BREXIT UNITED?

A look at how pro-Brexit organisations work together – or not

Over the past three years we have received repeated questions asking why pro-Brexit organisations – and pro-Brexit MPs come to that – don’t combine forces and work together. In the past three months or so we have noticed an increase in the frequency and the intensity of these questions.

Here we attempt to shed some light on this area and answer your questions in one go.

Do pro-Brexit organisations work together?

Let’s start with the positives. Many groups do talk to each other and some groups do actually work together to varying degrees. Brexit Facts4EU.Org has informal contact with nearly 30 groups and we work more closely with around 10 of these, speaking on at least a fortnightly basis.

Our special interest has always been the research and publication of official facts, in a punchy format designed to be read quickly and easily by the public.

Last summer we reluctantly decided we had to add an element of campaigning into the mix, as we felt that the Remain side were dominating both the debate and the airwaves. It was clear that MPs were hearing from Remainers in a quite disproportionate way.

We began last summer with a letter campaign to cabinet ministers in the week before the Chequers meeting. We then followed this up with our famous ‘Brexit Battle Pack’ some weeks later, giving people all the advice and tools they needed to deluge MPs and the media.

Working to ensure the endorsement of other groups

We took the initiative and contacted as many pro-Brexit groups as we could. This resulted in 14 groups, including us, all endorsing the Pack. One had to be removed for reasons we won’t go into here.

© Logos are the copyright of each organisation

In December we started telling other groups about the ‘#GoWTO campaign we were launching. This has so far resulted in 15 groups endorsing it.

© Logos are the copyright of each organisation

Having so many groups on board has helped to turn this into a highly-successful campaign, and we now have the backing of 4 headlining MPs and 3 MEPs.

Promoting other groups’ work

Over the past three years we have promoted the work of other groups consistently. Readers will have seen our guest articles, our re-publishing and promotion of other groups’ articles and campaigns, as well as our articles about the formation of new groups. The most recent example of the latter was about Students for Brexit on Monday of this week.

© Students for Brexit 2019

Occasionally another group will ask to re-publish something from us, and we have always given immediate permission.

An example of this can be seen on the website of the Campaign for an Independent Britain, where one of our pieces is the headline article.

© CIB 2019

Finally there is social media. Endorsing the work of other organisations is one thing, but actively promoting them is another. Every week we re-tweet dozens of posts from other Brexit organisations.

Some groups even re-tweet our own work on a regular basis.

Why are there so many pro-Brexit organisations?

There are dozens of pro-Brexit groups in the UK – so many that we cannot be sure of producing a definitive list. Broadly these might be characterised as follows:-

  • Special interest groups
  • Geographically-focused groups
  • Campaigning versus researching and informing
  • ‘Establishment’ versus ‘Populist’
  • Longevity versus new kids on the block
  • Egotists versus altruists

Shortly after we started, we contacted the major Brexit organisations at that time, offering to amalgamate with them and perhaps to become their ‘facts arm’. Unfortunately we were rejected. Undaunted we tried several more times since, but still without success.

Smaller groups tend to be much friendlier in our experience. Almost everyone is operating on a shoestring, although some have regular funding from key individuals – something we would love to have! As regular readers know, we rely on a uncertain flow of public donations, which are gratefully received but which don’t cover our costs.

One of the issues for many groups when it comes to working together is that they simply don’t have time, because of their lack of resources. We understand this. In the last few months we have spent an enormous amount of time talking to other groups and to politicians, either asking them to endorse our campaigns or in cooperating with or supporting them in other ways. This work is mostly unseen by readers.

Observations

The simple answer as to why there are so many groups is that Brexit is a complex issue and different groups deal with different parts of it. Many of these groups do talk to each other regularly and do cooperate.

When it comes to the ‘big names’, we are not able to comment.

So far, the impetus from smaller groups has been more on this communication than on any desire to join forces formally. Nevertheless, we would say that the collaboration between smaller groups is a great deal healthier than it was a year ago.

Finally, there are a large number of determined, hard-working, patriotic and democratic people in all the smaller Brexit organisations, many of whom have sacrificed a lot for Brexit.

Below we list some of the organisations we have collaborated with in the last year, in no particular order. This does not include some other organisations with whom we have had contact.

  • The City for Britain
  • Get Britain Out
  • Global Britain
  • The Bruges Group
  • The Campaign for an Independent Britain
  • Scots for Leave
  • The Alliance of British Entrepreneurs
  • Veterans for Britain
  • Fishing for Leave
  • Democrats and Veterans Party
  • The Time Party
  • Leavers of Britain
  • TheList - Brexit
  • Green Leaves
  • Artists for Brexit
  • The Great Brexit Debate
  • Students for Brexit
  • Economists for Free Trade
  • Lawyers for Britain
  • Better Off Out

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