It is time to relaunch the Brexit campaign to stop politicians from betraying millions of Leave voters
When we set up Leave Means Leave after the referendum, we thought it might be needed for six months. We hoped that we could trust the Government to do the job they had been instructed to do by the British people. People knew what they were voting for. They dismissed the ridiculous scaremongering of Project Fear and voted in the largest numbers ever to leave the EU.
None of us imagined that, two years on, we would have to refight the battle. We never dreamt that we would have to attack some desperate “Chequers” proposal from the Prime Minister, which led to the resignation of two of the most influential Brexit-supporting Cabinet ministers. None of us feared being let down by other Cabinet Brexiteers, who we thought we could trust. Today, they are trying to sell thin gruel to Brexit voters as if it were some sort of delicacy. It is a con, and must be exposed as such.
At Westminster, there is already talk about extending Article 50 – a reflection of the incompetence of the negotiating strategy to date and the cynical machinations of a powerful cabal determined to deny the will of the people.
We cannot stand by and let them get away with it. Most Brexit supporters are under no illusions about what is going on. They are looking for action before it is too late. They don’t want a historic opportunity to take this country in a new direction, free of the shackles of Brussels, to be casually squandered by politicians who never believed in the vision in the first place.
So Leave Means Leave is preparing to relaunch the Brexit campaign.
While politicians are on their sunloungers, we have spent August fundraising – and the response has been astonishing. Donors large and small have already committed funds and we are optimistic of more to come. Public anger is palpable.
Among those most keen to support a new campaign are traditional Tory donors disillusioned by the handling of Brexit. A number are so angry about what is going on that they have told us they will stop donating to the Conservative Party unless there is a major change in approach. Should the party leadership stick doggedly to the flawed Chequers proposal, it should be prepared to haemorrhage funds.
The mood among voters differs sharply from the mood in the Westminster bubble, where too many MPs seem to think they know better than those who elected them.
Project Fear Round 2, carefully coordinated by the vested interests of the establishment, ably led by the Governor of the Bank of England, the CBI and the chief executives of multinational firms, has been in full swing for months.
Voters see it for what it is. Already they feel betrayed by the political class. They continue to believe this country has a brighter future outside the failing EU project.
Many British entrepreneurs agree. If we get this right, there are great opportunities ahead. This really is the difference: entrepreneurs who believe in Britain versus salaried managers at multinationals who are in it for the short term and are preoccupied by the size of their bonuses.
Since the Chequers announcement, we have been inundated with inquiries from people who want to get involved and support our work. Later this month, we will reveal more details of our plans and objectives. This is going to be big, and we are hiring more people as we speak.
Crucially, this will be a nationwide effort, not an intellectual exercise from air-conditioned offices in London. We want to take our campaign to the people. So many ordinary voters feel let down by their MPs.
The next six months will determine the future direction of our country. It is nothing less than a Battle for Britain.
Do we want to remain handcuffed to an outdated, protectionist bullying bureaucracy as a vassal state? Or do we want to be a bold, ambitious trading nation, retaking our rightful place on the global stage as a strong independent country, enjoying the significant economic benefits that flow from a proper Brexit?
Richard Tice and John Longworth are entrepreneurs and co-chairmen of Leave Means Leave
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