Below is the final message from the Vote Leave HQ team to our supporters.
I will be blogging about the campaign at some point over the next few weeks / months.
WE TOOK BACK CONTROL!
Last week you changed the course of history. Vote Leave took on almost every force with power and money and we won. Britain chose to Vote Leave.
This victory would not have happened without your amazing help and generosity. Thousands of you donated. Thousands of you volunteered. Thousands of you spoke to friends and family on our behalf to spread the message. THANK YOU!
In just ten months we built from scratch an unprecedented national movement that took our campaign to every corner of the country. We got to places that ‘politics as usual’ ignored. People who have been ignored, and have never been involved in politics before, suddenly spoke out and took action.
In 2008, the worst financial crisis since 1929 hit the world. The people who paid the bills were mainly those on P.A.Y.E. They are still paying. They are also paying the bills for the EU’s and the euro’s dysfunction. Meanwhile many with power and money who were responsible for the mistakes and were completely wrong in their predictions dodged their fair share of the bills and got rich out of the EU system. We spoke for those on P.A.Y.E.
We did new things. Nobody in the UK has ever successfully built a web-based electoral database. Companies have spent millions and failed. We did it in a few months and succeeded. The combination of this database, our digital communication effort and our ground campaign broke new ground for political campaigns. This database product is worth a lot of money. We will shortly put the code online so that everyone can use it for free in the future (keep an eye on Github if interested). Hopefully it will help other campaigns give the public a powerful voice as we have. We’ve shown political parties how they can change and stop ignoring large parts of the country.
Why is this important? The British political system is broken in many ways and needs big changes – the EU is not our only problem. Our campaign was never controlled by any party though there were great people from all parties who helped us. All the parties have very deep problems. The way they are structured incentivises MPs to focus on themselves and their party – not the public interest.
It is important that the Conservative leadership candidates accept that the vote must be respected. Both the leading IN candidate (Theresa May) and the leading OUT candidate (Michael Gove) have made clear that if they win they will respect the vote and deliver a new UK-EU deal. This could mean, among other things, democratic control of immigration policy. This could marginalise extremists and allow a fair, sensible, and humane new policy. It could mean new trade deals and new jobs. It could mean more money for health, education, and science.
But we cannot be sure it will happen. In particular, while there are many wonderful civil servants there are also many who regard our victory as a disaster. They will try to stop or minimise changes. Not all the candidates in the Conservative leadership campaign have shown an ability to deliver big changes in the face of civil service opposition. Many in Labour are in complete denial about the real state of opinion and the real problems of the EU. Few MPs have the skills needed to manage normal government departments – never mind the EU negotiation and complex problems that implementing the referendum result require. Many MPs are desperate to ignore any lessons from the referendum and go back to politics as usual. The situation is very worrying.
Westminster cannot be relied upon. Taking back control to Britain is just the first step. The next step should be major political changes in Britain so that the broken Westminster and Whitehall system has to focus on the public interest in a way it does not now. If we increase the power of MPs and officials without changing how they behave, we will not solve our problems. We need organisations like Vote Leave to operate permanently to give a voice to those who otherwise won’t be heard.
This campaign did not win because of support in Westminster – it won because of support in the country that has forced Westminster to listen. But three MPs in particular worked closely together and helped us win: Michael Gove (Conservative), Boris Johnson (Conservative), and Gisela Stuart (Labour) who was also a wonderful Chair. We want to thank all three of them too. They put their careers and reputations on the line. THANK YOU Boris, Gisela, and Michael. Thank you too to other MPs of all parties who helped, such as Anne-Marie Trevelyan and Graham Stringer.
It’s been a privilege to have your support throughout this campaign. Your dedication brought victory.
On behalf of the team here at Vote Leave, and on behalf of the public, THANK YOU – and goodbye.
The Vote Leave HQ
P.S. If you want to keep in touch with events after we have won, then follow the private blog of our Campaign Director, Dominic Cummings – CLICK HERE. If we ever want to send up a ‘bat signal’ that Westminster is cheating the vote and we need to form a new movement, you will see the bat signal there…
P.P.S. The website will remain online for many years. We are not using your data for any other purpose. All personal data will be permanently destroyed as we promised at the start. If you want to contribute to our ‘lessons learned’ investigation, then please take this survey – CLICK HERE
Thank you for the great work you did throughout the Leave campaign. However, the fight goes on and, as you rightly say, we must now ensure that there is a vibrant ” no going back” campaign. I hope that you will continue to lead it.
As an avid supporter of independence for Great Britain, I am concerned at the delay in invoking article 50 from the perspective that it gives time for opposition groups to halt the process through lobbying of MPs who apparently can vote against the result
I hope the “bat signal” will not have to be used, but already feels like the government is back tracking. With advocates saying there needs to be parliamentary debate, referendum is not legally binding, and both Teresa May and Michael Gove saying article 50 will not be invoked for months if not years. Andrea Leadsom is coming across as the only honest and viable candidate that we can trust to lead us out of Europe before we lose all dignity and credibility. If we don’t act soon or back pedal we’ll become a laughing stock, and our standing in world politics and Europe will be irreparably damaged. Sorry just had to comment as this is what I’m hearing on the ground.
Thanks for your message. I feel that this is a great opportunity to engage those people who voted in the referendum who normally ignore politics, and feel ignored by Westminster. I think we can show the world that there is a better way of doing things, and I’m interested in supporting new and positive changes which would help to get people into power who are more concerned with the well-being of the whole country than their own personal career plan.
I have never been involved in campaigning before but this issue meant so much to me that I just had to get stuck in, or I would never have forgiven myself if Remain had won. I campaigned in the poor areas of the North West (Morecambe, Keighley, Nelson etc) and met some wonderful people who were wise to the issues and determined to have their say. Many were people who had been ignored, living in run down areas, unable to find decent work; the EU had done little to improve their lives.
I am lucky enough to live in a lovely part of the Yorkshire Dales, but in contrast to the gentle, polite folk I met on the campaign trail, some in my local village “community” decided they did not like my Vote Leave poster or my even having an opinion so they have erected a 20ft high hale bale stack with a message threatening me if I continue to “preach my opinion about the EU”, and defaced the Vote Leave poster.
So don’t tell me that the poor areas who voted for Brexit are ignorant – I would beg to differ!
What are your thoughts on the proposal to repeal the European Comunities Act 1972. Am I correct in thinking that such a repeal would instantly eliminate all EU control over us and create a level playing field for our politicians to open negotiations – just as we would have with all non EU countries.
Are there pros and cons, and could it ever be put through Parliament when the majority of MPs still cannot accept the democratic will of the majority?
I look forward to your thoughts.
Please keep me posted.
Well done Dominic, I enjoyed being part of our local team, and the night before the referendum, I spoke to 25 people, only one was going to vote remain, so I had an inkling we would win.
Thank you for writing this blog I shall follow it with interest.
Thank you for offering to keep me up to date with your blog. Email left below.
Very anxious that the government now enacts the result of the referendum and leaves both the EU and the single market.
Where’s the bat signal? We’re already being railroaded
Thank you and all at ‘Vote Leave’ for all your hard work. I did not think I would live to see the day when we were able to restore our Parliamentary Democracy, and much of that is down to you and ‘Vote Leave’. Thank you once again.
Thank you for a good job, well done. Exciting times ahead