off the table.
‘Brexit is taking longer than people expected, costing more, and stopping us from creating a better Britain that works for everyone.’
But former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith said: ‘This dossier is yet another example of the complacent Establishment trying to stitch up the people.’
May 24th, 2018: Daily Mail