Joint Statement from The Bow Group, The Bruges Group & Fishing for Leave - "We oppose this deal and call on MPs to vote against it"

Democracy
Friday, October 18, 2019
"We were open minded to a new deal and would support any deal that fulfils the terms of the Brexit vote with Britain leaving the EU in full, as well as both the Single Market and Customs Union. This deal does not do that. Serious concerns remain over Northern Ireland and future regulatory alignment with the EU the UK would be forced to comply to. We oppose this deal and call on conservative and Brexit supporting MPs to vote against it to push for a managed no deal settlement on October 31st."
Ben Harris Quinney, Chairman, The Bow Group

"We urge members of Parliament who wish to honour the result of the Referendum to reject this defective agreement if it is put before them."
Barry Legg, Chairman, The Bruges Group

"We will be an "independent" state bound to an agreement with the EU based on equal access EU rules. It remains Brexit in name only"
Aaron Brown, Fishing for Leave

Key Points
  • A large number of Brexit supporting MPs and organisations continue to oppose this Government's proposed Brexit deal & favour a "No Deal" outcome
  • The Bow Group, The Bruges Group, and Fishing for Leave join the Democratic Unionist Party in opposing the Government's latest Brexit deal proposals
  • The Bow Group campaigned with Vote Leave, Leave.EU and Grassroots Out for Brexit in 2016. Work done at the Bow Group over the past four decades by our Senior Patrons including Sir Bill Cash MP and Sir John Redwood MP has contributed significantly to the foundations of the Brexit movement. 
  • The Bow Group has co-signed a letter to be sent to MPs this morning in coalition with a large number of other Brexit supporting groups calling on them to oppose the deal. 
  • A Bow Group poll conducted at the 2019 Conservative Party conference found that 88% prefer a no deal Brexit over any withdrawal agreement. 
  • We argue this deal fails to achieve the sovereign independence of all of the United Kingdom whilst committing to send in excess of £39 billion to the EU. The Political Declaration opens the United Kingdom up to regulatory alignment, military cooperation and financial regulation and spending commitments which would potentially allow the EU and our parliament to further neuter Brexit. 
  • The Bow Group believe that parliament has clearly shown itself to be unrepresentative of the British people, therefore in combination with any Brexit deal the Conservative Party must implement democratic reforms that would allow genuine Brexiteers with grassroots support to be freely selected by local Conservative associations and elected to parliament over the next decade, to deliver the long term Brexit process Britain needs.
  • The Bow Group, The Bruges Group and Fishing for Leave therefore call on conservative and Brexit supporting MPs to vote against the deal and push for a managed no deal settlement on October 31st.
Quotes:

The Bow Group & members of the Brexit Advance Coalition of organisations cannot support this Government's proposed Brexit deal.

We were open minded to a new deal and would support a deal that fulfils the terms of the Brexit vote with Britain leaving the European Union in full, as well as both the Single Market and the Customs Union.

This deal does not do that. Serious concerns remain over Northern Ireland and future regulatory alignment with the EU that the UK would be forced to comply to. We oppose this deal and call on conservative and Brexit supporting MPs to vote against it to push for a managed no deal settlement on October 31st.

Parliament is clearly not representative of the British people, has no intention of delivering the Brexit that was voted for, and the Conservative Party must take considerable blame for this.  Leaving the EU and remaking Britain's place in the world will be at least a 10 year process. We need a parliament that is both willing and capable of delivering that.

Therefore in combination with any Brexit deal the Conservative Party must implement democratic reforms that would allow genuine Brexiteers with grassroots support to be freely selected by local Conservative associations and elected to parliament over the next decade, to deliver the long term Brexit that Britain needs.

Given the current make-up of parliament however, our exit from the EU must be watertight to prevent both our unrepresentative parliament and the EU eroding the terms of Brexit over the coming years. Under the current circumstances the choice is between a reheat of Theresa May's unviable withdrawal agreement and a managed no deal Brexit. 

A no deal Brexit remains the closest to honouring the Brexit vote and preventing its overturning by an unrepresentative parliament, that is the cause Brexiteer & conservative MPs should be committed to. The Bow Group, The Bruges Group, and Fishing for Leave call on them to listen to the people outside of Westminster and do so.

Ben Harris-Quinney, Chairman of the Bow Group

"It is very naive to think the proposed Brexit deal leaves only Northern Ireland in a revised backstop. It will be leveraged mercilessly by Dublin and Brussels to wag the rest of the UK. If just one leg is caught in a spider's web the body is as much the prey as is the limb.

There are also still concerns about the defence parts of the Political Declaration. While it no longer commits the UK to EU defence structures and expanding EU defence policy, the PD keeps EU military schemes on the table for consideration during the transition. This problem could have been avoided by removing these lines. It is dangerous because ministers and Parliament have underestimated the loss of autonomy which would result from being attached to the EU’s defence schemes. The US is becoming wise to the problems of EU Defence which, aside from robbing autonomy from its participants, also undermines the US and duplicates NATO."

Dr Jon Stanley, Senior Research Fellow, The Bow Group

"Voting for this Withdrawal Agreement Mark 4 doesn’t “get Brexit done”, it doesn’t deliver a wonderful FTA, it doesn’t reset politics to pre-2016 referendum, it doesn’t save Remain MPs from a leave electorate – in fact delivering this Brexit In Name Only Withdrawal Agreement merely enrages constituents as shown in the Euro Elections. Therefore, all the Brexit groups below recommend that MPs reject the deal, drop their requirement for an extension and deliver a clean Brexit. Otherwise the day of political reckoning at a General Election will come and a Brexit Parliament will deliver what this Remain Parliament has failed to do - genuine British Independence which is what people voted for. We will be an "independent" state bound to an agreement with the EU based on equal access EU rules. It remains Brexit in name only"

Aaron Brown, Fishing for Leave

"The Bruges is opposed to the acceptance by Parliament of the Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration which has been released today. We urge members of Parliament who wish to honour the result of the Referendum to reject this defective agreement if it is put before them."

Barry Legg, Chairman, The Bruges Group