Leave groups split means that the credibility of a withdrawal from the European Union could be damaged. A great effort has been made by both sides to get the official designation but fighting each other isn’t helping
I have always considered National Sovereignty a basic principle of conservatism. Which is why I have never been particularly enthusiastic about David Cameron and his pro EU views. He has blended quite spectacularly into not ‘the heir to Blair’ as he proclaimed but as ‘Blair mark 2’. It seems too many Conservative MPs have been pressured into supporting his position.
Leave Group Split Threatens Brexit Vote
The disagreement between the two rival Brexit groups is centred on two things. One of those is immigration and the other is Nigel Farage. The Vote Leave group wants to avoid the issue of immmigration in the referendum and instead concentrate on its approach to business and broad concepts surrounding what leaving would mean. Vote Leave will try to distance from UKIP and Nigel Farage. What a mistake this would be.
Firstly to address immigration. The issue arouses much emotion, but it needn’t. All Polls however show it to be the most important issue. Vote Leave should not appeal to the small number of Guardian readers by ignoring immigration. It is possible to discuss immigration reasonably. The migrant crisis, made far worse by Angela Merkel’s open door policy increases its importance. The country won’t vote solely on sovereignty or democracy. Winning campaigns always talk about voters concerns, this referendum is no different.
Nigel Farage Seen As Toxic To The Cause
Secondly is Nigel Farage. I admit I have a bias in this as I think he’s fantastic and thanks to him and UKIP, conservatives all across the country have managed to force the so called Conservative Party into a referendum they did not want to give. Now I admit, he is not everybody’s cup of tea, however I do not see a huge swathe of evidence from anyone that suggests people will vote to stay in because Nigel Farage is voting to leave. He has been working for this cause for over 20 years, if people do not know where he stands by now then I don’t know where they have been.
He is a fantastic public speaker and when he is serious, credible and honest he makes a fantastic case, which by the election results shows reaches far and wide, from affluent Conservative areas to impoverished working class Labour ones. A Westminster group think agenda will lose the referendum. It must be wider and I call for the two rival groups to come together officially, where they can then go and appeal to their own groups, separately and quasi-independently.
Vote Leave May Sideline The Immigration Question
We can send Farage and Leave.EU around the country, talking to the working classes about immigration. We can also send Dominic Cummings, Matthew Elliot and Nigel Lawson to talk to business and enterprise. This seems to me to have the makings of a solid group. A group with divergent targets which if pulled together will be hugely successful. Should the groups continue to fight, then once again we might see another re-run of 1975. Remain won it 2:1, not based on facts, but on the projection of a disorganised, infighting rabble. Leave must appear credible, or risk losing. Let us not ruin the future of Britain for the sake of some think tank politics.