Last week I wrote an article alleging that Civil Service plans, which outline a safe, secure way for Britain to exit the EU, are circulating Whitehall. My article, which was widely shared online, prompted a number of messages on social media from people who accused me of being a conspiracy nut. Over the weekend, the Sunday Express reported that the Cabinet Secretary and head of the Civil Service, Sir Jeremy Heywood, has confirmed the existence of these plans.
If you'd like to put pressure on David Cameron to tell us what's in these plans, please sign this petition and then send it to everyone you know.
As I suggested in my original article and the follow up, this news has the potential to change to course of the campaign. The remain camp has tried to terrify the British public into thinking that a vote to leave could push the country towards economic catastrophe. These claims have been irresponsible and untrue. Those campaigning to remain have been able to get away with the most outrageous scaremongering because the government called the referendum and then left the British public in ignorance.
A responsible government would have produced an impartial guide to both the leave and remain options, which would have set out a common understanding of certain basic things, such as how the EU works and our potential exit plan. I believe that the government deliberately left the public in ignorance, because it knew that if people truly understood how the EU works, the power it has over the UK, what it does to our relationships with the rest of the world, and how smooth and safe our departure could be, people would vote to leave by an overwhelming majority. Our ignorance has given the remain campaign the ability to terrify us. The sceptic in me can't help but think that this referendum was purely for show, that we were never really meant to have a choice. Fortunately the British people are too sharp to be swindled.
Thankfully, in addition to the public's innate good sense, there are also bloggers, journalists and economists who are working tirelessly to highlight the failings of the EU and the flaws in the remain campaign's scaremongering. If you'd like to know more, here are some of the people I'd recommend checking out:
I've called for the publication of the secret Civil Service exit plans because I believe they will demolish the remain campaign's scaremongering. There is a process that will get Britain out of the EU safely. It might not give us everything we want immediately, but it will give us almost everything we need, and will be the first step on the road towards a negotiated settlement.
I've also been suggesting that whenever a 'remain' government minister tries to use scaremongering to bully voters, he or she should be put on the spot and asked about implementation of a leave vote. If, as seems likely, the UK does vote to leave, what will you do, Minister? Given how terrible you say leaving would be, will you resign? Will you try to thwart the people's mandate? Or will you admit that there is in fact a safe, secure method for Britain to leave the EU?
Let's Start Demanding Answers From Remain Ministers
If you're interested in getting involved and putting pressure on government ministers to tell us how they will implement a leave vote, please sign this petition and send it to everyone you know.
On Friday, I tweeted a figure from a House of Commons Report that forecasted a 32.1% rise in our net contribution for this year. The tweet quickly went viral and someone messaged me saying that I was going to accuse the CIA of being involved next. I wish I was one of the Lone Gunmen, that I was making all this up. The trouble is it's all real and available to anyone who's willing to wade through millions of pages of reports, legislation, regulation, speeches, filings and other turgid documents. The EU thrives on its own complexity and the ignorance of the people it governs. All this information is freely available to anyone who has the inclination to look - and if you're not looking, you should be. I'd recommend starting with the Lisbon Treaty, which is the document that gives the EU supreme legislative authority over all our lives. It's a turgid, but terrifying read for anyone with the slightest interest in democracy and government accountability.
Last week also saw German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble threaten Britain if its people choose to exercise their democratic right to leave the EU. Do you really want to bully people, Mr Schäuble? To threaten them? To make them feel that there is no escape from the EU?
Personally, I would ignore Mr Schäuble's intervention. The EU has concealed some enormous skeletons from the people it governs. Right now the British people only want to leave, but if those skeletons ever came to light, the British people, and many others across Europe might be so angry that they'd want to hold the EU to account. Whatever the decision of the British people, our relations with the EU and our European partners must be cordial and should be conducted in the spirit of cooperation and respect. Regardless of our future political arrangements, socially and economically we have a common interest in mutual success. Even the most militant Brexiteers want Britain to have good relations with its European neighbours and I would hope that, underneath the bluster, Mr Schäuble feels the same way.
This referendum is democracy in action, a popular movement of the people for the people. Get involved. Ask David Cameron to reveal how he will implement a leave vote. Sign this petition, tweet it, share it on Facebook, email everyone you know, and generally cause a ruckus until government ministers admit the truth; that we can leave the EU safely. Use hashtag #wyp (What's Your Plan?) to get the issue trending on Twitter.
Tomorrow, I'll give a 101 explainer on the news that Roland Smith broke on Friday, which reveals why Jeremy Corbyn is lying to himself and the British public about TTIP.