Richard Tice is an entrepreneur, campaigner and co-founder of Leave means Leave
The twenty-third of June 2016 was a historic victory of the people against the establishment; of belief against self doubt; of hope against fear. Parliament has had nearly three years to achieve the prize of self-governance demanded by the people.
Instead, politicians and grey suits with vested interests have done everything in their power to prevent it. The time has come, therefore, to show MPs, civil servants and Brussels bureaucrats that we, the people, will not sit by while they betray the greatest democratic exercise in the history of our country.
That is why the group I founded, Leave Means Leave, has organised an epic protest marching the length of the country: the March to Leave.
We have been asked by thousands of people to show, by way of a mass demonstration, Brexit voters’ dissatisfaction at the way the Government has conducted these negotiations and the fact that we are not getting what we voted for – which is to leave with a proper, clean Brexit.
If MPs ratify the Withdrawal Agreement, the majority of British people will not forgive the Government for having put the country into a straitjacket and given the only key to the padlock to Eurocrats in Brussels, which can unlock us at their timing, or never at all.
This peaceful protest is the perfect opportunity for Brexiteers to send a clear and powerful message to MPs: failing to deliver a true Brexit will cause long-term damage in the British people’s faith in parliamentary democracy. Parliament needs to understand just how dismayed people across the country, especially outside London, truly are.
The March to Leave will start in Sunderland on 16th March and end two weeks later in London on 29th March (what should be Brexit day). It will be comprised of a core group of marchers, who will complete the whole route, and cheerleaders who will join for up to a day, on the 14 legs of the journey. Even if it’s just for half an hour, come and join the fun!
The march will culminate in a huge Brexit event at Parliament Square in Westminster, with leading Brexiteers gathered for one final protest. You can sign up for that here. Your presence on the march will be hugely significant, and massively increase the pressure on our elected representatives to do the right thing.
But what is the “right thing”? Put simply: leaving the EU on WTO terms on 29th March. Politicians, civil servants and quangocrats led by the Bank of England and the CBI have spent far too long creating problems while not looking for solutions. Unforgivably, deliberately, they portray a shocking lack of confidence in our great nation. They ooze self-defeatism. Where is their “can do, get things done” British spirit? Where is their “glass half full, not half empty” confidence that is essential in leadership as we seek to grasp the many opportunities that leaving the EU presents?
The cynic in me is not surprised. While 52 per cent of the electorate voted for Brexit, only 24 per cent of our current MPs voted to leave. Both an extension of Article 50 or the Prime Minister’s woeful deal, which is Brexit in name only and would leave the UK permanently in the EU’s legislative orbit, are completely unacceptable.
Let’s Go WTO is the fast becoming the go-to feeling across the country. The British people do not like being told by what to do and how to act by the bullies of Brussels. A WTO Brexit can save the United Kingdom £39 billion and free us to run our country as we see fit: smart laws not daft laws, decent trade deals, and a sensible immigration policy that works for our economy and our people.
We can reduce prices by cutting tariffs immediately on goods we do not produce, to help the poorest in society. We can invest without EU interference in infrastructure. We can create thousands of manufacturing jobs in tax free zones at our ports, thereby helping some of our most economically underdeveloped regions. A WTO Brexit would help the least well off the most, yet the establishment elite wants to stop this.
Whatever happens over the next few weeks, one thing is for sure; we cannot have the same dreadful negotiating team, who have done such a bad job on behalf of this country, to carry out the next phase of the negotiations. They have tried, failed and should be fired. We need negotiators that believe in Brexit, and who believe that no deal is better than a bad deal.
The March to Leave will mean different things to different people. To me, it will be about trust in our democracy and confidence on our great country. It will be our last big chance to send a strong message to the people who are supposed to lead it. Join me and thousands of others by participating in the March To Leave. Let’s march for a proper Brexit, and a brighter more confident future.