End of transition: Brexiteers on Brexit – Part 5

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 5 below more (parts 6 and beyond) to follow….. You can also read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4.

“I was saddened by the removal of free movement & the introduction of a points based system; giving the government central power over the planning & shaping of the international labour market”

Josh L. Ascough Libertarian writer.

Did Brexit get done?  Brexit in its most pure & perfect form was never going to happen; not just because of the bureaucracy of political negotiations, but because there were an array of subjective & political visions of what Brexit “should” look like. Personally as a Libertarian (to some degree a “Bleeding Heart Libertarian”). I was saddened by the removal of free movement & the introduction of a points based system; giving the government central power over the planning & shaping of the international labour market. However, the dangers of being with an intergovernmental system of central planning, managed by a large bureaucracy, with the ability for MEP’s from Spain to vote on bills which can affect people in Britain & vice versa, was far too much political power for any system to hold for the benefit & liberty of free movement. Hopefully free movement can return without bureaucrats being in control of it in the future, but in terms of the fundamental aspect of leaving an intergovernmental bureaucratic system; yes, Brexit got done.

How do you hope the U.K. will use the new found freedoms?  Already a small good has been made with the elimination of the tampon tax which was brought about by the EU, & we continue to negotiate free trade deals with other nations; India, Turkey, Japan, Australia & New Zealand; I remain hopefully that a free trade agreement will be reached with the USA, but even if we are unsuccessful with our American neighbours & other nations, we should look to eliminate all tariffs on imports regardless of any deals present. Tariffs in the end hurt the citizens of the nation which imposed them, forcing consumers to pay higher prices for goods they value & that bring a higher living standard. Removing all tariffs also show good faith that we are against protectionism & for freedom on entry into competition, in addition to putting pressure on foreign governments by their citizens to lower or remove their tariffs, since their governments would be forcing them to pay an artificially higher price while we pay the actual market price.

What constitutional reform would you like to see happen next?  The next step that should be considered seriously, is now that we’ve seen that we can remove ourselves from an intergovernmental bureaucracy, we should look to show no exception to our own bureaucracy. Make reforms by reducing if not removing our own bureaucracy; the nanny state in all its forms, & moving towards a system of decentralised political power, by devolving power from Westminster to local councils. Finally, we should not show hypocrisy in the face of those wishing to leave a political union. There appears to be growing desires for Wales to seek independence, & if this is a serious desire, then it should be listened to; with a warm hand outstretched to say goodbye to a housemate, but hello & good luck to a friend.

What do you think is next for the EU?  It all depends on the outcomes of Brexit in the future & the attitudes of the citizens in remaining EU nations, but I think it likely more nations will follow in leaving, I think it’s possible that Italy will be the next to leave. Originally during the yellow vest riots I would’ve said France, but this is heavily unlikely as if France left it would likely be the end of the EU for good; bureaucracy & political power doesn’t die that easily (sadly).

“what they may do is fall into their increasingly overburdened administration and red tape, with more rules and regulations for every aspect of life while ignoring the real global threats on their doorstep”

Mal McDermott Libertarian.

Did Brexit get done?  Yes, the UK has officially left the EU, the legalism and stalling that followed has been the result of inadequate and inept politicians from the UK and aggressive negotiation tactics from the EU. 

How do you hope the U.K. will use the new found freedoms?  A move towards further devolution, for many libertarians Brexit was the first step towards dissolution of big government in all its forms, I would like to see a second referendum in Scotland, however there are simple Monetary policy changes I would like to see first and legal restraints on fiscal policy.

What constitutional reform would you like to see happen next?  Having a real constitution would be a start! A move towards a constitutional republic with federal states who agree to be in the union voluntarily if at all.

What do you think is next for the EU?  With Biden in power they should have their NATO bills covered, but I think that Germany is aware that they need to up their military defences, some concessions will have to be made to Hungary and Poland in terms of this as well. The focus should be on protecting Europe from Russian influence. That is the should, what they may do is fall into their increasingly overburdened administration and red tape, with more rules and regulations for every aspect of life while ignoring the real global threats on their doorstep.

