Brexiteers in London must ensure their voice is heard louder than ever at the European election

Brexiteers in London must ensure their voice is heard louder than ever at the European election

When the campaign for the EU referendum kicked off in 2016, I was sanguine about David Cameron’s Government. As a property man, I thought his right-hand-man and Chancellor George Osborne had made some bizarre changes, namely around the tax on residential property but, apart from that, the economy was in much better shape than it had been since the onset of the credit crunch and Cameron had at long last called the referendum the British people had wanted for so many years.

I had little expectation that Leave would win. I was, however, delighted that the democratic voice of the people would be heard on this issue, which had dogged politics and the Tories since the Maastricht Treaty – the agreement which founded the EU and put closer political and economic union into action – was signed in 1992.

I have been an EU-sceptic for as long as I can remember. I have never been able to get my head around its federalist aims, its inherently undemocratic structure, its profligacy, its relentless expansion and its one-size-fits all straitjacket currency. I had studied all of these aspects of the EU, amongst others, and reached my position based on a thoughtful analysis. I felt comfortable with my analysis, even though it was not universally shared.

But as the 2016 EU referendum campaign unfolded, I was increasingly irked by what was later branded Project Fear. Its proponents included not only the Remain camp but, to name a few, the Government, the Bank of England, the CBI, the British Chambers of Commerce and large swathes of the media. It was my first taste of the contempt in which the political class holds Leavers. I am sure that the seeds of my standing for election now were sown in the months before the referendum.

Had we lost the referendum, I would have bitten my lower lip and got on with life. But we did not lose; we won. And in accordance with the promises made by David Cameron, I fully expected that we would now Brexit. I had no idea the humiliation to which May’s Government and Parliament would subject the nation and pointedly to those of us who voted Leave.

I have lived in London nearly all my adult life and had, until 2016, felt entirely welcome here. That changed during the referendum campaign and afterwards. Leave won the vote but Leavers have been and are being treated appallingly. I am sure that all those Londoners who voted Leave – an often under-reported 1.5 million of them – know exactly what I mean.

I would not blame a single Londoner for feeling utterly dejected about the democratic process and those who govern our country. There must be a temptation to flick a metaphorical V-sign at the institutions which govern us and to withdraw into our own shells, never to vote again. But that would be a catastrophic mistake.

Even though Mrs. May’s Government and Parliament have driven the country into a seemingly hopeless cul-de-sac, it is now that we must display that stiff upper lip for which Londoners are renowned. It is now, with the established political class exposed for its ineptitude, that Leavers must stand up and, literally, be counted. It is the de-robing of the political class that gives us the opportunity to effect real change: to change politics for good.

I am very proud to be running in London. It is the greatest city in the world and it is a huge privilege to have the chance to represent it.

If I am elected, I will not rest until we have given effect to a clean Brexit. Not Brexit in name, but Brexit in fact, returning to the UK all the powers traditionally associated with a sovereign nation.

This, however, would only be the first step. There would be little point in returning powers either to the Tories or the Labour Party. They have both proven themselves to be unworthy. Their grip on Parliament must be broken. It is high time to establish a new form of politics – a politics in which a new socio-economic contract is forged with the people, for the people (not originally my line but one which is bang on for where we now find ourselves).

But first things first – we have to win these EU parliamentary elections to give us a seat at the table. We can only achieve this if all Londoners who believe in democracy vote for us. So do not be dejected; do not shrink back into your shell. Please stand up, be counted: vote for Brexit, vote for The Brexit Party. Together we will light a fire under this hopeless established political class.