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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

An election is coming — Boris can only win it by being brave enough to go for a clean Brexit

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The government’s announcement today that a Queen’s Speech will be held on October 14th (proroguing parliament in the process) makes a confidence motion now certain, a general election more likely and is seen as a positive move by Brexiteers. This comes as a clear message was sent to the heart of Westminster on Tuesday when we announced that we have 635 approved candidates in place across the country. The Brexit Party stands ready to fight the next general election. In fact, we are more prepared than any other party in British politics today.

As was the case in May, when we won the European elections so decisively, we have selected a wide range of men and women from all backgrounds and from every walk of life. They share one common purpose: to fight for democracy. Every single one of them is willing to put their country ahead of any other political ambitions or considerations.

It is heartening and humbling to know that so many figures of this calibre are willing to act in the interests of the 17.4 million people who voted for Brexit, because we need them now more than ever.

The summer is over and with it, I would suggest, is Boris Johnson’s brief honeymoon period. I say this because the new prime minister has been touring Europe in recent days. My having listened closely to his various statements, it is apparent that he now wants to reheat the same European treaty which his predecessor, Theresa May, failed to get through the House of Commons three times. By doing so, I think he risks stepping into very dangerous territory.

Despite all of his previous negative comments about Mrs May’s new EU treaty (remember his talk of the UK becoming a “vassal state”?) Johnson now seems to think that achieving the withdrawal agreement without the Irish backstop is acceptable. Indeed, he said last week in his letter to the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, that securing this is his “highest priority.” 

Yet without the backstop, this would be the worst so-called deal in British history. It would bind our nation to the customs union; maintain the jurisdiction of the EU’s courts over the UK’s; and would fail to return to the UK control over our own fishing waters. It would also rule out Britain’s ability to strike any new trade agreements outside of the EU and would cost taxpayers £39 billion. 

I know that I am not alone in finding Johnson’s stance deeply alarming. Perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised, though. It can never be said too many times: he is the man who voted for May’s aforementioned abysmal treaty at the third time of asking, back in March, despite having exerted considerable energy criticising it. He can hardly be called consistent.

If Johnson does choose to sell out his own people by consigning Britain to such a position of weakness, the Brexit Party would have no choice but to fight him in every seat at the next national poll. If, however, he is brave to do the right thing and go for a clean break Brexit we would put country before party and would help him. Indeed, the Brexit Party would be happy to make him a hero.

The European elections proved that the two major political parties can no longer assume their traditional vote will turn out in sufficient numbers every time. In the case of Labour, a big chunk of its supporters have no faith in its position on Brexit because of Jeremy Corbyn. His rambling performance on this key issue of our times has been a shameful betrayal of the five million Labourites who backed Leave in 2016. The Brexit Party will target the many Leave-voting seats currently held by Remain Labour MPs. As the Conservatives know very well, their party would have no hope in these seats. But the Brexit Party has every chance, as those European elections showed.

With that said, the Conservatives themselves have lost a considerable amount of public trust in recent years. It is clear the only way they could possibly win a general election outright is with external backing of some kind. In the current environment, they can only rely on the support of one other major party, namely the Brexit Party.

It is up to the prime minister. If he wants to be returned to Downing Street, he knows the surest way of succeeding is to co-operate. Not for the first time in recent weeks, I find myself asking: does he have the courage to do the right thing?

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