This has put into perspective what has been an eventful fortnight of politics. Last week’s General Election gave an unexpected result, with the Conservatives losing their majority in the House of Commons. A number of really great Eurosceptic MPs have, as a result of the surprising national result, lost their seats in parliament. David Nuttall and James Wharton – who proposed legislation for an EU Referendum in 2011 and 2013 respectively – will be among those missed, as will Stewart Jackson, who had been Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Brexit Secretary, David Davis.
However, we must reject the media narrative painting this as a vote against Brexit. Despite the many shortcomings in their Brexit policy, Labour have committed to leaving the EU and its Single Market. Along with UKIP support, this means over 85% of voters opted for parties which oppose Single Market membership. The truly anti-Brexit parties – the Liberal Democrats, the SNP, and the Greens – they all saw their share of the vote drop.
The LibDems lost £18,750 in deposits alone, as they failed to achieve 5% of the vote in 375 constituencies. And the Greens fared even worse, losing their deposit in 455 constituencies – a total of £22,750. So much for their pro-EU support!
The notorious Gina Miller, who is doing her very best to destroy Brexit, founded a campaign group, ‘Best for Britain’, to campaign for Remainers. While the Labour candidates it backed got into Parliament, they rode Corbyn’s coattails with a pro-Brexit manifesto. Our Gina Miller article is a must read: you can read this exclusive article on our website here. The candidates from the truly anti-Brexit parties whom she backed performed terribly in the General Election, with only 4 out of 20 winning in their constituencies, and the Liberal Democrats losing votes from 2015.
Many factors hurt the Conservatives on election day, including a relatively small number of activists. Fewer Tories were willing to pound the streets for their candidates – perhaps they had to take care of their day-jobs after so many elections, etc! – while many of Labour’s extremely motivated base flooded into marginal constituencies.
Meanwhile, in their target seats, the LibDems bombarded voters with leaflets. We understand many of their leaflets have been distributed by paid activists – so on top of all the money they lost in deposits, more money was wasted by their lack of success!
The Conservatives were also relying on deeply faulty polling data, and had been expecting a majority as high as 92 – some MPs who lost their seats have said they were told they were safe, and were directed to help out elsewhere on election day, in seats which the Tories turned out to be nowhere near winning. For example, throughout the campaign, activists from Kensington were helping in Ealing Central and Acton, which was lost by 13,802 votes, while Kensington itself was taken by Labour by only 20 votes – after several re-counts – for the first time since it was made a constituency in 1974!
Lynton Crosby’s now-infamous ‘strong and stable’ campaign line failed to hit home, and Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill’s manifesto proved to be hugely unpopular. Control of the campaign appeared to shift between Crosby, Timothy and Hill, creating a disjointed campaign which struggled to get its message across. Clearly it was unpopular!
There are many reasons why the Conservatives failed to get a majority – but Brexit is not one of them. The Tories’ few gains in England were almost all in pro-Brexit heartlands like Stoke, Mansfield, and Walsall, as well the Tories regaining UKIP’s only former seat in Clacton, previously won by Douglas Carswell. Polling has shown around 70% of the Great British Public now want the Government to press on with Brexit, regardless of whether they voted ‘Leave’ or ‘Remain’ in the EU Referendum in June almost a year ago.
Nonetheless, some ex-Remainers are trying to seize upon this current uncertainty to impose a ‘soft’ Brexit on the British people. The ‘former Remainer’ Philip Hammond, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, is believed to be lobbying for the Customs Union. If you recall, Get Britain Out has been watching him carefully as he has been aligning with other Remainers, including the Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney! Meanwhile, the likes of Anna Soubry are advocating the Single Market with renewed enthusiasm.
Fuelling concerns, a number of notable Remainers, like Damian Green and Gavin Barwell, have been given very prominent and influential positions in the post-election reshuffle by the Prime Minister. Brexit Secretary, David Davis, was astonishingly not informed about the removal of one of his key ministers, the pro-Brexit David Jones, who campaigned so successfully for Vote Leave up to the EU Referendum. He was replaced by Baroness Anelay, thought to have been a Remainer, again, it is believed without consultation with David Davis.
All these efforts to force the Government to stray from its Brexit plan must be resisted. Last year the Great British Public voted to take back control of our laws and sovereignty, our borders, our money, and our trade policy – and this mandate must be respected. Backsliding on Brexit would not be the right thing to do, nor would it be a popular thing to do. We at Get Britain Out will be keeping a careful eye on what is going on and will do our best to make sure Brexit keeps on track with the best deal for Great Britain.
There is, however, reason to have confidence in Theresa May’s Government. May is believed to be committed to leaving the Single Market and Customs Union, and is unlikely to bend to Hammond’s will. Leading Brexiteer Steve Baker has been appointed as a minister in the Brexit department, and a number of pro-Brexit MPs have been made Government Whips.
Most importantly of all, however, the Democratic Unionist Party (the DUP), on whose votes the Government will have to rely in Parliament, are a Eurosceptic party, committed to a real Brexit. The DUP have said they prefer the Prime Minister’s vision of Brexit to Hammond’s, and will oppose any effort to keep Britain in the Single Market or the Customs Union. While the formal deal between the Conservatives and the DUP has yet to be finalised, apparently due to nit-picking by the Treasury over money for Northern Ireland (again, Hammond’s fingers in the pie), the news the Queen’s Speech has already been set for next Wednesday suggests no problems are expected. Apologies to Her Majesty.
The DUP will give the Government a small majority in the House of Commons, and any Tory Remoaner votes should be compensated for by Labour Brexiteers like the brilliant Kate Hoey – who, despite the best efforts of the LibDems, was re-elected in her constituency with a thumping doubling of her majority. Moreover, after the massive 85% vote for anti-Single Market parties, the House of Lords must realise they have no mandate to block vital Brexit legislation like the Great Repeal Bill.
After a long and often bitter election campaign, politics is slowly beginning to settle down. It is time for us Brexiteers to put aside party differences once again, and support the Government in its effort to get the best Brexit deal in the negotiations, which will start on Monday. We cannot allow the Remoaners to exploit this opportunity to water down, or even stop, Brexit. With the Article 50 clock ticking, if we remain vigilant, then we should be less than two years away from finally leaving the European Union.
This is all for now – and remember – ONWARDS AND OUTWARDS!
Jayne Adye, Campaign Director, and the Team at Get Britain Out
P.S. Please remember to send this e-Bulletin to everyone else you think will be interested and who might want to know more. Here is the Sign Up link. Huge thanks for your continued support, which is hugely appreciated.
P.P.S. Everything you contribute to our campaign in donations goes towards our work to secure the best Brexit for Great Britain – every £ counts.