End of transition: Brexiteers on Brexit – Part 7

Now we have left the Transition Period we asked Brexiteers if they feel Brexit is now complete, for their hopes and their predictions for the future. 

Part 7 below. You can also read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5 and Part 6.

“As comedian Geoff Norcott quips when asked if he regrets voting for a conservative government. “No. I regret not getting one.”

Tam Laird, Leader of the Scottish Libertarian Party.

Did Brexit get done?  I think only technically, but it was a long drawn out torturous process that could have been avoided by (a). Accepting No Deal from the get go. (b). Taking the Norway option. But it is at least a beginning.

How do you hope the U.K. will use the new found freedoms  Freedom is a long way off. BoJo and co are doing their very best to comply entirely with the globalist agenda and their record on individual Liberty so far is abysmal. As comedian Geoff Norcott quips when asked if he regrets voting for a conservative government. “No. I regret not getting one.” But one hopes against hope that they will begin to tear up over sixty other international trade agreements that government had no real right to being involved with in the first place. Business should do business with business and make their own agreements.

What constitutional reform would you like to see happen next?  I hope to see the repeal of the Equality Act of 2010 and the absolute right to free speech guaranteed in a bill of rights based on individual liberties. In the realms of fantasy I would like to see more regional autonomy within the UK on a confederation model.

What do you think is next for the EU?  I think they may do their utmost to frustrate and hamper Britain at every available opportunity especially by using Scotland Ireland and Wales with their pro EU regimes as bulwarks.  But I hope it dies a slow painful wasting death.

“electoral reform and the reshaping of the devolution settlement, including an English parliament based outside London and the reform of the House of Commons”

Andrew Bence, of the Social Democratic Party (SDP).

Did Brexit get done?  Yes, although I can’t pretend to have an in-depth understanding of the pros and cons of the deal that was achieved. Meanwhile, as a non-economist and someone with zero experience of the import/export business, I wait with a degree of trepidation to see exactly how ‘things’ turn out. But the democratic will of the people has, finally, been respected, and as one of those who voted for Brexit, I shall own the decision we made.

How do you hope the UK will use the new found freedoms?  Again, on economic matters I am a layman, trusting in those whose expertise I find persuasive, according to whom any short-term disadvantages will be superseded by advantages long term, as new cooperative arrangements bed in, we develop home-grown products, and export more widely. However, the EU isn’t the only jurisdiction running on a democratic deficit, and my dearest hope is that this renewed focus on sovereignty will inspire a rise in democratic engagement here in the UK, leading to electoral reform and an end to our present mediocre governing duopoly.

What constitutional reform would you like to see happen next?  Abolition of the House of Lords is long overdue. I’d like to see that followed by electoral reform and the reshaping of the devolution settlement, including an English parliament based outside London and the reform of the House of Commons. Details can be found here: https://sdp.org.uk/policies/constitution/.

What do you think is next for the EU?  Entropy? Just as with the broader liberal establishment, I don’t see those at the helm recognising the error of their ways any time soon. Therefore sensible reform, increased democratic accountability, the discarding of the federalist project, these things are unlikely to happen. Europeans will become increasingly disillusioned, looking to the UK to see if the alternative is proving preferable.

“I’d like to see the House of Lords abolished or cut in size. Also and I don’t know if this is constitutional related, but I’d like to see the lockdown over.”

Anonymous local Brexit campaigner.

Did Brexit get done?  Brexit did get done. Technically that was done on 31st January 2020. 

How do you hope the UK will use the new found freedoms?  I’d like to see the UK cut unnecessary regulations and do more free trade deals, particularly with regards to services. Also, I’d like the UK to not pay welfare to EU nationals.

What constitutional reform would you like to see happen next?  I’d like to see the House of Lords abolished or cut in size. Also and I don’t know if this is constitutional related, but I’d like to see the lockdown over.