“our capacity to make decisions for ourselves as nations and regions has been gained and it’s cause for celebration.  Now we, the people, need to make it work for us

Yasmin Fitzpatrick, former Brexit Party PPC.

Did Brexit get done?  Yes, despite everybody and everything tilting against it, Brexit was done. We managed to make a deal, which won the UK some welcome trading stability for now, at a time when we’re feeling bruised by the physical and economic effects of the Covid pandemic.  But the trade-off sacrificed some of the interests of our fishing communities and our financial institutions. We’ll need to see how these can be managed in the longer term. British people who own properties in an EU country feel short-changed over matters that can surely be ironed out in the short term. But our capacity to make decisions for ourselves as nations and regions has been gained and it’s cause for celebration.  Now we, the people, need to make it work for us.

How do you hope the U.K. will use the new found freedoms?  The Referendum saw the UK population express its will, in the case of the majority, against the wishes of those in power.  I’d like to see the population continuing to speak out and guide the actions of our political representatives.  New economic, health and education concerns remain with us, so we all need to be involved in making these work better than before.  We also need to find a way of a way of conducting national debates that don’t involve cancelling people we disagree with. Because we’re worth it.

What constitutional reform would you like to see happen next?  Electoral reform  – I say that with some trepidation.  But our current first past the post came about when there were only two political forces in the UK electoral system. Nowadays it encourages tactical voting and overrepresents the two main parties and the regional nationalist parties in numbers that do not reflect the ambitions of the electorate. I’m aware that every voting system has its disadvantages, but I don’t think FPTP can help sustain democracy into the future.

And we need to look again at the use of judicial review to overturn political decisions.  Political decisions are the responsibility of the people and its elected representatives: judicial review has taught us to rely on an unaccountable judiciary rather than ourselves.

What do you think is next for the EU?  In the medium term, Mediterranean EU countries will continue to struggle with economic decline and fight to make sense of their EU membership – or leave and reorganise.  Germany will continue to cultivate its economic and political relationships with its Central Eastern European backyard, with increasing competition from China and Russia.  The European Central Bank has a major debt crisis resulting from the structuring of the Eurozone, now exacerbated by current economic crises – it’s looking like a slow motion crash and one that the UK is better off out of.  I worry for the people of the EU.

In the longer term, the EU is likely to become a geopolitical backwater, except perhaps as Germany’s merkin as it remilitarises.  Only the USA will have the economic and military might to challenge Chinese global ambitions, as India and perhaps Brazil continue to find and assert their  voice on the global stage.  Our  historical close relationship with America is likely to gain in significance as China looks to extend its economic and military power.  The UK will need to box clever to retain its position as the fifth largest global economic power, developing and extending its relationships with African and Asian nations previously locked out by EU trade policies and tariffs.  

Back to Part 4 > On to Part 6

Postponed – The future of the BBC

The debate too hot for the BBC to handle… (we asked they declined)

Owing to the ongoing Coronavirus crisis, we have had to postpone this event.  We still intend to hold and will share new dates as soon as possible.

The Croydon Constitutionalists are delighted to host a forum on the Future of the BBC.

Croydon Councillor Jeet Bains, Yasmin Fitzpatrick former Brexit Party candidate and Harry Fone of the TaxPayers’ Alliance will present their views on what’s next for the Corporation.

We are then pleased to give you the opportunity to present your thoughts for a couple of minutes to the panel and those assembled. Followed by a panel discussion.

Join us 7pm Tuesday 21st April. – New date to be announced.
South Croydon Conservative Club
60 Selsdon Road.
South Croydon. CR2 6PE

Yasmin Fitzpatrick was the Brexit Party PPC for East Surrey. Yasmin is a former BBC Executive and Channel 4 Commissioning Editor.

Conservative Councillor Jeet Bains stood in Luton North in the 2019 General Election. He first became a councillor in 2010 in the then Coulsdon West ward. In 2018 he ran in Addiscombe East and in a surprising result split the ward taking the seat from Labour.

