It’s the economy that will decide the EU referendum
Celebrity endorsements will not cut the mustard: Dominic Cummings needs articulate business people to make a case for leaving the EU
By Michael Fabricant
In a packed Division Lobby last week, a senior colleague and a former chairman of an influential Select Committee whispered in my ear. "Don’t worry. Cameron will come back from Europe with some botched deal where we have regained little sovereignty and the great British public will vote to leave the European Union."
Is he deluded or am I?
Not about the "botched deal". There is bound to be a compromise; there always is with this sort of negotiation. But about the great British public.
If my fellow ‘outters’ – I am a member of Conservatives for Britain, the new grouping of EuroSceptic MPs hoping for a no vote come the Referendum – believe that the issue of ‘sovereignty’ will tickle the British Public’s erogenous zone, I fear they could be in for a huge disappointment.
Although the sting of the expenses scandal is slowly easing, there is still no love for MPs and the opinions they hold. Indeed, I suspect the vast majority of the great British public would welcome any move that constrains the maneuverability of MPs in what many hold to be a discredited Parliament even if the controls are in Brussels. So sovereignty is not going to be the issue.
It will be the economy. Will we all be better off out?
The appointment of Dominic Cummings to coordinate the ‘No Campaign’ is an inspired move. His uncompromising approach is right, but reports that he intends to coordinate a dream ticket of politicians, celebrities, and businessmen to argue the case for ‘No’ must be music to the ears of David Cameron and the Number 10 team.
For reasons I have never quite got to the bottom of, the majority of prominent EuroSceptic MPs share scepticism and personality deficit in equal measure. While I often find it hard to find common ground with Ken Clarke on the subject of Europe, there is no doubt that he has personality in shed loads. And so do many others. By contrast, outters will find it hard to persuade the public based on arguments of sovereignty and loathing.
Similarly, ‘celebrity’ cuts little ice with the public who thankfully have better sense. Ed Miliband’s disastrous courtship with Russell Brand demonstrated the futility of believing a sprinkling of stardust will change political fortunes. And it is a huge relief that it is so.
No. It is the purse or wallet that influences the British voter. Little more. Even immigration probably is less important.
Dominic Cummings and others will have to recruit serious, articulate, and plausible business people who can argue that freed of archaic socialist regulations imposed by Brussels, the British economy will soar still higher to the betterment of the wealth of our nation and its citizens. you can bet your bottom Euro that there will be plenty of others who will argue the contrary.
A friend who works for the U.S. State Department warned me that the President will continue to call for Britain’s retained membership of the EU. And President Obama did just that only a few days ago. Why? Because he fears Britain will become isolationist? No. We are members of NATO and the UN Security Council and will continue to do so. Because he fears Britain’s economy will decline out of the EU? No. in the past, the U.S. Treasury has predicted a brighter economic future for Britain out of the EU. As my State Department friend said to me: "Britain is the only sane large nation in the EU whom we can talk to. You daren’t leave!"
In Parliament over the last couple of weeks, David Cameron has talked about Britain being at the heart of the Single Market while other nations mat choose to be at the heart of the Eurozone and an ever closer Union. His argument is compelling. If we are ever to achieve Brexit, Dominic Cummins and the Outters will need much more than a few MPs and celebrities as advocates to achieve this.