What do you think is next for the EU?  The EU will survive for now but the EU wants more integration and some member states want less. Eventually that will come to a clash and the EU will either back down or carry on. If it carries on other states will leave. If it backs down on integration then it might survive. 

“we should unilaterally withdraw all import tariffs. Tariffs in the end are self-harming. …so we can reduce consumer prices and give everyone, the poorest in particular, a well-earned break”

Chris Mendes, Croydon South Vote Leave lead, and leader of The Foundation Party.

Did Brexit Get Done?  Yes and no. We have ended the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice and the EU Parliament and the EU Commission no longer govern our country. The free movement of people has ended and we are free to adopt free trade agreements with other nations.

This is excellent news. We who have campaigned hard for our right to national self-government can rightly feel a sense of liberation and victory.

But is this the treaty I would have agreed to? No it is not.

Boris Johnson’s government simply identified and prioritised a set of checkboxes they felt needed ticking to survive in government – namely, the separation from EU institutions mentioned above to placate “Leave” voters, and continued tariff-free access to the Single Market to placate “Remain” voters.

Everything else important was wrongly deprioritised. It is why Northern Ireland remains attached to the Single Market, why the EU still has shared access to our fishing waters, and why in this treaty we have agreed to common rules on employment, competition, state aid and the environment.

These would not have been agreed to if the Prime Minister had a full understanding and a loyal devotion to the principles underlying our independence in the first place. The whole point of leaving is for us to have our own internal conversations about all matters under the sun and to decide for ourselves what we want to do – it’s called democratic self-government.

But yet again, the Conservative Party have agreed to a treaty which is simply supposed to be about trade, but actually includes other policy agreements which it shouldn’t.

The good news however is that we can cancel this new treaty and walk-away in the future, or renegotiate the terms, if we so wish.

Theresa May’s appalling “Withdrawal Agreement” meant that both parties, the UK and the EU, had to agree to its termination before it could be terminated. We effectively came very close to national imprisonment, such was the naivety and insensitivity of that period in our political history.

In summary, having left the European Union a year ago and now agreeing to this new treaty, we are finally an independent and sovereign country again.

But the fight for enhancing our freedom and our liberty further still, with respect to this treaty, as well as Westminster itself and policy matters across the board, is still well and truly on the agenda.

How do you hope the UK will use the new found freedoms?  First and foremost, now that the dilution of our democracy has been reversed, I expect us to discuss as a nation and decide at our general elections what our trade, fisheries, agriculture and immigration policies ought to be.

We haven’t had an open discussion on these matters in recent decades due to Westminster outsourcing them to the European Union, but now our elected politicians are responsible for these matters again, the people will rightly expect robust debate on these vital issues for them to make an informed decision.

On the subject of trade, we should unilaterally withdraw all import tariffs. Tariffs in the end are self-harming. The EU’s Customs Union only succeeds in forcing millions of EU citizens to buy and sell goods at highly inflated prices. We should abandon import tariffs so we can reduce consumer prices and give everyone, the poorest in particular, a well-earned break and more money left over to save or spend on their own priorities.

Moreover, and this is where Boris Johnson’s treaty will hold us back, my ambition would be to look very closely at our industries and identify heavy-handed and counterproductive EU regulations, and indeed UK regulations, that are unnecessarily disrupting economic growth.

Government does need to regulate the markets and there are plenty of areas where constraint is justified, the environment being a sound example. But over recent decades our free market system has become less and less free and we are worse off as a result.

For example, the EU’s gigantic and overly-complex GDPR data protection regulation ought to be abolished, in favour of something far lighter and less burdensome on small businesses. Our archaic Sunday trading laws should also be abolished and we should allow businesses to trade on any day at any time.

Let’s free business to do what they do best and focus on giving the consumer the freedom to choose. This will allow us to grow the economy, expand our manufacturing base and create more jobs across the board in the long-term.

