Introducing Brexit: the Road to Freedom

Introducing <i>Brexit: the Road to Freedom</i>

My new book, Brexit: the Road to Freedom, is written from the experience of working on the Leave campaign in Redbridge and Epping from the start of the campaign early in 2016 up to the present.

It book begins with a brief overview of Britain’s development as a democracy and looks at the history of the European Economic Community/European Community/European Union since 1951.

The second chapter examines some economic themes, starting with the EU’s austerity policies. It looks at the sums that we pay the EU and at the claim that we send it £350 million a week. It reviews some of the forecasts made during the campaign. It examines the EU’s Customs Union, its Single Market and its relationship with Greece. It maintains that the Leave vote was about taking control of our money, our laws and our borders. This means leaving the Customs Union and the Single Market. To stay in either of them would be to stay in the EU, Brexit in name only, which means democracy in name only.

The third chapter looks at the implications of the 2014 referendum in Scotland and the policies of the Scottish National Party. It examines Scotland’s economic prospects as an independent nation inside the EU.

Chapter 4 is a study of the 2016 referendum campaign and the implications of the decision. It asks whether the result was binding and shows how the referendum was about who writes our laws, not about what laws to have. We decided that the British people, not the unelected European Commission, should make the decisions about Britain’s future. It was a great exercise in democracy.

Some claimed that a vote to leave was a vote for Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson, but it was never about them (although the pro-EU campaign tried to make it about them). There were no names on the ballot paper because the vote was not about politicians. There were no political parties on the ballot paper, because the vote was not about political parties. Nor was the vote about the campaigns. The question was not: “Do you approve of the Leave campaign or not?”

The next chapter presents some ideas about the decision’s likely impacts on our rights and on immigration. It looks at the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, workers’ rights in the EU, EU citizens’ rights and hate crimes. It looks at immigration’s effect on wages and public services.

Chapter 6 looks at the EU’s impact on Britain’s foreign and defence policy. It examines the EU’s reputation as a force for peace, the moves towards creating an EU army, Europol and the Irish border issue.

Chapter 7 traces the process of leaving the EU, the EU’s development, the June 2017 general election, the role of the European Court of Justice and the different visons of our future. Guy Verhofstadt says that the EU will not ratify Brexit until 2038. Michel Barnier wants us never to leave: “The best situation will be to remain a member of the EU,” he said. What kind of body forbids you to leave? An abuser in an abusive relationship? And why? Poland’s foreign minister suggested an answer: “Poland’s interest [is] that Britain remains a member of the EU and pays into the bloc’s budget for as long as possible.”

The book concludes with a look at an independent Britain’s future, at our manufacturing industry, vehicle production, steel, transport, energy, the National Health Service, research, higher education, the countryside and the Common Agricultural Policy, and the sea and the Common Fisheries Policy.

We need an industrial strategy, with a balanced, robust and cheap energy policy, to lessen our dependence on imported energy. Firms, government departments and local authorities should buy British. We need more investment in R&D. We need public services, so we can house, educate and provide healthcare for all of us. We need to support our farmers. We need to rebuild our fishing industry through controlling our own waters and implementing a sustainable fisheries policy.