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New situation, old truths

30 July 2019

Leavers holding politicians’ feet to the fire outside Parliament last week.

Much is new about the current situation. Above all, the installation of a government that seems ready to implement Brexit, ready to do battle with the old establishment that was locked into the EU way of thinking. 

This is also new political territory for the EU, which has been used to popular resistance rolling over and submitting, as was the case in Ireland and Greece. 

But amid the spirit of optimism among Brexiters, some old truths remain. Brexit has never been the property of politicians. Nor can it be left to them to implement while we gaze on from the sidelines.

The people

The people are at the heart of all progress. The vote to leave came from people’s understanding that the EU gives all control to transnational companies and their appointed European Commissioners. 

Only pressure by the people kept us out of the euro. Only pressure by the people forced parliament to agree to hold the referendum. Only the popular pressure to make decisions about our country in our country delivered the 17.4 million votes to Leave. 

‘Only pressure from the people has stopped the establishment from overturning the referendum result.’

And only pressure from the people – the weight, the strength, the determination of 17.4 million votes and the persistence of that resolve since the vote – has stopped the establishment from overturning the referendum result. It has seen off two prime ministers: Cameron and May.

Johnson launched his campaign on 24 May with the pledge, “Britain must leave the EU by 31 October, deal or no deal.” Now we must hold him to that. But we cannot leave it to Johnson to deliver independence. 


This year has seen the creation of a party with Brexit as its name. And the period since the Leave vote has seen the emergence of grassroots organisations around the country that see their role as re-energising the fight for independence. Never have they been more necessary. 

There is work to be done. The next four months will decide the future of the country. And if we have learnt anything in the past three years, it is that fine words from politicians are as cheap as chips. “Brexit means Brexit.” “No deal is better than a bad deal.” 

To win the Brexit we voted for, the people must take responsibility for reshaping the politics of Britain. We must fight to build a self-reliant economy and a new democracy, one that works for the people.

We have our own red line: independence. It’s up to us to hold the politicians to it.