22 Oct 2015

Dominic Cummings' plan: Vote to Leave, Get Remain in a 'Reformed EU'

If Vote Leave want Britain to leave the EU, why won't they say so?

It would be easier getting blood from a stone than getting a straight answer from Vote Leave on this subject. Since my last blog post Dominic Cummings has tweeted me in response to the questions I have been asking.

Cummings' tweets however take people no closer to an unequivocal statement about Vote Leave's objectives. So I have replied to this morning's three messages with some very clear and straightforward questions.

After all, €lliott has been silent since the campaign launch and has been deliberately kept out of the public eye exactly because everything he has said runs contrary to what Vote Leave want people to assume and believe the campaign stands for. If he has changed position, let him say so publicly and explain why.

Here again we see the Business for Britain line being taken... undefined references to 'change', and talk of a 'new UK-EU deal', but no mention of Brexit. Plus, you may wonder, what are 'maximum sensible changes'? Surely if Vote Leave wants people to vote to leave the EU, the only change that is needed is leaving the EU. But why do they doggedly avoid any mention of that? Why is Cummings' language about the Vote Leave position intentionally vague?

We can leave the EU or we can negotiate a hypothetical reform deal with them. The two outcomes are mutually exclusive. Cummings talks of a deal, so this is the 'stay in a reformed EU' agenda writ large.

The fact is, despite Cummings' claim, there is nothing on their website that is any different from the Business for Britain narrative on securing reforms, some powers coming back to Britain, undefined new relationships and opt outs from some EU laws. Nowhere on the Vote Leave website is there any talk of Britain leaving the EU. Hence the need for a yes/no answer to the question I have replied with.

However, his subsequent reply a few minutes ago as I am writing this post, shows he is dancing on a pin head. I asked him, 'Is your campaign's aim Brexit from the EU? Yes or no. His response is nothing short of farcical.

Cummings is clinging to a ridiculously narrow premise and dodging the question. If Vote Leave's destination is Britain leaving the EU, why not simply say so? Why this pathetic attempt to avoid answering the question asked and focus on voting to leave with no mention of what the desired outcome is after that? We know the answer, and he knows we know the answer...

Cummings is trying to convince ordinary voters who want Brexit to support Vote Leave in order to bolster the unchanged Business for Britain EU reform agenda. Negotiating with the EU for a new deal can result in continued membership... it is not the same as leaving the EU. He intends a vote to leave to be used as nothing more than leverage for David Cameron to secure the reforms his business backers want, which will result in Britain remaining in the EU. Britain leaving the EU is not part of Vote Leave's agenda. That is why Cummings will not say that it is.

Their desired outcome is clear. Vote to Leave, get Remain in a reformed EU.