What constitutional reform would you like to see happen next?  After 47 years of our membership of the European Union, with the democratic injustices throughout, such as the signing of treaties that damaged the nation’s capacity for self-government without the consent of the people, the refusal to grant the people their say for so long, and the attempts by Parliament to subvert our decision to leave at the first chance we got, the obvious question is – how do we prevent this from happening again?

The answer is to introduce a Sovereignty Protection Act that prevents Parliament from severely diluting our national sovereignty without the consent of the people.

No policy may be implemented or law passed that would render our Parliament subordinate to any other. Politicians elected in other countries must never again be empowered to make our laws. We should forever have our own independent trade, immigration and defence policy. Our territorial waters shall remain ours to regulate, police and enforce. We shall forever remain economically independent with our own currency and our Supreme Court shall remain supreme.

Never again shall politicians have the unilateral right to change any of the above without explicit permission from the British people, expressed in a referendum, first.

Moreover, we also need a Referendum By Petition Act to allow referendums on constitutional matters to be triggered by popular petition.

If the people are unhappy with a given policy, we simply wait until the next election and vote for a change. But if we are unhappy with how the Government and Parliament works, and what powers over us they have, suiting the politicians but not the people, we must have a route to change.

When a petition on a constitutional matter obtains at least 10% of the voting population, a referendum for the people to adjudicate the matter must be held whether the politicians like it or not.

What do you think is next for the EU?  The direction of travel for the European Union is clear – more centralisation, command and control by the EU’s undemocratic institutions.

Frontex, the “European Border and Coast Guard Agency”, has this week become the EU’s first uniformed service.

This anti-democratic centralisation of power is the irreversible direction of travel of the European Union. This particular reform allows the EU to step closer towards a centralised immigration and border policy, which it has always wanted, and which was accelerated as a result of the EU migrant crisis in 2015.

In that same year, Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor of course, and then-French President François Hollande, both appeared and spoke at the EU Parliament.

They openly stated in explicit terms, and indeed this was one of the very reasons why I decided to campaign for our exit from the European Union, that the EU must have a common defence and common foreign policy.

This dangerous and anti-democratic ideology of centralisation towards a single state called Europe, without the people of Europe’s consent, is at the heart of the true purpose of the European Union.

Now that Britain has left, the authoritarian and paternalistic ideological zealots of Europe’s political elite, who hate the notion of the democratic nation state, will now have a much clearer pathway to their fanatical utopia.

Undemocratic and authoritarian empires that hide from accountability and democratic consent do not last forever. They all come to an end. And so in time will the European Union.

Back to Part 6

Podcast Episode 49 – Brexit Trade Deal, Lockdown 3, Local Elections & US Politics

We are joined by Chris Mendes, the leader of The Foundation Party and local Brexiteer Duncan Forsyth, as we discuss the Post-Brexit Trade Deal with the EU and the latest Covid Lockdown. We then consider the planned May local elections and the latest developments in US politics.

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Podcast Episode 23 – Chris Mendes: COVID Lockdown, the Shadow Cabinet & an update on the Foundation Party

We are joined by Chris Mendes, the leader of the Foundation Party, as we discuss the ongoing COVID 19 Lockdown and the Shadow Cabinet appointments. We then chat with Chris about his experiences as a political campaigner, what led to the creation of the Foundation Party and their future plans. The link to our virtual meet-up is: https://www.gotomeet.me/CroydonConstitutionalists

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You can read our interview with Chris at http://croydonconstitutionalists.uk/interview-with-foundation-party-leader-chris-mendes/ and his speech at our Debate for Democracy at http://croydonconstitutionalists.uk/grassroots-democracy-in-croydon/.

Interview with Foundation Party Leader Chris Mendes

We are delighted to interview Foundation Party Leader Chris Mendes.

Chris has declared the major political parties not fit for purpose, and says the country is desperately missing a party, one that is more patriotic and genuinely at the service of ordinary people rather than themselves.  Many of you will remember Chris from when he was the Vote Leave lead in Croydon South during the referendum. 

