Strategy, not tactics

As the political class, their creatures in the bureaucracy, and their fellow travellers among big business and bankers, gradually come to realise that they are facing the reality of a No vote in a referendum on EU membership, depriving them of their positions on the gravy train which has been providing them with lucrative positions for over forty years, they are marshalling their forces to try to ensure that the British public are fooled into voting to stay within this vile organisation.

Already we have seen assertions by many of the so called leaders of industry that leaving would be a disaster, while even other national governments have issued statements attempting to either cajole or frighten the British electorate into supporting membership. It is with much regret that we see the government of the USA taking the side of Brussels but even more contemptible is the fact that the Japanese government sees fit to make economic threats. It is bad enough that the latter nation, which has existed in a state of economic stagnation for over a decade, should seek to advise on this issue, but it is certain that we need no lessons from them on anything which touches on our rights as a democratic and sovereign nation. Obviously it is only to be expected that the BBC, long a cheerleader for Brussels, is doing its best to influence the vote in the latter's favour and it is no surprise to see the mouthpieces of the liberal left, such as the Guardian and the Independent, joining the former in condemning those who seek freedom from the EU.

However there is another front upon which the Europhiles are fighting, and for we should be prepared, namely attempting to obfuscate the matter by raising nit picking matters of detail and demanding that we provide a multitude of options to EU membership, thereby adding an unnecessary level of complication to a straightforward issue: that the alternative to being in the EU is not being in the EU. At one political meeting I was told by a lawyer that Britain could not leave because the treaties we had signed made it illegal to do so. This blinkered view, put forward by one who could not see that the fate of great nations cannot be determined by pieces of paper, particularly those signed by politicians acting without the consent of the people, reminded me of how, during the period of the Phoney War, when the issue of an attack on the Black Forest was raised with Sir Kingsley Wood, Secretary of State for War, he replied "Oh you cannot do that, that's private property. You'll be asking me to bomb the Ruhr next." Our country's many struggles to defend its independence and to evolve a democratic system of government must never be negated by lawyer's quibbles.

It is regrettable that those who should know better, and who are basically on the side of Eurorealism, are taking initiatives which can only damage the No campaign by confusing what is a simple matter. The Institute of Economic Affairs has decided to offer a BREXIT prize for which competitors are invited to compose a Blueprint for Britain outside the EU; to quote "covering the process of withdrawal from the EU and the post-exit repositioning of the UK in the global trading and governance systems, including, inter alia the legal and constitutional process necessary for the UK to leave the EU and set up, if desired, alternative international relationships. This would include not just the process within the EU itself but the changes to UK law and regulation that would be desirable or necessary and also negotiation of the UK's post-EU-exit position to settle the UK's relationships with the remaining EU and other interested parties and, crucially, with the rest of the world, in respect of trade, supranational governance, immigration, the environment, financial regulation, defence etc." Regrettably the judging panel for this competition includes people whom we know to be basically sound on the matter of the EU.

This sort of thing may be very worthy as an intellectual exercise but it is not helpful when facing a referendum in which the majority of the electorate will not, and should not, be making their decision on the basis of elaborate scenarios and alternative courses of action but on a very simple issue: "Does one wish to live in an independent, democratic sovereign nation or in a European province run by unelected Commissioners?". It will be a disaster if voters become so bamboozled by lawyer's sophistries and political navel gazing that many just say that they don't understand the issue and do not vote, or vote No on the basis of it being safer to cling to nanny.

Other commentators seek to decry the Eurorealist movement by declaring that the latter do not comprehend the scope and difficulty involved in leaving the EU. True, it will not be easy to restore the UK to the status of a self governing sovereign nation when it has progressed so far down the road of becoming just a province of a single European state. However as Churchill said when planning D Day "Don't argue about difficulties. The difficulties will argue for themselves. . .". As then the task will be hard but the result will be worthwhile.

The important thing is to keep the focus on the main issue and not to fragment support by questioning the 'How' rather than the 'What'. As it says in the Bible "For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself for the battle?". In the past the most complex of matters have been boiled down to their essence in a way that anyone can understand. For instance in Eisenhower's memoir "Crusade in Europe" the strategic instruction he received from the Combined Chiefs of Staff read "You will enter the Continent of Europe and, in conjunction with the other Allied Nations, undertake operations aimed at the heart of Germany and the destruction of her Armed forces". Of course there were endless details to be dealt with but the actual intention and aim was as simple as that. When Churchill voiced the intention of Britain in its greatest crisis he summed it up in one word "You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word. It is victory, victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory, however long and hard the road may be; for without victory, there is no survival." For us now the ultimate aim can also be summed up in one word - Freedom.

We in the Eurorealist movement are seeking to turn the Ship of State away from the disastrous European backwater and turn again to the open oceans, to follow the course we should never have left. I do not care about the details of which rope must be pulled or what ballast must be cast over the side. The overriding thing that that the people must be asked to decide upon is whether they see the future as citizens of a free nation or of a subject province. I hope that the Eurorealist movement does not allow itself to be drawn into considering temporary, and ultimately minor, issues when the strategic question is so clear.