Make 2019 a great year for Brexit and democracy

March 30th should be Independence Day. From that day onwards we need to be in control of our money, our laws and our borders. It can and should be a truly great day for both Britain and the spirit of democracy

Flying the flag for democracy
Sir John Redwood MP
On 3 January 2019 11:49

2019 should be a great year for all who believe in UK democracy. It is the year when Parliament should implement the decision of the People’s vote in 2016.

March 30th should be Independence Day. From that day onwards we need to be in control of our money, our laws and our borders. I have set out in a recent post how we can take advantage of the money we save and the freedoms we gain to give a boost to our economy and an improvement to our society. 

That day should also be the day government strives harder to unite us in the belief that we can both make our own decisions and be good friends, trading partners, and neighbours with the continent. Most Leave voters are not anti Europeans but people who want the UK to be a self governing good friend of our continental allies and trading partners. 

The EU has always said it is only willing to discuss a Free Trade deal after we have left, so the sooner we leave the sooner we can discuss that. It is clear from recent No Deal planning on the continent that they do not wish to lose their export trade to us and recognise the need to ensure smooth functioning of borders after we have left.

The article by an anonymous civil servant in the Telegraph on Saturday was an important statement. She made it clear, as I have done, that much planning for just leaving has gone on in Whitehall over the two and a half years since the decision in the People’s vote.

The UK has plans to keep its borders open for trade, to continue to import the food and medicines it needs, and to grant continuing rights to EU citizens living in the UK currently. Project Fear sounds increasingly desperate, repeating the same old stories with more lurid language. 

As she pointed out, the Remain politicians with their civil service and business allies had failed to make a positive case for EU membership over the 45 years they had their way and we were members. Worse still, throughout our period in it and during the referendum itself most of them denied there was significant power passing to the EU.

They agreed to keep us out of several important parts of the journey to full economic, monetary and political union. It led many people to think we have been holding up the progress the continent wishes to make to a full union.

There were an increasing number of occasions when the UK had to be excluded from deliberations in the EU because we were not part of the Euro and not wanting to enhance and develop the wider budget a currency union needs.

We will be good Europeans by freeing the continent to speed on to its goal of deeper integration, and will end those rows that were all too common about just how much power the EU would have over us

Sir John's writing is re-posted here by his kind permission. This and other articles are available at

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