The Foundation Party is a long-term project for building a serious platform for clear patriotic principles for like-minded individuals who believe that our country can do so much better.

Chris thank-you for agreeing to this interview.

What first got you involved in politics?

The EU referendum. A choice between one direction or another was never clearer. Having adopted a strongly held view – to leave – the permanent nature of the referendum result compelled me to act. Over an eight month period I campaigned on the ground running street stalls, knocking on doors and holding public meetings to persuade others to vote to leave. It was clearly a rare opportunity, possibly the only opportunity, to activate the railroad switch for changing the track on which our country runs in this regard, from the wrong one to the right one.

I was, and still am, emphatically unpersuaded by the necessity of our membership of the European Union. And when the primary argument made for voting for something does not revolve around the merits of that something, but the exaggerated-for-effect demerits of not voting for it, then that argument is an inherently weak and unpersuasive argument by default, in my opinion.

“the Remain campaign’s desperate ultra-cynical strategy

‘Project Fear’, the Remain campaign’s desperate ultra-cynical strategy of scaring as many people as possible into submission – watching it on television but also seeing the impact on the ground, the real fright affected upon some people whom I encountered – shocked me.

And so it was and is the unhealthy state of our politics that has drawn me in. The gross irresponsibility and lack of leadership from people too cowardly to present an argument on its own merit, at the expense of ethics and more constructive discourse that in the end sinks us all, must be challenged.

For as long as open, calm and confident civilised debate is absent from our politics, we will forever move at a snail’s pace, if at all, towards forming any form of meaningful consensus around serious progressive change of any kind.

What campaigns have you been involved in?

The campaign I remain most proud of has been the most important campaign so far, the Leave campaign for Croydon. Week after week we distributed information and made the pro-Brexit argument in favour of national self-government and a healthier democracy.

More recently however, my new party, the Foundation Party, is at the very beginning of its journey. We took part in the Local Elections 2019. It was a mixed occasion for us featuring both wins and defeats. But the highlight was the election of Foundation Party Councillor Peter Harris in Tendring, Essex, where we topped the poll collecting the same number of votes as the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats combined. Hearing this result announced live on LBC was quite a buzz!

Prior to forming a new party, I volunteered at a senior level for UKIP working with the then party leadership. I thought at the time it might be a party that could push on and advance a much-needed political reform agenda. But in the end, it showed itself plainly to have no such potential.

What do you think is next for Brexit?

From where we are now, leaving the EU without a deal is the only course.

The outgoing Prime Minister’s “withdrawal agreement” violates the result of the referendum. The big print says “we are leaving”, while the small print says “we may not be leaving, it depends”. The UK would require the EU’s permission to annul the agreed “backstop” and leave the EU completely, which after a historic nation-wide majority voted to leave and “take back control”, is one of the greatest civilised insults from politicians to the people anywhere at any time.

Regardless as to what happens outside the Conservative Party, Brexit is eventually resolved from inside the Conservative Party.

Brexit in the end is not about cargo, but constitution. We voted for our industries, our public services and our democracy to operate within a free, independent and self-governing country. We must leave the European Union. And the next Tory leader and Prime Minister, in the event of failing to secure a better deal, must take us out without a deal and show the same degree of courage as the people who voted for it.

What surprised you most about getting actively involved in politics?

The capacity of the individual to make a difference. Having your say and helping to one extent or another is more possible than one might think.

If you could introduce or repeal 3 laws, other than for Brexit. What would they be?

So many to choose from! OK, here are my chosen three…

Top of my list of priorities is the introduction of a new completely codified constitution, similar to that of France and the United States, with explicit guarantees of independence and self-government, enforced by the Supreme Court, changeable only by a direct mandate from the people expressed via a referendum. This would help prevent temporarily elected politicians from permanently trading away our nation’s sovereignty, slowly over many years, without the proper transparency or authority from the people.

