MEP Nigel Farage, Labour MP Kate Hoey, and Conservative former Brexit Secretary David Davis launched the “rebirth of the People’s Army” to stop the “betrayal” of Brexit.
Organised as part of Leave Means Leave’s Save Brexit Campaign, the ‘Stop Brexit Betrayal’ rally in Bolton on Saturday afternoon saw the three Brexiteer heavyweights barnstorm for support of a clean Brexit with a free trade deal over Prime Minister Theresa May’s Chequers plan.
Appearing for the first time on stage as part of a political campaign since June 2016’s referendum vote, Mr Farage explained that the group would start to counter the Remain camp’s negative “lobbying and campaigning”, saying: “We will explain that a free trade deal is possible if that is what the gangsters in Brussels want and if they don’t that is fine.
“If they don’t, we will leave with no deal and far from being a cliff edge — no deal, no problem. We will be an independent country. That is what matters,” he told the crowd of 2,000 and the some 63,000 who streamed the event live from Facebook.
The former UKIP leader remobilised Brexit supporters to contact their local MPs “who do not wish to clearly take us out of the European Union… to say to those MPs, ‘If you betray what we instructed you to do we will never for you again.’”
“And we’ll do it politely… We’ll do it in the best traditions of this country, and we’ll do it firmly. We make them know where we stand on this issue.”
“We do not know what the political class will throw at us. I want us to get them to change their minds. I want them to deliver a proper Brexit on March 29th next year.”
“Today is the relaunch of the People’s Army that gave us Brexit, and we must deliver it.”
Also speaking was Labour’s MP for Vauxhall Kate Hoey, who, since supporting Brexit has faced threats of deselection from her own party, told the audience that achieving Brexit is “above party politics and my country comes before my party”.
She also condemned “the patronising voices of the mainly London establishment” who claimed Brexit voters “didn’t really know the issues” when they voted in the biggest democratic mandate in British history.
“That they were stupid, that they were unenlightened, and probably racist,” the Labour MP continued.
“How dare they. And these very same people are calling for a People’s Vote. Well, the message goes out here today: we’ve had the vote, we don’t want another vote, we don’t need another vote. We just want to leave.”
Former Brexit secretary David Davis, who resigned his post in protest at Mrs May’s soft Brexit plan, put to the audience a free trade deal without legal ties to the bloc, saying: “We should only accept a clean and clear Brexit. Not some fudge, not some weak compromise — which is exactly what I think Chequers is.”
“Were told there is no alternative,” he added. “That is just a lie. The best answer for us — and the EU — is a free trade deal. An advanced, streamline, free trade deal, based on the best in the world. That is what we need to go for.”
Noting that the EU has already done one with Canada, South Korea, and is in the process of completing one with Japan, he asked: “It’s an agreement between two sovereign entities with zero tariffs but no free movement, no payment of vast sums of money, no European oversight, no interference in Canadian laws — why can’t we have that?”
“Using just the precedents [of their other free trade deals], the European Union itself has created, we can create the best trade deal in the world,” he added.
The launch came after the Soros-backed Best for Britain group announced it would be targeting voters to push their MPs for a second vote, while another group of Europhiles will take their case to the EU’s top court to see if MPs can vote to reverse Article 50.
Employing a ‘battle bus’, the pro-Brexit cross-party group has five future events planned in Birmingham, Torquay, Bournemouth, Gateshead, and Harrowgate featuring speakers including leader of the European Research Group and Tory grassroots favourite Jacob Rees-Mogg, Wetherspoons founder Tim Martin, and Labour Leave’s Brendan Chilton.
Soros-Backed Group Ramps up Campaign for Second Referendum, EU Court to Hear Case on Revoking Article 50 https://t.co/gqez7my5nk
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) September 22, 2018
Follow Victoria Friedman on Twitter at @FriedmanPress