We face an existential threat as real as any we have faced in a thousand years of history, as real as the Spanish armada, or Napoleon, the Kaiser or Hitler. This time however, the threat is as much internal as from overseas. The majority of our Parliament are determined to see us (and prefer to have us) absorbed into a European state than as an independent, self-determining nation – something which in previous ages would have constituted treason, which would have seen their heads on poles.
It is not the first time this has happened. We have in our history witnessed many times elements of the establishment who have preferred to hitch their wagon to a foreign power for the purpose of naked self-interest. The Anglo Saxons paid gold, Danegeld, to a fearsome, bullying adversary rather than fight until they chose to get off their knees. There were many determined to undermine Elizabeth I in order to see Britain subject to a powerful continental demagogue and to the philosophy of Rome, because it suited their narrow, self-interest. The majority of the Conservative party were opposed to Churchill and supported the appeasement of Germany, in order to preserve the status quo for themselves. But never before have the majority of our rulers and ‘betters’ been so determined to sell their countrymen to a foreign power. To be an Englishmen now must feel as it did to the Anglo Saxons conquered by the Normans; at least the Normans viciously defended their conquest.
If our leaders now sell out to a German-led EU, our forefathers will turn over in their graves and it may very well spell the end of Britain as an independent, self-governing nation. Shame on our Parliamentarians. Shame on our establishment.
Our Parliament gave the choice of leaving the increasingly Orwellian EU to the people of our country in a referendum, following which they voted to leave by triggering Article 50. The referendum never mentioned a deal. The ballot paper gave a choice between remain or just leave. That’s what people voted for. It is only the Remain-dominated government who deliberately turned a simple instruction into a convoluted negotiation for a deal. A charade to keep us in the orbit of the EU. The German Chancellor must have been laughing up her sleeve.
Parliament voted for the Withdrawal Act. In 2017′s General Election, the vast majority of people, some 85%, voted for political parties who promised to leave the EU, including the Single Market and the customs union. And yet the establishment have done everything possible to frustrate us leaving, to keep us in, because they no longer believe in Britain, they see their interests and their future as part of the privileged rulers of a European state, albeit dominated by its architect and principle beneficiary, Germany. Third time lucky!
Those that have connived are beneath contempt: the CBI and other business groups. The governor of the Bank of England. The Chancellor and Treasury. The self-righteous Dominic Grieve and his band of MPs. The utterly nauseating Blair, Major and Heseltine. Amber Rudd and brother Roland, to name but a few.
Theresa May’s so-called Brexit is BRINO (Brexit in name only) writ large. Fretted by Remainers, it is designed to be worse than staying in the EU, a Hobson’s choice for Brexiteers and no result at all for Brexit voters. If the Prime Minister now continues to pursue this with an Article 50 extension or outright removal, as is the Chancellor’s plan, we may well be better off with an election. At least then the Parties will have to come clean on Brexit in their manifestos.
But even if the Remainers win and we stay in the EU, its absurdity and pernicious toxicity will become increasingly apparent. The genie is out of the bottle, Pandora’s box is open. The people of our country, old and young, are alive to the EU/establishment game and are watching. The game is up.
If we stay in, there will be outrage and anger at the blatant audacity of the establishment. Disenchantment and disobedience in the face of the institutions of our country. Disdain at our failed democracy. There will be a constant civil war to frustrate our continued participation in the European project. While the people may be exhausted, disheartened and cowed, a new generation will grow up determined. In the meantime there will be trouble, difficult to predict and unexpected, the establishment will reap the whirlwind.
Britain will maintain its position at the exit door, not part of the doomed and bankrupt Eurozone. Resistant to military integration, alive to resist further political and institutional integration. We would be a constant thorn, and Europe would rue the day it colluded with our collaborator leaders to maintain the status quo.
We now have days to see the UK free of the EU shackles and become a beacon of light, a free market with a prosperous and booming economy, true to our history and our destiny. This could well be the most important moment in our history. MPs should ask themselves, do they want to be the people who ensure that history is written not by us, but by the EU.
John Longworth is co-chairman of Leave Means Leave and a former director general of the British Chambers of Commerce. He sits on the advisory board of Economists for Free Trade and the IEA