#NotComics… So, Brexit is upon us and this weekend, Britain left the European Union after voting in the referendum of 2016. I mean, yeah but no, but yeah. You won't notice most differences for a year, as everything is kind of on hold. But there will be the death of a thousand cuts between then and now. We also had a General Election in 2019 which saw the Liberal Democrats crash on a policy of cancelling Brexit. The Labour Party dithered in a kind of Shrodinger's Brexit with a generation-defining loss of votes and seats. While the Conservative Party romped home on a policy of Get Brexit Done – and possibly Get The Brexit Party Done as well. Nigel Farage, leader of the Brexit Party, and the United Kingdom Independence Party was in the most celebratory mood this weekend though, He stated that the Brexit Party would continue, to keep an eye on the Tories and the Brexit process, and ensure there was no slipping back. But he also stated that he could see the case for a second referendum – a Brentrance referendum if you will, in a few years once the impact of Brexit had been appreciated by the country.
Nigel Farage – Our Guiding Light
So, taking Nigel Farage as our moral compass, the fightback starts here. The United Kingdom Dependence Party, inspired by Nige, will be fighting for Britain to join the European Union, including freedom of trade, of travel, of work, with aligned standards, a court, a Parliament, funded projects and all the financial stability that the European Union can bring (unless you are Greece). Since the vote, the value of the pound has dropped by a quarter, few people realised just how much financial welly was provided by the EU as a bulwark against the dollar. But those in the UK buying American comics know that better than most right now.
Now, obviously, Britain won't be able to enter the European Union on the deal that we previously had. We had a bit of a sweetheart deal, with a financial rebate negotiated by Thatcher. But it will be better than any of the likely alternatives. And with every company that leaves the UK, every financial figure that goes the wrong way, the argument to join the EU will get bigger and bigger.
Where It All Began
UKIP originated as the Anti-Federalist League, a single-issue left-wing Eurosceptic party by one Alan Sked in 1991, renamed UKIP in 1993 but its growth remained slow. In 1997, the founder Sked was ousted by a faction led by Nigel Farage, who became the party's preeminent figure and began to lean to the right. In 2006, Farage officially became leader and under his direction the party adopted a wider policy platform, promoting concerns about immigration – especially from Poland, Romania, Hungary and potentially Turkey. Much of the media were happy to have new people to demonise and played up this rhetoric. UKIP made significant breakthroughs at the 2013 local elections, 2014 European elections, and 2015 general election. The pressure UKIP exerted on Conservative government support ahead of a general election was the main reason for Prime Minister David Cameron's commitment to a 2016 referendum which led to the UK's commitment to withdraw from the European Union. Subsequently, UKIP moved into even more far-right territory by emphasising an anti-Islamic message and bringing in agitator Tommy Robinson as an advisor. At this, many longstanding members, including Farage, left and founded the new Brexit Party. And fought as part of the Leave campaign in the referendum.
Only Two Percent More
But Farage made it from becoming leader of a party which had single-digit (sometimes not even that) percentage support, with a one-issue policy that most people didn't care about, to getting a full-blown referendum and victory in ten years. Whereas the pro-European Union faction in the UK had 48% at the time of the referendum, and support for another referendum from Nigel Farage himself. And maybe a few of the media bosses may start to realise the appeal of the European Union again – if only to have an Aunt Sally to launch all their anti-European Union stories against. It's no fun if you're not part of the club to have a go at the waiters…
So, the United Kingdom Dependence Party, fighting for a referendum on joining the European Union, once and for all. Who's in?
(Seen outside Parliament last night…)