I would repeal the current ban on grammar schools and encourage the establishment of new such schools throughout the country. There is no greater gift given to academically gifted children from poorer backgrounds in particular, than granting them access to an elite standard of education. It is a shameful social injustice that this education is currently available only to much wealthier families who can afford to live in the few very expensive-to-live areas that have them.

And for my third choice I could have chosen a radical tax reform policy I have in mind, or the power decentralisation agenda that I strongly believe in – details of which can be found on our party’s website – however I’m going to stick with cleaning up politics.

“We reject the murky pattern of every major political party

I would legislate to cap donations to political parties from any one individual or organisation at £20,000 per year. As a voluntary measure this is the Foundation Party’s highly principled policy and it is hard-coded in our constitution. We reject the murky pattern of every major political party where rich individuals make huge donations in return for unjust and undemocratic influence over the party and our democracy.

Addressing the question of party funding is just one of the many aspects of the political reform agenda, and our party is determined to campaign for real action towards rebuilding our broken democracy. The career politicians won’t do it, so we the people must.

What do you see as your parties route to electoral success?

The key to obtaining popular support on the one hand and votes for winning an election in a given area on the other, are clearly two distinct objectives that need to be appreciated separately. In the age of social media, it is all too common to get carried away and mistakenly conclude that ‘likes’ and ‘re-tweets’ will carry a candidate to electoral victory.

We will focus relentlessly on building relationships with people on the ground in local communities, listen to their concerns, listen to their worries, help them where we can, offer our thoughts on matters big and small, and see if we can build partnerships and, in time, lead a movement towards radical change that could change our country for the better.

Our mission is to campaign for greater accountability of the state and greater power and control for ordinary citizens.

Control, control, control. It is the sexiest word in politics today. No one is voting for less of it. And future elections will be won, not by parties that pledge the same old recycled notions of grand design where government is the answer to every problem and the source of every opportunity, but by parties that offer to transfer economic and political power and decision-making downwards to local communities, individuals and families.

simpler and lower taxes so we keep more of our own money

This agenda touches on a range of issues such as freeing the country from the intrusive and democracy-diluting EU super state, cleaning up Westminster and making it more accountable, reducing the scope of national government and increasing that of local government, greater parent choice in the education system, greater patient choice within the healthcare system, simpler and lower taxes so we keep more of our own money, and constitutional protection for rights such as freedom of speech which is, shockingly, well and truly, under attack.

This is a message and a policy platform that I am very excited about. There is a different way of doing things outside the tired and out-dated mantra of the major political parties. And in the years to come, we’ll see how well they cope when the people rightly come knocking and insist on depending less on them, and instead, demand the proper power and control to improve their own lives for themselves.

The Foundation Party can be found online at https://foundationparty.uk/. They are also on Twitter and Facebook. They can also be contacted at
enquiries@foundationparty.uk.

Grassroots democracy in Croydon

Grassroots democracy was in action in Croydon on Thursday 18th April, when the Croydon Constitutionalists held their inaugural Debate for Democracy.  Five democracy honouring pro-Brexit parties spoke and took place in a debate at the Green Dragon on Croydon high street.

Unlike so many in Westminster all parties agree on honouring the biggest vote in British history and the evening focused on a post-Brexit Britain.  Questions covered a wide range of topics from knife crime, where a number of participants spoke about the need to rebuild families, alongside tough sentences.  Chris Mendes the former Vote Leave lead in Croydon South and now Foundation Party Leader quoted a recent case where someone caught with a assortment of knives on them, was given just a four month suspended sentence.

Chris Mendes

Parties policies on the Customs Union was an area of agreement with all saying they wanted to leave it, and move to WTO terms.  In the event us being caught in the Backstop, Richard Plackett who in 2002 stood for Labour in Shirley and is now the SDP London and South East Regional Organiser, suggested they would want to give notice to leave and use the Vienna Convention to ensure we did.

