By Kris Hicks
Editors Note: The author is the Director Of Communications and Press Officer For UKIP.
The Brexit Party is an electoral vehicle for Nigel Farage and friends. With bridges burned with UKIP, Mr Farage had nowhere to go in the event of a delayed Brexit, and another European Parliament election. Et voilà, the Brexit Party.
The preceding statement is the narrative surrounding the formation of Britain’s newest party which exists at present in the form of a confirmation document from the Electoral Commission. While correct, it is a naïve reading of the party’s formation. There is a far more profound role that it plays in British politics – protecting the Tory establishment.
The Brexit Party is a safety valve for the Conservative Party. Should the Tories fail to deliver Brexit, a party such as UKIP, or the new Brexit Party are ideally placed to mop up Leave voters at a future European Parliament election. The difference between the Brexit Party and UKIP is the tunnel vision of the new parties mission – achieve Brexit and only Brexit. This puts pressure on the Tories on the question of EU membership but nothing else – the Tory safety valve built into its formation.
For some, UKIP was supposed to have a safety valve built-in for the Tories. Some saw UKIP as a mere pressure group for eurosceptic Tories increasingly out of favour with a europhile establishment. UKIP, however, holds on to many disturbing ambiguities for Conservative Party loyalists – it produces full-scale manifestos which go far beyond Brexit. A number of these policies, such as strict immigration rules and bringing back Grammar schools would not look out of place in a Tory manifesto of yesteryear.
History shows that a good European Election for UKIP leads to the party moving forward in General Elections. The party reached a zenith of 12.6% of the 2015 General Election vote after winning the 2014 European Parliamentary election with 26.6%. A Brexit Party would almost certainly split the pro-Brexit vote at such an election, and between two parties that almost certainly would not work together in the European Parliament.
UKIP, under Gerard Batten, stands for unilateral and unconditional exit from the European Union while the Brexit Party is another ticket to ride on the EU gravy train for a further five years. A win for the Brexit Party will sugarcoat the ‘not really leaving the EU’ pill and reward individuals who have become accustomed to EU largesse and went ‘native’ a long time ago.
If Britain achieves a real Brexit, and by that, I mean returning to being a full-fledged independent nation-state with absolute controls over law, borders and trade, then the Brexit Party can wither away, never to disturb the established order of the LibLabCon again. But what then?
The next step should be obvious – domesticate Brexit.
What is Brexit without the political will to enact the changes needed to alleviate the concerns which led 17.4 million people to vote to leave in the first place? Grave concerns over uncontrolled mass immigration, the soft-touch treatment of criminals, the deliberate cover-up of sexual abuse in working-class communities and the death of heavy industry which has ravaged communities across the length and breadth of the British Isles. The vote to leave in 2016 was about far more than just Britain’s membership of the European Union – it was a major battle in an ongoing struggle between the political establishment and the downtrodden and forgotten majority.
The Conservatives have failed to sum up the will to fight back against the tyranny of political correctness which stifles any adult conversation about the issues that matter. There is no indication that the Tories will change once Brexit is ‘done’ and British politics returns to business as usual. The Brexit Party will be dismantled its members merging back into the Conservative Party or fading into total political irrelevance. What will remain to domesticate Brexit? UKIP, the party of Brexit and beyond.