By Richard Tice
Theresa May’s triggering of Article 50 today is an historic moment. In theory, it means that Britain is now committed to leaving the European Union. But the activation of the withdrawal process is not the end of the long war to reclaim national independence.
The war goes on. Many months were wasted over Article 50, first in the Supreme Court and then in Parliament. Remainers, led by their lawyers and then by senior politicians of all parties who cannot accept the verdict of the people, first sought to deny the elected government the right to put into practice the instruction to quit the EU handed down in the referendum.
Many more battles lie ahead. Pro-EU fanatics know that they still have plenty of opportunities to derail or, at the very least, delay Brexit. We must puncture the dangerously complacent but seductive myth that the Brexit war is over.
At Leave Means Leave, we absolutely want to secure a great deal for Britain, which will in turn work well for the EU27. But we also believe that compromise is dangerous. Many institutions like the CBI and grandees in the City are urging the government for the softest Breixt. And we know that many eurocrats in the EU will seek to defeat us.
We stick to our mantra – now taken up by the Prime Minister – that no deal is better than a bad deal. This will become the key battleground, as the media and institutional groupthink urge an extension or bad deal instead of no deal.
The tabling of the Great Repeal Bill, to be included in the Queen’s Speech in May and thrashed out in Parliament across the rest of the year, signifies a Titanic struggle. Remainers in the Commons and Lords, still a numerical majority, are biding their time for a monumental effort across many months to frustrate the Brexit process.
Tony Blair has not given up and nor have his many allies – the likes of Peter Mandelson, John Major, Michael Heseltine and Ken Clarke, who dismissed the referendum as no more than a “giant opinion poll”. They retain the powerful backing of big business, academia, the legal profession, the BBC, their celebrity luvvies and Whitehall – in short the establishment, who are not used to not getting their own way.
This is how Blair put it in his speech last month:
“The one incontrovertible characteristic of politics today is its propensity for revolt. The Brexiteers were the beneficiaries of this wave; now they want to freeze it to a day in June 2016. They will say the will of the people can’t alter. It can. They will say Leaving is inevitable. It isn’t. They will say we don’t represent the people. We do, many millions of them and with determination many millions more. They will claim we’re dividing the country by making the case. It is they who divide our country – generation from generation, North from South, Scotland from England, those born here from those who came to our country precisely because of what they thought it stood for and what they admired.
“This is not the time for retreat, indifference or despair; but the time to rise up in defence of what we believe – calmly, patiently, winning the argument by the force of argument; but without fear and with the conviction we act in the true interests of Britain.”
Blair is setting up an Institute to campaign for his beliefs, and has many millions in the bank. He has many rich and powerful friends across the political spectrum. Brexit is not a done deal.
Leave Means Leave is dedicated to fighting the good fight all the way to the finishing line. But to do that – to research and publish reports showing the right way ahead, to combat the propaganda of our opponents at home and abroad, to put our positive, optimistic message before the public, and to continue the Brexit campaign – we need money.
Blair and his friends have the cash. We need your help to match them. Leave Means Leave needs your support to ensure that two years from now, Britain is indeed free of the suffocating grasp of Brussels.
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