Arm Yourself for the Fight for Brexit

CIB has repeatedly stated that the battle for Brexit is far from over. And so it has proven with the publication of May’s deadly deal with the EU. It is even worse than we feared. The deal will lock us in to the EU in all but name with no escape mechanism. It will be enshrined in an international treaty, so cannot be repealed or revoked without the EU’s agreement. And it will hand over important aspects of UK military policy to EU institutions.

It is therefore more important than ever that we arm ourselves with the resources to fight for the Brexit we voted for in June 2016. CIB heartily endorses the following useful resources from Brexit Facts4EU.Org.

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The Brexit Battle Pack

The Brexit Battle Pack is endorsed by 14 Brexit organisations, including CIB.

Writing to your MP or the media? Follow the Battle Pack’s essential advice to ensure you have maximum impact and successfully correct bias. The Battle Pack also contains important contact links and a large number of practical tips.

Brexit Facts4EU.Org currently have a major campaign underway as part of the Battle Pack, with simple letters that can be printed off and sent to MPs.  They are urging everyone to do this now.

Access is completely free here.

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The BREXIT INDEX

This is the most definitive, indexed source of facts on the EU and Brexit available anywhere.

It contains hundreds of factual articles, in 19 main categories and 97 sub-categories. The facts are all researched from official sources – mostly from the EU itself.

It enables you to find the specific information you are looking for with just a couple of clicks.

Public access is free, and additional levels of access are available from £9.99 for four months.

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Brexit Facts4EU.Org also has a news page where you can read their original articles each day. They are supporters of CIB and have previously published articles by our chairman Edward Spalton.

Arm yourself for the battle ahead!

Brexit Facts4EU.Org has been active since before the referendum and focuses on research, analysis, and publication of easy-to-read facts from official sources in the EU, UK and national governments, and international bodies. It does so in order to inform the debate and counter propaganda.

Leavers of Britain, arise! Your time has come

Former CIB chairman Petrina Holdsworth reports on a new social initiative designed to bring together communities of Brexiteers around the country.

Many of you who live in London will be aware of an organisation called Leavers of London, which was set up after the EU Referendum to enable Leave voters in our capital to meet and socialise with like-minded people, without fear of judgement or recrimination.

Well, the project has now gone nationwide – with the launch of Leavers of Britain. I was lucky enough to be invited to its launch at a pub in Westminster on 1 November.

We all know that the fallout from the referendum has resulted in harsh words, broken friendships and in some cases broken families – a sort of civil war without the organised battles. But those Leave supporters who live in our capital city seem to have suffered the greatest levels of insults and isolation.

It was this continuing unpleasantness that led Lucy Harris – a quietly spoken, charming young Londoner – to set up Leavers of London, a community for Leave supporters in the capital. Lucy was understandably appalled by the treatment being meted out by some London Remainers to those brave souls who voted Leave. Leavers of London offered a sort of modern-day coffee house system where Brexiteers could meet and talk to other people who share their views, without the fear of getting involved in yet another argument with the “bad losers”.

Lucy is now extending the idea to the whole of Britain. The Leavers of Britain website will enable Leavers around the country to create our own communities and events.

Last Thursday evening I climbed the stairs of the Westminster pub with some trepidation. But I was quickly delighted to find myself stepping into a large room full of chat and bonhomie. It filled up very quickly, mainly with people who were straight from work. The average age was hovering around late-30s to mid-40s, although I have to confess that I am not too hot on guessing ages. I was certainly one of the older people there. So much for Leave voters being a bunch of old codgers!

After a few drinks we were treated to short, well-executed speeches from Brendan Chilton (Labour Leave) and Suzanne Evans (ex-UKIP). Lucy Harris then showed us her latest video (see below), and to great applause launched the new campaign to spread the community around the country.

It was particularly pleasing to see a number of other eminent Brexiteers in the crowd, including Bill Cash MP, Steve Baker MP (with whom I had a lively chat, well I thought it was lively), and Matthew Elliot (Vote Leave Campaign CEO), plus CIB supporter and author Hugo Van Randwyck, with whom I commiserated concerning the never-ending Brexit negotiations.

Congratulations to Lucy and her friends for having the courage and energy to form this fantastic networking group for all of those informed and intelligent people who put their country and their democracy first by voting Leave. No doubt many CIB supporters will be keen to sign up and get involved. I am certain it will be a great success!

FFL: Government’s Fisheries Bill deserves a cautious welcome

CIB affiliate member Fishing for Leave gives a cautious welcome to the launch of the Government’s Fisheries Bill, but warns that the serious threat to the fishing industry from Theresa May’s Chequers proposals remains.

The launch of the Government’s Fisheries Bill by DEFRA secretary of state Michael Gove deserves a cautious welcome.

The government’s announcement said:

‘The Fisheries Bill will enable the UK to control who may fish in our waters and on what terms… The Bill also gives the UK the power to implement new deals negotiated with the EU and with other coastal states and manage fisheries more effectively and sustainably in future.’

At its heart the Bill seeks to deliver the following:

  • Controlling access – by ending current automatic rights for EU vessels to fish in UK waters.
  • Setting fishing opportunities – by proposing powers to ensure that the UK can set its own fishing quota and days at sea.
  • Protecting the marine environment – by ensuring fisheries management decisions are taken for the benefit of the whole marine environment

Many who have fought for 25 years to escape the disastrous CFP thought we would never see this day.