Harry Fone is developing the TaxPayers’ Alliance grassroots network to apply pressure on the government and local authorities across the country. He often found in Croydon campaigning for local Council Tax payers or canvassing across the country.

https://leaversofbritain.co.uk/events/the-future-of-the-bbc/

Interview with Yasmin Fitzpatrick Brexit Party PPC for East Surrey.

Supporting pro-Brexit candidates in our area. The Croydon Constitutionalists caught up with Yasmin Fitzpatrick Brexit Party PPC for East Surrey.

Yasmin has worked for the NHS, as a language teacher and a television executive at Channel 4. In East Surrey she is up against the existing MP Sam Gyimah.

Sam has had some national attention, and local difficulties for failing to respect the manifesto he ran on and the vote of the British people. Indeed the Leavers of Croydon spent some time in Caterham putting pressure on him http://croydonconstitutionalists.uk/a-great-day-in-caterham-putting-pressure-on-sam-gyimah-mp/.

Having already made somewhat of a splash locally being written up in the local paper https://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/surrey-news/brexit-party-makes-bid-oust-16827232, Yasmin spoke with the Croydon Constitutionalists.

Yasmin thanks for the interview.

You’ve worked for Channel 4 and in Education, this doesn’t seem a likely background for a candidate for the Brexit Party.

There are so many myths about voting Brexit and the Brexit Party itself –  I hope I can explode a few of them!

There are people in television, in the NHS, in schools who voted Leave – but they tend to be in a minority in the public sector and in the media, even though they tend to underestimate their own numbers and they honestly fear for their jobs if they say openly how they voted and what they think.  I know from personal experience that Remainers can be extremely intolerant in the workplace, especially where they feel they are in the majority.  They can make things uncomfortable for people who do not agree with them and do not uphold freedom of speech in practice, often demonising opponents by branding them as racist, stupid or misguided. 

“Recently, someone high up in television whispered to me that they had voted Leave and begged me not to tell anyone – so of course I won’t – but I’m sad that we can’t feel free to express differing political opinions”

One of my concerns is that political discussion in general has coarsened:  people attack the person, rather than their ideas when they disagree. Recently, someone high up in television whispered to me that they had voted Leave and begged me not to tell anyone – so of course I won’t – but I’m sad that we can’t feel free to express differing political opinions, because that’s how we test out and refine our own thoughts and opinions.

Many of us think of somewhere like Channel 4 has a metropolitan group think, is that fair or unfair?

I think it’s fair to say there’s a bit of ‘metropolitan bubble’ in some of the bigger cities. Certainly in London, we have grown used to hearing little or nothing from anywhere else in the UK. Many of the people I know when asked, confess that they have never spoken to anyone who says they voted Brexit and so tend to make assumptions about them based on what they are told by other people in the same bubble.  When they talk to me, they concede that I’m not racist or stupid – so I must be sadly deluded!

Journalists, with a few honourable exceptions, and news outlets generally, do have a lot to answer for when it comes to peddling myths and prejudice about people who voted to leave the EU and spend little or no time talking to or generally engaging with them.  I am always impressed when a Leaver pops up on Question Time or in a news item: they invariably speak out in ways that surprise, inform and often impress listeners.  If BBC, ITV and Channel 4 news over the recent period had fairly and impartially represented the 52% of the electorate who voted Leave in their news coverage, I doubt we’d have had the misinformed hysteria we witnessed on the streets over the weekend.

And it would be good to hear more from all those elected MEPs from the Brexit Party!

What first got you involved in politics?

I grew up mostly in Belfast, even though I was born in London and lived for a few years in Germany when I was a child. I lived on a Loyalist housing estate in Belfast and my Irish grandfather was in the Orange Order, although my mother was passionately anti-sectarian. My father was a Muslim businessman, whose family had had to flee India during Partition and had arrived in Pakistan with the clothes they stood up in.  So I had a lot to be curious about. I got involved in left-wing organisations and activities that allowed me to understand and move beyond my own immediate experience.

The Brexit Party was an easy choice for me: increasingly, I have seen what used to be the left in Britain become increasingly intolerant and irrelevant when it comes to standing up for freedom of speech – and now for democracy itself. Increasingly, they talk to themselves.