Direct verses Representative democracy was a reoccurring theme, Neville Watson the Democrats and Veterans Party Spokesman for Cities, Urban Communities & Sport, and Sean Finch Libertarian Party candidate in the Lewisham East By Election speaking in favour of a Swiss style model.  UKIP Croydon Chair Hoong Wai Cheah, who stood in Lewisham West in the 2017 general election and Old Coulsdon in last years local elections, spoke about UKIP retaining its deposit in the Newport by-election and how we need to move to a Proportional Representation system for elections.

Neville Watson and Hoong Wai Cheah

In a change from the tribal nature of so much of politics the representatives and their supporters stayed behind to enjoy a drink and swap stories from many campaign trails.  With the current two party system broken these parties showed how the future of politics can be different.

Audio from the night available on YouTube at:

Speeches https://youtu.be/UPIirhZECTY

Panel Part 1 https://youtu.be/J_e-2IffCEo

Panel Part 2 https://youtu.be/Ults3b-k-cQ

Richard Plackett
Sean Finch
Panel with Chair Dan Heaton

Press Release – Debate for Democracy

The Croydon Constitutionalists are hosting a ‘Debate for Democracy’ of democracy honouring pro-Brexit parties in April. Representatives of the Democrats and Veterans Party, Foundation Party, Libertarian Party, SDP and UK Independence Party, will be setting out their agenda for a democratic Britain and taking part in the panel debate.

The debate will be held upstairs at the Green Dragon, 60 High St, Croydon CR0 1NA from 7pm on the 18th April 2019. All parties are pro-Brexit and honouring the biggest vote in British history. Each speaker will be given 5 minutes to talk about their party and plans for Britain free from the EU.

Democrats and Veterans Party – Neville Watson

Party spokesman for Cities, Urban Communities & Sport, Neville has been actively involved as a social / community activist for over 30 years, often fighting against the odds for social justice and equality. The party fights to ensure that the government serve the interests of the people ahead of special and foreign interests; and for the sovereign will of the British people to be asserted on our servants in Parliament – by campaigning for Direct Democracy.

Foundation Party – Chris Mendes

Party Leader Chris has declared the major political parties not fit for purpose, the country is desperately missing a party, one that is more patriotic and genuinely at the service of ordinary people rather than themselves. Chris was the Vote Leave lead in Croydon South during the referendum. The Foundation Party is a long-term project for building a serious platform for clear patriotic principles for like-minded individuals who believe that our country can do so much better.

Libertarian Party – Sean Finch

Libertarian party candidate in the Lewisham East By Election, Sean is an avid free-speech advocate. The party stands for lower taxes for both individuals and companies, small government, free speech and individual responsibility. They support free trade and free enterprise whilst believing that people should make their own choices and not rely on the government. They support a withdrawal from the European Union and a return to the free trade agreements that it was founded on.

SDP – Richard Plackett

Richard is the London and South East Regional Organiser for the Social Democratic Party. The SDP represents the radical centre of British politics today, defining the limits of the market and the state and harnessing both to rebuild Britain. The Party aims to provide a political home to all social democrats who seek a stronger and more capable state along with greater individual responsibility, trust and social solidarity.

UKIP – Hoong Wai Cheah

UKIP Croydon Chair Hoong Wai has stood in Coulsdon for recent council elections and Lewisham West in the 2017 general election. UKIP is a Party that represents freedom, freedom from the European Union, freedom from political correctness and Cultural Marxism, freedom of speech, and freedom to be proud to be British. UKIP’s mission is to show the way forward for Britain as an independent, self-governing, democratic nation. They want trade, friendship and co-operation with the world.

This is a great chance to see local representatives of parties that are growing as people are increasingly dissatisfied with the discredited politics of those in Westminster.

https://leaversofbritain.co.uk/events/debate-for-democracy/