Profiling and targeting the undecided voter

The Easter holiday has provided many of us a chance to have a brief break, but it will be one of the last such opportunities as the referendum draws ever closer.

There is still everything to play for. Many voters are still undecided and anecdotal evidence suggests that they genuinely recognise their lack of knowledge about the EU and what the main issues are.

This generalisation, of course, covers a multitute of different individuals with all manner of different concerns, but they do share a couple of common features. Firstly, they are not enthusiasts for the  European project or they would be firmly on the “remain” side. Secondly, they do not feel passionately about the immigration or sovereignty issues or else they would be equally firmly on the “leave” side.

For some, a simple leaflet may be enough to answer their questions. Our 5 Mistaken assumptions leaflet has been in great demand with campaigners. Whether it’s because it appeals to those who have been given copies of the leaflet or whether it’s the campaigners who like it, we can’t be sure at this stage, but hopefully the former!

We also plan to offer a flier nearer the referendum date which is even simpler, encouraging voters merely to trust their instincts. Again, this is all some people will require.

For others, the issue could be summed up as a combination of a gut feeling that the EU isn’t a particularly good idea and a desire for reassurance that we can leave the EU smoothly without disruption to the economy.  For such people, the EFTA alternative does seem to be very appealing. According to a recent article in the Daily Express, a  poll conducted by Hugo van Randwyck for the Bruges Group  revealed that 58% of those contacted said that they preferred a free trade arrangement to EU membership.  As Robert Oulds, the Bruges Group’s Director, pointed out in the Article,  re-joining EFTA means the UK would keep full access to the EU single market while being allowed to pursue its own worldwide trade deals.

Perhaps on the campaign trail, we could emphasise how withdrawal will enable us to re-join an organisation we should never have left. Robert argued strongly in our annual rally last year that withdrawal must be shown as a positive development – joing something rather than leaving something  – as the latter can so easily be twisted by our opponents  as a “step into the unknown”.

With “remain” supporters asking us to define what “leave” looks like, we have the full-blown Flexcit as a comprehensive answer. Not everyone will want to read a 400-page document, but the Bruges Group polling suggests that once undecided voters are convinced there is a trade-only relationship on offer that is proven and tested, they are more likely to switch firmly to becoming “Leavers”. Their gut instinct that a trading relationship is all we need will have been vindicated and their concerns, will have been addressed.

Of course, this doesn’t mean we will have an easy ride, but the Bruges Group polling does offer us hope that with the right strategy, the outcome many of us have dreamed of for years may be within our grasp.


Britain, do not listen to the scaremongering!

A statement from the Board of No to EU in Norway

From the campaign in 1994 to keep Norway out of EU, No to EU is familiar with the tactics the British people currently are experiencing.

No to EU is watching the debate in the UK with great interest. Whether the UK leaves the EU or remains in the union is entirely for the British people to decide. The EU Commission in Brussels must also respect this fact.

We know from our own experience the EU system and the government apparatus will do everything possible to inject fear into people about the consequences of leaving the EU.

The disaster stories of lost jobs and a plummeting pound if the UK would dare leave the union, sound desperately familiar to No to EU. Prior to the referenda on EU membership in Norway in 1972 and 1994, the Norwegian people were told the industry would flee the country and 100,000 jobs would be lost if we voted no to the EU.

The reality has turned out to be quite the opposite. Since 1994, the Norwegian economy has developed and grown much more than the economies in EU member states. Norway has full sovereignty in the agricultural and fishery sectors, and the management of the Norwegian fisheries has been a great success.

British EU supporters, with the help of the Norwegian government, present Norway’s association to the EU through the EEA Agreement as a disaster. The British government has repeated the myth that Norway must accept three-quarters of EU laws and regulations. The reality is that Norway has implemented less than 10 percent of the laws and regulations, which the EU has adopted in the period 2000-2013. In addition, the EEA Agreement has a clause enabling Norway to refuse the implementation of new EU rules, a right EU member states do not have.

The Norwegian Government claims the EEA Agreement is a poor model for the UK. On the other hand, it is not willing to look at alternatives to the EEA Agreement for Norway, or use the flexibility permitted by the refusal clause. No to EU wants to end this undemocratic paradox, by replacing the EEA Agreement with a modern trade agreement with EU.

From the beginning of No to EU’s history, our aim has been to safeguard our democracy, defend our sovereignty and our natural resources. Our stance is based on international solidarity with people, both in the EU and in developing countries. Outside the EU, Norway has an independent voice on the international scene.

