Matthew Elliott: Welcome to BrexitCentral

Matthew Elliott: Welcome to BrexitCentral

It gives me great pleasure to welcome you to BrexitCentral and expand here on what I hope this exciting new venture will achieve.

When I founded Business for Britain in 2013, it was all about ensuring that the voice of the many thousands of businesses wanting a new kind of relationship with the European Union could be heard – those who believed that, without substantial change, the country’s interests would be best served by leaving the EU.

No substantial change was offered, we concluded that it was time to leave and take back control and, well, you know the rest: more than 17.4 million voters agreed with us and backed the Vote Leave campaign on 23rd June.

After working with Vote Leave to secure victory at the referendum, Business for Britain is moving into its third phase – who I worked closely with at NOtoAV and Vote Leave – and I am back as Chief Executive. As I wrote in the FT several weeks ago, we now have an important role to play as a forum for business leaders to feed their ideas into the negotiation process.

But while Business for Britain is there to represent business, I also received many emails from activists and volunteers involved in Vote Leave asking how they could follow the Brexit negotiations. They wanted one portal to bring together all the articles relating to Brexit and to provide in-depth analysis of the negotiation – which is why you are now reading BrexitCentral.

A key element of BrexitCentral will be the daily online summary of all Brexit-related news, delivered straight to the inboxes of those who sign up to receive it. The godfather of this format is Tim Montgomerie, whose ConservativeHome website blazed the trail in providing specialist political coverage with a suitably honed morning news digest. His successor at ConHome, Paul Goodman, continues to deliver the goods, as do a number of other assiduous early-rising journalists at other outlets, like Matt Chorley at The Times, Paul Waugh at The Huffington Post and Asa Bennett at the Daily Telegraph.

I certainly hope people will want to read our daily Brexit briefing in tandem with those other morning emails and would encourage you to sign up to receive it if you haven’t done already done so. Its aim, quite simply, is to be a one-stop shop for all the day’s Brexit-related news.

But more than that, we will be providing our own analysis of key events and developments as they happen, as well as hosting informed opinion pieces written by politicians, businessmen, activists – indeed anyone who shares our optimistic vision of Britain after Brexit. If you would like to submit something for publication, please send an email to Jonathan Isaby, who I’m thrilled to have in the editor’s chair, given his considerable years of experience in political journalism at ConservativeHome, the Daily Telegraph and the BBC.

Not only will we be providing a resource for everyone wanting to follow the twists and turns of the UK’s departure from the EU, but we will also be promoting anew that positive vision of a confident, independent, free-trading, sovereign nation and seeking to counter the doom and negativity of those who remain unwilling to accept the referendum result. At both Business for Britain and BrexitCentral, we look forward to co-operating with others who share our vision, such as Change Britain, which I was excited to see launched over the weekend under the chairmanship of Labour’s Gisela Stuart, who it was my privilege to work alongside on the Vote Leave campaign.

A big part of the ongoing effort to promote that optimistic vision of post-Brexit Britain will come through BrexitCentral’s social media channels, not least Twitter and Facebook. On that front it’s great to have on our team Darren Grimes, whose fantastic online BeLeave campaign demonstrated that there was enthusiasm for Leave among all generations of voters during the referendum, and the equally talented Jordan Taylor, who brilliantly overhauled the digital presence of the TaxPayers’ Alliance during her time there.

If you are interested in learning more about my take on the current state of play, you might be interested to watch an address I gave to the Heritage Foundation in Washington DC last week. I explained how the economic woes of Project Fear haven’t come to pass and I outlined the considerable progress that has been made since the referendum – it’s no mean feat selecting a new Prime Minister and setting up two new departments from scratch in less than three months.

It has been a very encouraging start and I’m more optimistic about Britain’s future than I have been at any point in my time as a campaigner. All of us at BrexitCentral look forward to sharing the journey with you over the next few years as we approach that prized destination.