We never thought we would see legislation which would allow Britain to take back control of our waters, £6-8bn of our resources, and decide access and management for our own national benefit – as Norway, Iceland and the Faroe Islands do.

That is hugely welcome, but it is the devil in the detail which we fear. As the government admits, this bill is subject to the wider negotiations.

Negotiations where – disgustingly – Theresa May proposes to re-obey the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) after Brexit with an ever-extending ‘transition period’ and a Chequers plan that will see the UK obey a so-called ‘common rule book’ – probably forever.

The fishing industry and Fishing for Leave have warned that, with much of the industry already struggling, continuing CFP policy for the transition would finish many off.

The transition would allow the EU to enforce detrimental rules to cull the UK fleet. This would allow the EU to use Article 62.2 of UNCLOS to claim Britain’s ‘surplus’ resources that a shrunken British fleet would not have the capacity to catch.

The Fisheries Bill may set in place the legislative ability for Britain to independently take back control, but it doesn’t look like happening soon – which is disastrous.

We also reiterate our grave concern and continue to lambast the failed proposal to address discarding of fish above quota limits whilst keeping the fundamentally flawed quota system that causes the discards.

The government proposes using our repatriated resources to give extra fishing allowances to vessels, so they have enough quota for all species and therefore will not need to discard.

However, this extra will not be allowed to be profited from – it must be landed for free.

All this will do is perpetuate a race-to-fish. Vessels will have to catch more and more to find what they can profit from. Instead of discarding, they will have to land mountains of fish for free.

We have told DEFRA that this will fail spectacularly. Sadly our advice seems to have fallen on deaf ears.

LESC: We must avoid committing ourselves to paying large sums of money to the EU

The Labour Euro-Safeguards Campaign (LESC) has warned that the UK must avoid committing itself to paying large sums of money to the EU, which would have to be met even if the main negotiations on a Withdrawal Agreement broke down.

In its September 2018 Bulletin, published here on our website, LESC reviews the choices facing the UK as the Brexit negotiations move towards their conclusion.

LESC recommends that, given the ongoing uncertainty – both as to what the EU will agree to and what Parliament would accept – we must prepare for a ‘no deal’ scenario. In the meantime, however, we need to make sure that we are not pushed into obligations, especially over very large sums of money, which we would have to meet even if the main negotiations broke down.

Labour needs to be very careful not to be complicit in generating an outcome where the UK has a legal obligation to pay £39bn but we still finish up with ‘no deal’. It also needs to avoid alienating key sections of the Party’s traditional support by taking an intransigently Remain stance during the difficult negotiating period which lies ahead.

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LESC was formed after the 1975 referendum, to continue to make the Labour case that the UK should withdraw from the Common Market. It is a long-term affiliated member of the Campaign for an Independent Britain. For more information, please visit the LESC website.

Catch up with us at the Conservative Party Conference

CIB committee member, political scientist Dr Anna Bailey, will be at the Conservative Party Conference this week keeping a keen eye on all things Brexit. Dr Bailey has recently taken on responsibility for running the CIB website and Facebook page, and over the coming months will be implementing a strategy to expand our reach and influence. If you spot her at either the official conference, or the Brexit Advance Alternative Conference, please do pop over and say hello. We’re always keen to catch up with our members – and of course to encourage new members to join!

Dr Bailey will be at the following events:

…plus a variety of other Brexit-related fringe events.

Rumours of our demise have been greatly exaggerated…

Transition periods are always frustrating, but sometimes they are necessary. We would like to thank all of our supporters and readers for their patience while we got the CIB website up and running again following John Petley’s departure as Operations Manager.

Thank you to everyone who has been in touch to enquire about the future of CIB. It is reassuring to know that our input has been missed. We would like to make clear that CIB has no plans to wind down. We have been campaigning for UK sovereignty since 1969, and we will continue the fight for as long as it takes to guarantee this. Even assuming a satisfactory Brexit in March 2019 (something which currently looks in great doubt), the threat the EU poses to our sovereignty will not dissipate immediately. We have no doubt that Ultra-Remainers will try to surrender our sovereignty for years to come, whether by dragging us back into the EU, or by signing us up piecemeal to so-called ‘co-operation’ and ‘partnerships’, such as in defence or law and order. As long as the threat remains, CIB will be here to fight against it.

To be completely frank, we could no longer afford a salaried Operations Manager because our funds might well run out before independence is securely achieved. We simply do not have the financial means to continue to employ a permanent member of staff. Dr Anna L. Bailey, a political scientist and CIB committee member, will now be updating the website as well as running our Facebook page, but she will only be working for a few hours a week. Please therefore accept our apologies in advance if we cannot respond to everyone individually as before.

This serves to underline how reliant we are on the financial support of our members, be it through membership fees, donations, or legacies. Unlike Remainers, we do not have wealthy elites bankrolling us. We are funded entirely by ordinary people who care about their country’s sovereignty. There are several ways you can help support our cause.

If you are not already a member of CIB, please join. It’s only £20 per year, and just £10 per year for under 25s and over 65s. We’re sure you’ll agree that this is a tiny price to pay to ensure that CIB can continue to fight for the UK’s independence and sovereignty at this critical time. If you are able to contribute more, please make a donation, and keep your eyes peeled for our upcoming annual Christmas appeal. If you have a will, please consider leaving a legacy to CIB so that we can continue to fight for independence for future generations.

And now, back to business. We will be posting some analytical pieces on the EU and Brexit later this week. In the meantime, if you’re not already following our Facebook page, please give it a ‘like’ to keep up to date with everything we post.