A UK outside the EU will be an interesting partner for Norway in achieving a modern trade agreement with the EU, preferably through EFTA, where we have cooperated previously.

Press release:- The Leave Alliance launches with a definite exit plan

LONDON, 18 March 2016 – The Leave Alliance has launched in London with a definitive Brexit plan and a positive vision for a United Kingdom freed from European Union control.
At its official launch in London on Wednesday, representatives of the seven groups that make up The Leave Alliance dismissed as unnecessary and misleading David Cameron’s warnings that jobs, commercial interests and British influence in the world would be lost if the UK voted to leave the EU.
The Leave Alliance presented its plan, called The Market Solution, which details how the UK can leave the EU but remain a member of the European Economic Area (EEA, or Single Market) until a more permanent solution can be negotiated.
The approach enables trade and commercial links to continue as they do today, providing vital reassurance to business and the markets that Brexit can be de-risked, withdrawing from EU political control without impacting the economy.
Anthony Scholefield, the Director of the Futurus think-tank said, “The Leave Alliance is an antidote to the fear, uncertainty and doubt that is being sown by those who want to stay in the European Union. After giving notice to withdraw as set out in Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, we have shown how we should use the two-year period that follows to negotiate an agreement to remain in the single market after we leave the undemocratic and outdated EU.
“Independence will give us real agility in matters of global trade, and restore our voice and vote on the global bodies where rules and regulations are determined before they are given to the EU for implementation. There will be no leap into the dark.”
Dr Richard North, political researcher and author of The Great Deception and the specialist blog said, “An effective strategy is essential. What sets The Leave Alliance apart is our plan, The Market Solution. It debunks the arguments of those who want to remain, it offers a positive vision for how the UK can leave the EU, and it reassures people that we can withdraw from the EU without the negative consequences David Cameron claims would follow.
“Voters are demanding to know how we can leave the EU without harming British interests. Our plan answers that question, removing the fear of Brexit and explaining how we can leave the EU before gradually departing further from the EU’s sphere of influence and control.”

About The Leave Alliance
The Leave Alliance (TLA) is made up of seven groups; The Campaign for an Independent Britain (CIB), The Bruges Group,, FUTURUS think-tank, Save Britain’s Fish, The Harrogate Agenda and the Blogger’s Army.
TLA advocates and promotes ‘Flexcit’, a clear, researched and de-risked six-stage plan for UK exit from the European Union, but remaining a member of the European Economic Area (EEA, also known as the Single Market) until a comprehensive free trade agreement (FTA) can be negotiated.
The Market Solution – Flexcit:
The Market Solution – Flexcit presentation:
TLA is not seeking Electoral Commission designated lead campaign group status and is not competing with any other ‘Leave’ group. It will support and work with any of group that supports the need for a detailed and seamless exit plan and our vision of how we can prosper after leaving the undemocratic and bureaucratic EU.
TLA believes it is impossible to reform the EU and for this reason we support invoking Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which sets out a two year period to negotiate UK withdrawal. TLA is also clear that we will need to stay in the Single Market for an interim period for two main reasons:
(i)             To counter the Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt which the ‘Establishment’ will deploy to try and frighten the electorate into voting to ‘Remain’
(ii)            To ensure our trade and commercial interests are not interrupted while we negotiate for a new free trade deal for the 59 countries of Europe, as opposed to the 28 in the EU.
Voters need to be made aware that the EU is now at best irrelevant and at worse a deterrent to trade as global bodies increasingly determine and produce the rules and regulations governing world trade.
For more information, or interview requests please contact:
Contact: John Ashworth
Tel: 01439 770219

Our Chairman’s remarks at the Leave Alliance launch, Wednesday 16th March

Our cross-party Campaign (known as CIB) was formed in 1969 by concerned parliamentarians and organisations, opposed to membership of the EEC. When they failed to prevent the passage of the European Communities Act 1972 by a margin of eight votes, CIB continued to keep the flame of opposition alive. Literature and events publicised the anti democratic structure of the European Project through the wilderness years and to this day. I am greatly heartened that one of our founders, Lord Stoddart of Swindon, is with us today. I served my CIB apprenticeship under him. Nowadays we work closely with other organisations, acting as a facilitator and force multiplier in the referendum campaign.

Whilst CIB has done much to expose the damage done to our constitution and freedoms by EU membership, less thought was given to the mechanism by which we would leave the EU and establish a new, constructive relationship with our European neighbours.

