Happy Independence Day


Celebrating the first anniversary of the referendum as we do today, we look back on twelve months in which everything happened, but our situation has barely changed. Yesterday set another marker in the slow slog to independence in the form of the Prime Minister’s “fair and serious offer” over residency rights, but the final outcome is no clearer. The result of the general election adding to the fog.

But this is a day to rejoice, not wallow, an occasion to lift a glass to last year’s great achievement and maybe purchase the paperback edition of the Bad Boys of Brexit, released today. There are 10,000 words of explosive new content to relish.



A clear division has opened up in the Conservative party, aided by indecipherable language from a muscular opposition over leaving the single market; or not, as the case may be.

The political and media establishment are capitalising on the fissures. The stage looks worryingly set for a second general election. A Times/YouGov poll released today puts Jeremy Corbyn ahead of Theresa May for the first time – 35% to 34%.  May, who has become bizarrely isolated as one of the few people arguing for a rational Brexit, is repeatedly described as a woman in office, but not in power. Troubling times for Brexiteers.

One man responsible for the further erosion of the PM’s power base is Philip Hammond. The Chancellor was expected to polarise his party: real Brexit or continued membership of the Customs Union, meaning no free trade deals. Instead, he exuded severe pessimism, getting the right deal would require “every ounce of skill and pessimism”, he said at a conference attended by Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, who was yet again only too happy to doom monger.

It seems that in Hammond’s view, the May way will fail. Rather than offering a soft alternative, he is opening up space for a dangerously open debate on what the Brexit red lines should be, a Pandora’s box May did so well to keep shut.

One of the only Tory ministers with any credibility at this present time is David Davis. But the launch of negotiations in Brussels on Monday suffered an immediate setback when he gave into the EU’s longstanding demands for the Brexit bill to be thrashed out in isolation during the initial phases. Negotiations towards a trade deal will have to wait until the latter end of the talks. The Brexit secretary had originally insisted for all topics to be negotiated simultaneously.

Mrs May accelerated proceedings last night over coffee and chocolates at the EU summit. The media gleefully reported that her offer of permanent residency rights to those EU citizens who have lived in the UK for five years or more went down badly. They have largely failed to point out, now that EU leaders are locked in a negotiation it is fully expected for them to take umbrage with every British proposal, and indeed, for our leaders to do so in turn. The ridiculous demand by the EU for the European Court of Justice to act as the guardian of citizens’ rights is a tactic to leverage some type of arbitration, no more.

Business in Brussels was punctuated by the Queen’s speech on Wednesday. Unsurprisingly, none of the manifesto items that had helped the Tories lose their majority made the cut. Virtually the only bills on the table carry the people’s stamp of approval. The Repeal Bill (no longer great apparently), together with acts on customs, trade, immigration, agriculture, fisheries, nuclear safeguards and international sanctions, will enable the UK to transition smoothly out of its current guise as a semi-colony of Brussels.

By this time next week we shall know whether these critical bills to the Brexit process are likely to make it onto the statute books as currently intended. The ongoing DUP negotiations continue to cast a shadow While the Conservatives look well placed to call their bluff, they are expected to face a fight on their hands in the Lords. Peers argue that, Queen’s speech or no Queen’s speech, they’re entitled to disrupt Brexit because the Tories do not command a parliamentary majority. Meanwhile, Vince Cable the leading contender for the Lib Dem leadership has said his party is developing “informal networks” with Remain supporting Conservatives in Parliament.

Whatever transpires, we’ll be helping to propel Britain towards the exit door.  Ensure to check out our blog for regular insight and analysis and encourage your friends and family to sign up to this newsletter.

Kind regards,
The Leave.EU Team