The Sunday Express, 9 August, Sir Iain Duncan Smith MP
Most people who voted to leave the EU, did so to return sovereignty to our shores. In polling conducted by Lord Ashcroft on the day of the 2016 EU referendum, nearly half of leave voters said the biggest single reason for wanting to leave the EU was the principle that decisions about the UK should be taken in the UK. Only a third said the main reason was to regain control over immigration and its own borders.
Importantly, in a recent poll conducted by Savanta ComRes of people in ‘Red Wall’ seats that turned Conservative at the 2019 election, by a margin of 49 percent agreed that leaving the EU in 2020 rather than later will mean that Britain recaptures the national independence it had before it joined the Common Market in 1973 sooner, only 26 percent opposed. This level of agreement rises to two thirds among ‘Red Wall’ residents who voted Labour in the 2017 general election then switched to the Conservatives in the 2019 election – and nearly three quarters of people who voted Conservative in both elections.
I recently wrote a short article pointing out that the Withdrawal agreement still had within it areas which left the UK financially committed to the EU long after we leave. To my surprise, a significant number of people claimed this was a revelation. It wasn’t, Boris Johnson successfully resolved the biggest problem with the WA by getting rid of Theresa May’s NI Backstop, allowing us to leave as a Sovereign nation at the end of January 2020, which we did. These other issues in the WA were known but can now be resolved by the UK as a sovereign nation in the negotiations this year. Importantly, David Frost, Boris’s chief negotiator made it clear he agreed when he wrote that in the negotiations, the UK places sovereignty above all else. It is in that context that the issue of how these outstanding payments to the EU impinge on the UK’s sovereignty which matter now.
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