The left effectively abandoned Labour Party voters who wanted to leave the EU and then condemned them for it.  That’s what finally confirmed to me that the old left/centre/right divisions are now irrelevant – but so are the old left/centre/right political machines, who make policy over our heads, with scant regard for their own supporters.

I’m in the Brexit Party because firstly, I want the wishes of the majority of the electorate to be enacted and leave the EU; secondly, I want to help build the kind of political party that will represent the people in their constituencies, at a local, national and international level, without deferring to a party political machine. Will that happen?  I hope people join us and make sure it does!

” I also want to make sure that I help reconnect political decision-making with the people, so they can get on with their lives, knowing that their opinions are respected and their concerns properly addressed.”

You’re standing against Sam Gyimah, someone we’ve organised our own events to protest against.  Any thoughts on your opponent?

Well, I respect Sam Gyimah for sticking to his principles – but if he is not even prepared to support his own Party’s commitment to leaving the EU, as set out very clearly in their 2017 manifesto, I think he needs to consider his position.  People often feel they can’t trust their politicians to speak for them when they reach Westminster: I have no commitment to advancing the interests of a party machine at the expense of the people.  I have no private agenda for self-advancement at all costs. I simply want to honour the decision people made in the EU Referendum and help bring that political and economic dividend home to all of the the voters in East Surrey. I also want to make sure that I help reconnect political decision-making with the people, so they can get on with their lives, knowing that their opinions are respected and their concerns properly addressed.

What are your thoughts on East Surrey Politics?

I’m not sure that it’s a great idea for politicians to feel that their seat is so safe, that their majority is so large, that they can take the electorate for granted. I obviously think it’s time for a change: important local matters will also form part of my campaigning – more about that later.  I also want voters to tell me what they think matters:  let’s see what we can do locally, alongside the national election campaign.

What surprised you most about getting actively involved in politics?

I was incredibly impressed when I met many of the other prospective parliamentary candidates who got through the rigorous Brexit Party selection procedures. Such a wide range of lived experience, from every region and from every walk of life. People who spoke with passion and intelligence about the need for a politically independent UK. People who genuinely cared about the future for their locality and region, as well as the UK as a whole. And people who are open to and tolerant of others.

Being involved in the Brexit Party also currently means working a lot of things out as we go along. Party policy is still in development and we all need to be involved in that –  remember, the Party as currently constituted has only been in existence since April – but you can’t rush policy making.  For us, it’s not about making promises we won’t keep once the elections are over – that’s what has contributed to the erosion of trust in politicians and politics more generally.

If you introduce or repeal 3 laws (other than for Brexit) what would they be?

I’d prefer not to make policy on the hoof at this stage. I’ll be looking to defend personal freedoms, hold politicians to account,  try to ensure that the many different voices of people in the UK are respected and that people are treated fairly.

Any other thoughts you want to leave us with?

Boris Johnson has played some good moves against his political opponents. But BEWARE! If you voted to leave the EU, don’t be side-tracked in the coming weeks by any reheated May deal offerings, with or without the backstop.  I’ve looked at the Withdrawal Agreement – there are at least four reasons why we should reject it and walk away without a deal:

1. we would not be able to develop new trade deals whilst in this ‘transitional period’  and that period could go on indefinitely;

2. despite remaining in the EU, we‘d have no right to vote, no voice in debate and no veto over existing or any new legislation;

3. we would continue to be hit by EU rules and those billions of pounds of EU membership fees;

4. To add final insult to injury, it isn’t clear whether we’d ever be able to leave the EU without the consent of the 27 other member states. No, non, nein!

I say, Vote for the Brexit Party to ensure we walk away from bad deals, keep up the pressure on Government to build a political and economic future under our own control and hold all our politicians to account both now and after we leave. A tall order!

Yasmin thanks again for the interview.

Yasmin can be contacted by email at yasmin.fitzpatrick@thebrexitparty.org followed on Twitter at https://twitter.com/yasminfitzppc, and she is already taking the fight to anti-democracy Sam as below.

https://twitter.com/yasminfitzppc/status/1167752670569992193?s=20