BlogNewsBacking Brexit at the ballot box

Backing Brexit at the ballot box

Backing Brexit at the ballot box

We remain trapped in the same old loop! So long as there is a belief that a better deal can be negotiated, Brexiteer MPs won’t come round to what is on the table, Parliament will continue to work against a no-deal exit and nothing will change.

There is speculation that another vote on the Withdrawal Bill could happen as early as next week – a risky strategy from Downing Street, hoping it will pile pressure on Labour MPs in Leave-backing seats.

But there is only one safe bet, and that is the Conservative and Labour arrogance in failing to carry out the will of the people will land them very bloody noses in the local and European elections.

In my own constituency, I hear there is a lot of anger on the doorsteps and a lot of people saying they will never vote again. Others will vote UKIP or independent – watch out for a sea change in town halls up and down the land!

And in the European elections – which not in our wildest nightmares did we ever think we’d be partaking in again – Nigel Farage and his impressive list of candidates are polling at 27% already, significantly higher than the Conservatives and Labour at 15% and 22% respectively.

As for me, after five years of serving the West Midlands as an MEP, I’m retiring from politics and I’m bitterly disappointed that we failed to make the Brexit deadline of March 29.

I remain in post until the end of June but the European Parliament is now in recess pending the forthcoming Euro elections, so I’ve cleared my office in Brussels and my constituency office in Kidderminster closes on Friday.

I campaigned for more than 20 years for Britain to regain its independence from the shackles of the EU but my joy at the referendum result in 2016 has been soured by the inept handling of Brexit by the Conservative government and Parliament’s failure to endorse the decision of the people and leave on WTO terms on the date set.

The Prime Minister’s Withdrawal Agreement is the worst in history, leaving the UK tied to EU rules but with no influence, a backstop that potentially locks us into a customs union indefinitely and a bill of at least £39 billion.

It satisfies no-one, neither Remainers nor Leavers, and our MPs should have voted to leave on WTO terms, enabling the UK to trade around the world, free from the protectionist, self-serving EU with its desire for ever closer union.

Tariffs are falling across the globe – the fear of Armageddon is unfounded, and businesses would not allow political motivations to harm their trading opportunities.

My proudest political achievement was my contribution to the Leave campaign in the West Midlands, which attracted a 59% share of the votes, making the region the highest scoring for exiting the EU.

It has been an honour to serve the West Midlands as an MEP and I have done my best to help, support and campaign for the region and its people.

At the same time, I have, of course, taken every opportunity in Brussels and Strasbourg, as well as back home, to speak out against what I believe is the negative impact of the European Union on the UK and the rest of Europe.

Through my membership of the Foreign Affairs Committee and as a former UKIP spokesman on the Commonwealth, I have also been committed to supporting nations outside the bloc.

I expected to finish my political career on a high, in celebratory mood with Brexit accomplished, but instead I go wondering whether it will ever actually happen!

I leave the fight to others now, and I’m glad to see Nigel Farage taking up the gauntlet again – we can only speculate whether things might have been different if he’d not dropped it after the referendum. But he’s back now fighting the good fight – I know who’ll get my vote and I implore you, even though you may feel equally frustrated, not to give up and at every opportunity to back Brexit at the ballot box.

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