Brexit – The final push to kill off representative democracy in Britain

31st August 2018 / United Kingdom
Brexit - The final push to kill off representative democracy in Britain

By TruePublica: Representative democracy in Britain meant that when it came to the EU referendum, spending limits for political parties were set in stone. Not only were these limits seriously breached – they were eclipsed by the hundreds of millions of dollars spent influencing the Brexit outcome well in advance. Britain is currently heading for a no-deal Brexit. 

The facts now emerging raise some very pertinent questions about what has been really going on in the background and you could be forgiven for quietly thinking that the establishment in Britain and America had a plan a long time before David Cameron announced in his 2015 manifesto that the country would be given a democratic vote on the matter.


Two official campaign groups got grants of up to £600,000 and an overall spending limit of £7million was agreed. The official ’Leave EU’ group and ‘Britain Stronger In Europe’. At the time, the general public had no knowledge of the scale of spending by pro-Brexit organisations, which has since been shown to vastly outspend official legal limits.

The EU referendum in Britain was a foregone conclusion – a known fact by those orchestrating the strings in the background. Official British pollster organisations were paid to inform the public that remaining in the EU was in the bag when they knew this not to be the case. Hedge funds and bankers bet billions and walked away with hundreds of millions in profit having shorted the currency as the country woke to the shock news. This was not speculative – they knew the result in advance.

Brexit was all about dark money, secretive deals and power-players mobilising as one. Their highly illegal activities were unearthed by ourselves at TruePublica, The Guardian, Observer, Independent, OpenDemocracy and now, the Electoral Commission has been forced to agree that democracy came second in the referendum. The police are now investigating and MP’s look set to change laws. A large hard right-wing faction who care little for liberal democracy have almost reached their goal of a hard-Brexit.

A group now known as the Brexit Syndicate comprising of numerous powerful high profile individuals at the centre of media organisations, corporations and institutions such as Legatum Institute, the Foundation for European Reform, Aggregate IQ, Palantir, Cambridge Analytica, Economists for Free Trade, The Bruges Group and many more. These organisations are led by people such as media mogul Rupert Murdoch, Mark Zuckerberg of social media giant Facebook and Peter Thiel of PayPal. Between them, hundreds of millions of dollars was thrown at influencing the final outcome a long time in advance of David Cameron’s election manifesto promise. Most of these people and their organisations are foreign and have little to do with Britain other than financial gain.

In just one example of this collusion – a memo was accidentally leaked on the website of one of the Brexit syndicate’s key organisations, the Initiative for Free Trade. It reveals the existence of self-styled ‘shadow trade talks’ where right-wing US campaign groups including the Heritage Foundation and the Cato Institute join hands with the Initiative for Free Trade to build a trans-Atlantic alliance that can make their long-cherished ambition of an economy free from political meddling a reality – in other words – a hard-Brexit.


The Climate Change Deniers

Nine right-wing organisations including think tanks have been pushing disinformation about climate change and been accused of mounting a coordinated campaign to push for a hard Brexit, according to court documents.

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The organisations involved in this right-wing campaign for media coverage include the TaxPayers’ Alliance, Peter Whittle, the former deputy leader of UKIP, Civitas, the Adam Smith Institute, Leave Means Leave, the Global Warming Policy Foundation, Brexit Central, the Centre for Policy Studies and the Institute for Economic Affairs.

The climate change deniers want to exit the EU in order to have regulations torn down. Let’s not forget that air pollution kills more people in the UK than in Sweden, the US and Mexico. In all, about 120,000 people a year die from smoking – just under half again that lose their lives to air pollution. And the fossil fuel industry wants to deregulate Britain, so it needs a hard-Brexit.

Included in the overall network of organisations pushing for a hard Brexit is the UK’s premier climate science denial campaign group, the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF). Despite disputing the overwhelming scientific consensus on climate science, the GWPF still has a voice in Parliament.

It was founded by prominent climate science denier and former Tory chancellor Nigel Lawson

Other MPs Graham Stringer and Owen Paterson have strong ties with the GWPF as well as three Tory members of the House of Lords including Peter LilleyMatt Ridley and Nigel Vinson. Lilley also sits on “a committee of experts” closely advising international trade secretary Liam Fox.  Fox is the Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade, the person who was granted unprecedented powers to sign trade deals.

Lilley is also a supporter of the European Research Group (ERG). Led by Jacob Rees-Mogg, the ERG is lobbying for a hard Brexit and has been described by Buzzfeed as “an aggressive, disciplined, and highly organised parliamentary and media operation”. Former Brexit minister, Steve Baker, is a past chair of the group.

Newly appointed Brexit minister Dominic Raab and environment secretary Michael Gove were active supporters of the group before being promoted to cabinet roles while international trade secretary Liam Fox has also used the ERG to gather support among MPs.

All of these people are paid by the general public to engage in representative politics and act in the best interests of the nation – not follow their agenda to enrich their own lives or that of corporations.


