In 2015 I founded Grassroots Out (GO) along with Tom Pursglove MP and Councillor Helen Harrison. GO was the grassroots campaign to Leave the European Union. It brought together people of all political persuasions and none.
Our guiding philosophy, against which a judgement will be made as to whether we have actually left the EU, was simple. We had to end the free movement of people, stop paying billions and billions of pounds each year to the European Union, and make our own laws in our own country judged by our own judges.
When Mrs May, as Prime Minister, brought forward her Brexit proposals, they clearly didn’t match GO’s principles. It was, in fact, Brexit in name only. It was for this reason that I was one of the 28 ‘Spartan’ Conservative MPs who voted against her deal.
So, we now have Boris’s deal. Does it meet the GO tests?
Well, clearly it ends the free movement of people. From this Friday, we will have a points-based immigration system which will enable us to reduce the total number of people coming into this country, and those that do come in, will be based on our needs and will be drawn from all over the world.
We won’t be paying billions and billions of pounds to the EU, which will save us over £10 billion per year. In addition, the tariffs we impose on imports from countries outside the EU, will come to the UK not to the EU and this will provide us with an extra £3 billion per year.
From the 1st January, our Parliament will make all the laws and regulations affecting our citizens. No longer will the European Union and its bureaucrats decide the laws affecting our people. Commentators said that Boris would not be able to get this free trade agreement unless we accepted EU laws, he has proved them wrong!
One of the key features of a sovereign state is that its courts are the final arbitrators of its laws and,thereby, the protection of its citizens. Up until now, our Supreme Court has been subservient to the European Court of Justice. From the beginning of 2021, the ECJ will have no jurisdiction over the United Kingdom.
Boris Johnson has succeeded in taking us out of the European Union and delivering fully on the goals that GO set.
As Mrs Thatcher once said, ‘just rejoice at that news’.
Peter Bone MP