1 Nov 2015

Is the penny dropping about Vote Leave's true intentions?

Against a backdrop of Dominic Cummings refusing to answer any questions or points made by this blog, and Matthew Elliott's protege, the Conservative Home editor Mark Wallace, dismissing the evidence presented as a 'conspiracy theory', the increasingly absurd Vote Leave campaign has released its first 'Monthly Big Picture Update'. You can read it here.

You can imagine our surprise to discover there is nothing in it about actually leaving the EU... Sarcasm aside, there is just the usual chuntering about 'voting to leave' and an undefined negotiation, followed by the now familiar vacuum where people should reasonably expect explicit details of Vote Leave's intended destination and a plan for getting there.

However, the language used by Vote Leave, in a section detailing the lessons for them, does tell us what their game is. The parts we have underlined in red particularly stand out and demand a response:

Looking at point 1 in the image above, we see the continuation of Vote Leave talking about 'voting to leave' but nothing beyond that. They want the support of people who want Brexit, but where is the commitment to Brexit at the end of this yellow brick road? The Dominic Cummings Grand Design continues.

NB: We have repeatedly asked Vote Leave's campaign director, Dominic Cummings and head of media, Robert Oxley, is the position of Vote Leave that Britain must leave the EU for good? They have refused to answer that question. They have never once argued that Britain must actually leave the EU.

So it comes as no surprise that their campaign material continues to exclude any reference to actually leaving the EU after a vote to leave. As you can see in point 4, Vote Leave talks about taking back powers over some issues. That isn't Brexit. That isn't taking full control of one's own country. It is the Business for Britain reform agenda. It means Britain would remain in the EU.

When we move on to point 7, we can see Vote Leave's true intentions. Why does the EU model matter if we are planning to leave? Why would new institutions be of any relevance if we are leaving the EU? Consideration for the EU model and new institutions only matters if you plan to be part of them by remaining in the EU. Again, this is all about reform and nothing about Brexit.

The reason why Vote Leave never talk about leaving the EU for good is that they have no intention of that happening. It is not part of their agenda.

They are making it clear their aim is to force David Cameron to negotiate for more crumbs from the EU table, using a vote to leave as nothing more than extra leverage to help Cameron secure new EU deal that goes further than he wants. The Financial Times has reported this recently:

As has the Telegraph which made the objective very clear:

When you add all of this together, we believe any reasonable person would conclude that Vote Leave's true intentions are in no way anything to do with leaving the EU.

Readers should draw their own conclusions. But if it is clear to you that Vote Leave is only masquerading as a Leave campaign to achieve ulterior EU reform aims, we hope you will agree that the responsible course of action is to bring it to the attention of as many people as possible, so they are not taken in.