Let’s challenge the Remainers’ slurs and smears with an unashamedly positive Brexit agenda

Let’s challenge the Remainers’ slurs and smears with an unashamedly positive Brexit agenda

It’s happening again. Have you noticed? The slurs. The smears. The tropes. With the phenomenal and unprecedented emergence of the Brexit Party (complete with election-topping poll predictions) Labour, the Conservatives and their faithful ambassadors in the media have gone on the attack.

Andrew Marr’s cringeworthy interview with Nigel Farage on Sunday revealed that the BBC research team spent licence fee-payers’ money trawling the archives for any historical statement he’s ever made to get off topic and detract from the debate on the veteran broadcaster’s eponymous political programme.

During a panel discussion for Radio 4’s Westminster Hour on Sunday, I found myself subjected to the usual lazy attacks from Labour insinuating that somehow our quest for autonomy is unsavoury. They did this in 2014 to no effect. They’re using the same strategy again.

The Great Brexit Debate is on rinse and repeat. What Nigel said to Marr about psychologically preparing for a second referendum is right. We need to be ready to go into battle for our beliefs yet again. It is now highly likely that to break the SW1-contrived political deadlock we will have to face some kind of public ballot. The problem with this is that, unless the result swings in favour of ‘Remain’, the cycle will have to be repeated ad nauseam while the status quo continues.

That is why it is time to change tack.

Whether we are forced back into a second referendum or a general election, where the First Past The Post system gives substantial in-built advantages to the two main parties, both will require a leap of faith from a fatigued electorate to ensure the democratic will of the British people is upheld. Much like Liverpool’s epic comeback in the Champions League semi-final last week, what we need is belief. We have to become, as Jürgen Klopp described his team, ‘mentality giants’.

So how do we do this? With positivity.

The more we can frame Brexit with the simple and patently true message of opportunity and agency, the harder it will be for the other side to argue any sort of positive of being involuntarily trapped within a declining and deceptive supranational bloc.

Let Guy Verhofstadt strut. Last week’s Storyville documentary on BBC4 where his staffers celebrate turning the UK into a colony could not be more helpful. If you haven’t watched it, I implore you to do so – part one is here and part two is here.

Challenge Remainers on their choice of Spitzenkandidaten: we are gifted with the fact that the candidates  for European Commission President are currently setting out their respective agendas to be Juncker’s successor. How many Remainers do you think would be able to name even a single candidate for Europe’s top job, let alone outline their agenda to be imposed upon the UK forever? Their argument is that being governed by someone who (i) you can’t name (ii) whose plans you really don’t know, and (iii) who we can’t get rid of is irrelevant. Doesn’t this sound absurd?

Ensure that our youth are aware that Brexit is placing our country’s destiny, and their futures, entirely in their hands. Why the leaders of tomorrow would rather subject themselves to an unknowable future under the architects of the Eurozone crisis – which has caused mass unemployment for a generation of young people in the Mediterranean – is beyond me. Show them that Brexit means they are the sole authors of their own destiny.

Communicate that Brexit is progressive. It means changing the way a stagnated and outdated trading system works. Brussels is a one-stop-shop for big business and big banks to manoeuvre in the corridors of power in the interests of profit, not people. The Customs Union facilitates ongoing exploitation of the developing world, trapping three quarters of the workforce of Sub-Saharan Africa in agrarian toil at the behest of 30,000 corporate lobbyists in Brussels.

Explain that while international cooperation on big issues, such as climate change, is vital, this exists within the framework of the Kyoto Protocol. No need for us to remain a vassal state of the EU. Besides, Brussels’ handling of carbon trading is often cynical and corrupt and shifts the blame onto poorer countries. The UK already does better than our continental neighbours and would continue to do so.

Point out that the UK’s standards on workers’ rights, social protection and animal welfare are already some of the best in Europe and would improve further as our new-found autonomy enables even bolder steps.

Show that continental collaboration in academia and research, such as CERN and Erasmus+, are not beholden to EU membership; the large Hadron collider is in Switzerland and Erasmus+ has 34 member countries and 22 partner countries compared to the 28 member states of the EU. Remind our youth with pride that the UK boasts more of the world’s top 100 universities than the rest of the EU and we will always be not just a desirable research and academic collaborator, but a vital one.

There are so many moral arguments for Brexit. We need to tap into this positivity to capture the zeitgeist and take as many people with us as possible.

Show our countrymen and women that Brexit will enable Britain to become a global exemplar and that it is one of the most fantastic, inspirational and exciting journeys to be on.

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