Leader of the EU 5th Column
Are we ever going to leave the European Union? The question on many a lip if the Leave.EU email inbox is anything to go by.
While this week presented as many positive indications of a bright future beyond Brexit, the Establishment, safely ensconced in Westminster were singing to a different tune. This week has served as a reminder that we must be steadfast in our resolve to hold the government to account over the future of this great nation and the gigantic potential it holds. At a dinner on Thursday celebrating his pivotal contribution to the referendum victory, Nigel Farage could not have put it better when he said:
“In America, the revolution is total. The problem we have in this country is that whilst the people have spoken, the same players have been shuffled around the chess board, and we’re still being run by the career professional political class”.
The headline event of the week was Chancellor Philip Hammond’s autumn statement. Mr Hammond recommended a £58bn injection of borrowed capital, supposedly a necessary remedy to as yet undetected Brexit symptoms.
As soon as Jacob Rees-Mogg, along with this campaign and an array of other Eurosceptic luminaries had taken the opportunity to point out the errors in Office for Budget Responsibility’s (OBR) economic forecasts – which prompted the government’s policy to increase borrowing – the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) had further darkened the mood by unleashing yet more pessimistic (and flawed) predictions.
Criminally, the OBR’s forecasts were based on lousy assumptions that do not take into account very likely post-Brexit trade deals, nor did they consider the enormous cost savings to be won from shaving off millions of hours of bureaucracy imposed on businesses by EU regulations. Meanwhile, the IFS bizarrely decided to interpret a weakened and therefore more competitive currency as a drag on the economy.
All of which points to a constellation of influential political actors disguised as impartial ‘experts’ imposing their pro-EU agenda. Earlier in the week – at a CBI conference no less – the Prime Minister hinted at an interim deal with the EU, a disastrous position that will give the EU’s negotiators license to stall during the Article 50 talks, thereby giving them the upper hand.
Furthermore, any agreement struck after the two-year negotiating period will be classed as a treaty and subject to ratification by Parliament. An outcome that would suit Richard Branson and his band of plotters currently building a campaign towards halting Brexit via a second referendum – another of the stories to emerge over the course of the week. The same note was struck by John Major. Another former Prime Minister in the unappealing shape of Tony Blair went a step further, assuring remain voters that the popular will could yet be denied.
All of these developments call for vigilance on the part of we Brexiteers. But contrary to the views of the Establishment, the media, and diehard Remainers, leaving the EU is the rational pathway, one recognised by an increasing slice of the electorate. The latest YouGov poll found that 68% of Britons want to go ahead with Brexit.
During the week, the President of Switzerland gave his blessing to UK membership of EFTA, the looser trade bloc Britain helped to create that could prove to be the more durable model for European trade relations over the longer term; certainly, if the increasingly likely prospect of Marine Le Pen winning the French presidency materialises. Meanwhile, Norway and Spain said ‘no’ to the prospect of Scottish internal market membership.
Finally, a member of the influential if misguided Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee accused the economic establishment of overrating the significance of Brexit-driven ‘uncertainty’ to the UK economy’s economic health. A point that has been crying out to be made by a leading commentator.
After all, the UK does not, for the most part, rely on internal market membership for services, its biggest class of export. Manufactured goods sold to the EU account for only a fraction of our economy. In other words, Britain’s economic dependence on the EU is marginal. Both the danger of uncertainty in the run-up to Brexit and Brexit itself are equally marginal.
As Leavers, it is our duty to dampen the flames the Remainers are so desperate to fan. We are leaving the EU, it is everyone’s duty to make a success of it.
The Leave.EU Team