The election campaign trundles along, with no major excitement during this week’s debates. Jeremy Corbyn refused to be pinned down on his personal stance on Brexit but has since suggested that he would stay neutral in Labour’s proposed Second Referendum. Labour launched a number of eye-catching policies in its manifesto this week, but its Brexit policy remains a muddle. BfB is non-party political, but this confirms our belief that voters who want Brexit will have to vote for the Tories in this election.
As BfB co-editor Graham Gudgin discusses on the website this week, a Tory majority is a realistic prospect. Polls this week have also suggested that Jo Swinson has not been a hit with the public. Voters have not fallen for the old trick of hiding blatantly anti-democratic values by putting democracy in your name: Democratic Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of Korea, Liberal Democrats, etc. Swinson’s revoke strategy was always going to be high risk. What will the pro-revoke party do once Britain has left the EU? Hopefully we will have the pleasure of watching the Lib Dems trying to wriggle out of that one in the near future. We are already being treated to all sorts of embarrassing squirming by Lib Dems trying to argue that Boris Johnson’s Deal is the same as No Deal.
In other news about organisations with comically Orwellian names, this week we also take a look at infighting amongst the People’s Vote campaign. This week Alastair Campbell has written a striking exposé about former chairman of Open Britain, Roland Rudd, which we have summarised on our website. Happily, Rudd’s politicking has completely undermined the People’s Vote campaign’s plans to influence the election. It comes as no surprise to us at BfB that the upper ranks of the People’s Vote team turn out to have been driven by considerations of personal status and glory within a privileged London elite, rather than serious political thinking.
The public are soon to decide a historic election battle, that will shape the direction of British politics for years to come. Despite all the distractions the campaigners have thrown at us, we hope voters will remember that Brexit is the central issue.
This week BfB co-editor Graham Gudgin explained to the French magazine L’Incorrect why the Irish border question is “un faux problème”.
On the website this week
Who Will Win the 2019 General Election? By Graham Gudgin
The 2019 general election is unusually complex but, as BfB co-editor Graham Gudgin explains, electoral modelling suggests that the Conservative Party’s current poll lead will result in a clear majority in the next parliament. Tactical voting could upset this result but even a quite strong switch in votes from LibDems and Greens to Labour in seats potentially vulnerable as Tory gains may be insufficient to remove this majority. This article is an updated and revised version of a similar article on the Spectator’s Coffee House blog. The results are different because national poll standings have changed and because assumptions are slightly different.
“It’s easy to assume that the United Kingdom is pretty much picking up its ball and going home when it comes to welcoming foreign talent and specialised skill sets from overseas, but nothing could be further from the truth.”
Scotland and the EU, by Philip Towle
It is often claimed that Brexit makes Scottish independence more likely. But would the Scots really wish to give up real political influence in the UK and major economic advantages to become one of many minor players in an organization dominated by Germany and France—assuming that the EU accepted them? Dr Philip Towle, Emeritus Reader in International Relations, investigates.
“The Scots clearly have much more influence in London than they ever would in Brussels.”
The People’s Vote mess, by Briefings for Brexit
The campaign for a so-called ‘People’s Vote’ has gone strangely quiet during election campaigning. We look at what’s been going on behind the scenes – an ugly tale of cronyism, infighting and questionable links to big business.
“Committed Remainers have a tendency to claim that their side has a monopoly of moral authority. Unscrupulous figures like Roland Rudd show that this is pure delusion.”
We are also on Twitter, posting articles and retweeting the daily events that bring Brexit to the fore in the national news.
Discussion continues on Facebook too. Lulu Rich offered her own addition to our article on Scotland and the EU: “They can’t afford to join the EU and the scots have already decided that they want to remain part of the UK. Move on.”
How you can help
We urge our supporters to ‘take back control’ in our present confusion. There are thousands of you. Our MPs listen to their constituents. Sign up to the Brexit Pledge here. Write to your MPs. Perhaps send them copies of some of our articles (or links to them), especially when they are relevant to your local conditions – for example, in rural areas, on the threat to British agriculture. Better still, make an appointment to see them at their next surgery: they will take notice when people are lining up at their doors. Make you views known where MPs might be wavering, or where they are working to sabotage Brexit, especially in Leave-voting and marginal constituencies, which Richard Johnson listed in his recent article.
Do also keep reading our posts, and to tell others about us. Share links to our quality content so that others can understand how leaving the EU can be good for the UK economy and for our own democratic governance. We aim to educate our critics to think differently and more positively about the long-term impact of Brexit
You can follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/briefing4brexit
And Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BriefingsForBrexit/
An Oxbridge PhD Student
Dr Graham Gudgin
Economist, Centre for Business Research, Judge Business School University of Cambridge
Professor Robert Tombs
Emeritus Professor of French History, University of Cambridge