Yesterday I attended the launch of The Leave Alliance (TLA). TLA is a network of new and established political groups, bloggers and tweeters who are committed to winning the EU referendum for the “leave” side. What makes TLA unique among the declared leave groups is its support for a credible Brexit plan.
Flexcit: The Market Solution is a six-phase plan for recovering Britain’s national independence in stages, as part of a continuous process, rather than as a one-time event. That change of perspective shifts the Brexit debate firmly in the direction of pragmatic and practical politics. The exact form that our post-Brexit deal takes is less important than our vision for what we will do with our national independence. Self-governance means taking responsibility unto ourselves and, if our politicians are any indication, a long process of discovery and rediscovery lies ahead.
So as to short cut the economics- and trade-centred debate that has been allowed (some might say encouraged) to obscure the more important political question—who governs Britain?—the Flexcit plan advocates remaining in the Single Market and then working to create a genuine free trade area in Europe whilst also rebuilding the national policy-making framework and enhancing our democracy by means of The Harrogate Agenda.
TLA members include EUReferendum.com, Restore Britain’s Fish, The Campaign for an Independent Britain, The Bruges Group, Futurus and The Harrogate Agenda.
The first person to speak at the event was founder and director of Restore Britain’s Fish, John Ashworth, who wonderfully summarised the destructive and alienating affect of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) and what he called the “whole sordid 43 year affair” of Britain’s EU membership involving as it does nothing less than “the eradication of our nation”. The betrayal of Britain’s fishermen by successive governments is in fact a perfect microcosm of the destructive impact that delegating national governance to supranational EU institutions has had upon Britain as a nation state. Mr Ashworth’s brief description was greeted by spontaneous applause.
EUReferendum.com, the foremost Brexit blog in the country, run by Dr Richard North, Pete North, and now supplemented by a Bloggers Army, was ably represented by Pete North. This group is committed to the idea that restoring and enhancing Britain’s democratic self-governance is the first stage of a process that will give ordinary people more say over their own lives and the future direction of their country. Mr North spoke specifically about the unique efforts of EUReferendum.com’s Bloggers Army to influence the online debate, challenging opinion-formers, diffusing scaremongering and setting forth a serious vision for an independent Britain.
Bringing further clarity to proceedings was Anthony Scholefield, director of the Futurus think tank, which was founded to address policy issues that have been neglected for too long among legacy sources. Mr Scholefield addressed the fact that the EU really is a unique institution—not an agreement between governments but a new structure above governments that is thereby incompatible with self-governance. That fundamental truth is what British politicians and businesses have never seemed willing or able to understand or embrace head-on.
The oldest anti-EU organisation in the country, the Campaign for an Independent Britain, now chaired by Edward Spalton, is also a member of TLA. Mr Spalton evocatively turned the Prime Minister’s “leap in the dark” metaphor on its head, suggesting that people think of Brexit “not [as] a risky leap, but [as] a confident step from the smoke and mirrors of the EU to a brighter, sunnier world”.
Rounding out the speakers present on the day was Niall Warry (who also did an excellent job chairing the event), director of The Harrogate Agenda, which is an integral part of the Flexcit plan, aimed at bringing real democracy (direct democracy) to the United Kingdom. Director of the Bruges Group, Robert Oulds, was not in attendance, but is likewise supporting TLA and its plan for a secure transition from EU Member State to self-governing country.
With the introductions in the can, the stage was set for Dr Richard North to expand upon TLA’s “public declaration of strategy”, a campaign component that is missing from all of the other Brexit groups. More to follow in part II.