Think Tanks

Britain’s most prominent free-market think tank was caught offering to broker access to senior politicians for foreign donors seeking to influence the course of Brexit. This news came from an undercover Unearthed/Greenpeace investigation last month. The Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) boasted about setting up meetings with Brexiteer MPs with American corporations. In addition, an American think tank is accused of raising money for the IEA – keen to see EU regulations dropped.

This is little more than a cash-for-access scandal and heads should have rolled given the video evidence captured by the undercover investigators.

The Atlas Network, an organization connecting a global network of more than 475 free-market corporations and organisations is funded by Exxon Mobil and the billionaire Koch Foundation (Walmart) amongst others. It is closely affiliated with the U.K.-based Institute of Economic Affairs, heavily criticised for being little more than a front charity for its hard right-wing approach and the aforementioned ‘cash-for-access scandal. It is also linked to the University of Buckingham (which has ties to the Global Warming Policy Foundation) and an international analogue, the International Policy Network (formerly known as Atlas Economic Research Foundation (UK)). Atlas Network is an “associate” member of the State Policy Network, a web of right-wing “think tanks” in every state across the United States.

One of it many articles promoting Brexit in both America and Britain is entitled: “Brexit – A great opportunity to diverge from restrictive EU policies, says Mark Littlewood”. Littlewood is Director General of that right-wing libertarian, free-market think-tank the Institute of Economic Affairs we hear so much about. You can see the how these opaque circles are working.


If the Russian’s had been caught colluding to influence anything in Britain, let alone Brexit, all hell would have broken out. Or would it?

Bloomberg reported that Christopher Chandler, chairman of investment group Legatum Global Holdings Ltd (who makes a profit from political chaos and economic instability) – has been an “object of interest” to French intelligence since 2002, on suspicion of working for the Russian intelligence services. Chandler also founded the Legatum Institute.

Although Chandler has denied any allegations with Russian intelligence or the Russian state, Bloomberg quoted documents relating to Chandler’s activities – “These documents are brief, terse, factual files listing activities, associations and judicial action. They have been authenticated by senior French intelligence sources and by British and American counterparts familiar with their contents. The documents indicated a link to a noted individual in this country with Russian intelligence.

The Legatum Institute is well known to have worked with those in May’s Conservative Party who want a harder break from the European Union. One of its “senior fellows” include Matthew Elliott, who ran the campaign for Brexit. Until recently its director of economic policy was Shanker Singham who was once a lobbyist in the US. Again, you can see circles-within-circles working in harmony.

Singham has deep ties to Steve Baker who had been appointed to a ministerial position in the Department for Exiting the European Union but resigned alongside David Davis last month. Baker has just been accused of offering private briefings on critical government policy to the European Research Group – headed up by Jacob Rees-Mogg. Don’t forget how politically powerful this organisation is – many now believe the ERG now controls the short-term future of May’s premiership. ERG is thought to have something like 80 Tory MPs in its midst whose aim is to end the power of the European Court of Justice thereby ensuring EU law will no longer be applied in the UK.

An openDemocracy investigation says: “Baker’s use of DExEU (Dept for Exiting the EU) civil servants to contact a secretive group that some regard as a ‘party within a party’ could merit investigation by the Cabinet Office. But pro-EU Tory backbenchers believe such complaints are currently pointless. One told openDemocracy: “Baker in many respects is untouchable. His lead role in the ERG and the damage he could inflict gives him political armour.

What should annoy the people of Britain regardless of which they voted – despite taking taxpayers’ money to fund their operations, the ERG has repeatedly refused to make public the names of its members.

Earlier this month, Baker was again in the news when it emerged that he had invested £70,000 in a company that is encouraging investors to buy gold to avoid the hit of a no-deal Brexit. In other words, political and economic chaos is coming if buying gold is your only defence against what is now fast approaching.


Back to Singham. He built such close links to the Eurosceptic Tories who made the political weather in Westminster that journalists often referred to him as “the Brexiteers’ brain”. Many meetings between the DexEU and third-party organisations connected to the US were not recorded and therefore against the ministerial code – yet, nothing has been done. In any other case, this would be the makings of a scandal and heads would have rolled.

A BuzzFeed investigation followed this investigations and stated: “the revelation that two senior government figures had multiple, undisclosed, unminuted, out-of-hours meetings with a prominent campaigner whose work cuts across their areas of official responsibility – and who has been close to a partisan political group, the ERG, that has actively sought to influence government policy – raises serious questions. ”

The Mail on Sunday accused Singham of being the “third man” in an alleged plot by Gove and Boris Johnson to steer 10 Downing Street into a hard Brexit.

Singham has left Legatum and set up a new trade and competition unit at the Institute of Economic Affairs – yes, the same one at the heart of the cash-for-access scandal for US corporations to influence the Brexit outcome.


The Brexit scandals keep rolling in one by one but somehow they get away with it.


The result is that Britain no longer has a functioning system of representative democracy, it has what is known as a guided democracy or managed democracy. Britain was a formally democratic government that now functions as a de facto autocracy. Such governments are legitimized by elections that are free and fair but do not change the desired motives and goals of those in charge – and those in charge are quite evidently soon to be – the corporations.





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