The enemies of democratic self government portray such a step as a dangerous “ leap in the dark”. Thanks to thorough research, the Flexcit Market Solution provides the safe means of a seamless transition to independence whilst retaining full access to the EU market. It is not a risky leap but a confident step from the smoke and mirrors of the EU into the wider, sunnier world. Because the arrangements which underpin it already exist, it provides a secure, proven platform for our further development as an independent nation.

The wrong lady

Such has been the frenzied level of debate about the merits of withdrawal from the EU this past week that all but the most arrdent political anoraks may well have been tempted to switch off.

It is important, however, that anyone aspiring to see our country regain its independence keeps abreast with the debate, even though there have been so many barbs traded in recent days that it is impossible to summarise every development on this one website.

Two particular issues need addressing. The first concerns the threat by some French ministers to scap the Le Touquet Treaty, which alllows the UK to implement border controls in France. It’s hardly surprising that the Mayor of Calais doesn’t like this arrangemement, as this has led to the creation of the so-called “jungle” on his doorstep. It’s also no surprise that an ambitious minister like Emmanuel Macron should jump on the bandwagon and threaten that France could (note the word “could”, not “would”)  pull out of the treaty if we withdrew from the EU.

The Le Touquet treaty was seen by both governments as the least bad way of addressing a situation which neither country really wanted. Its abolition wold be in no one’s interests. If the French were to allow refugees to pass unhindered to an independent UK, we could  repudiate the 1951 Convention on the Treatment of Refugees (and the 1967 Protocol), and also the European Convention on Human Rights, which would allow us to send them straight back on the next ferry or shuttle. 

M. Hollande and his government want us to stay in for domestic reasons as much as anything else. He is not a popular president and a UK withdrawal would encourage Marine le Pen’s Front National to exploit Hollande’s unpopularity and offer France an in/out referendum. Also, her party would be have been keen to exploit opposition to the Le Touquet Treaty, so it pays for Macron and co to claim this space first, even if all they intend to do is huff and puff. 

A more serious issue is the claim by Philip Hammond that he intended to “smoke out” the Leave campaign and show that no independence scenario on offer is economically viable. In many ways, it is good that he has raised this issue so early in the campaign, as it gives us time to tighten up our act.

Predictably, the EEA/EFTA route, or rather the use of Norway as template, was a prime target. As always, the BBC provided a willing Norwegian whinger, this time in the shape of Erna Solberg, Norway’s Prime Minister, who said she would like her country to be in the EU because it “lacks influence”.  The BBC, as always, spoke to the wrong woman. Solberg, like most of Norway’s political élite, is still wedded to the idea of EU membership, even though the majority of her coutrymen and women are not.  She is therefore prepared to lie, keen to avoid Brexit as it would finally kill off any chance of her country ever joining the EU. The BBC should have instead spoken to Helle Hagenau of the Norwegian nei til EU campaign (depicted above), who wold have pointed out that Norway DOES have influence in the framing of EEA legislation, even if it does not have a final vote.

You wil be able to hear Helle speak at our annual Rally on May 14th, but before then, you can read two helpful leaflets she and her team have written (See here and here). Furthermore, Anthony Scholefield has produced a detailed comparision of EEA membership and Norway’s relationship with the EU which features in our Referendum Review and which gives the lie to any sense that Norway has a worse deal by being out of the EU.

Norway has full representation on international bodies; it has to implement less than 1/3 of EU legislation – i.e., anything marked “EEA relevant”  and if it refuses to do so, it cannot be taken to court by the ECJ. Of course, using this option as a template for a newly-independent UK would require us to accept free movement of people. This isn’t popular with some “leave” supporters, but it’s still better than Cameron’s so-called “deal” as we could invoke Articles 112-113 of the EEA agreement unilaterally rather than having to ask permission for all the other countries and we could keep these articles in force for as long as we want.

Furthermore, advocates of the EEA/EFTA route only see it as a stepping stone. fully admitting that it isn’t ideal in the long term. When other supporters of “leave” say that we could do better than Norway, they are quite right, but reaching that point will take time. We need a safe route through the exit door first.  For anyone wishing to find out more about the most detailed exit plan written thus far, you are welcome to attend the launch of the Leave Alliance on Wednesday 16th March. The strategy to be unveiled will answer all the issues which the “remain” camp have raised and thus enable us to concentrate on attacking the dodgy deal which our dodgy Prime Minister is trying to sell us as a full revision of the country’s EU membership. It is nothing of the sort and the country needs to be made aware of this.