What Do Political Figures Think About BREXIT? (Pre-Brexit vs. 2020)
Since 2016, the British public can be widely put into two categories, Leavers and Remainers, with both sides of the Brexit argument repeating the same rhetoric: “I think that the EU is good” and “I think that the EU is bad”. To shine a light on the debate, Champions Speakers have comprised a list of the key political figures, including their stance pre-Brexit and what they now think in 2020.
When did Britain leave the European Union?
On the 31st of January 2020, Great Britain left the European Union. After over three years of negotiations, deadline extensions and countrywide tension, the Government is now looking towards the UK's future.
Owing to Prime Minister Boris Johnson's landslide victory in the December 2019 elections, the Conservatives secured enough seats to pass a withdrawal deal and push the country over the Brexit finish line in January. As the Covid-19 pandemic has been the main focus of Johnson’s attention, since Britain was plunged into a nationwide lockdown in March 2020, only time will tell whether Brexit was truly worth it.
What does the UK’s Prime Minister think?
"This is a fantastic moment in the life of our country. There are very few moments that can be called a historic turning point – and this is it. This is not the end, or the beginning of the end, it's the beginning of the beginning. This is a turning point in the life of our nation." – Boris Johnson, January 2020
Robert Peston - Remain
Robert Peston is a prominent voice in political journalism, often favouring the truth as opposed to self-indulgent beliefs. However, when it comes to Brexit, Robert made his opinion very clear; the UK economy will be worse off under Brexit.
Despite spending nine years at the BBC, Robert was very vocal about their portrayal of Brexit, believing that they spent too much time pitting people the public against each other rather than helping their listeners to assess “which one was the loony and which one was the genius”. In the aftermath of Brexit, Robert released his book, WTF, a chronicle of the public's rebellion against politics.
What does Robert Peston think about BREXIT in 2020?
"We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started, and know the place for the first time."
Nigel Farage - Leave
When you think of Brexit, Nigel Farage springs to mind. The enigmatic leader drastically split opinions, separating the UK by their beliefs in immigration and race. For many, Nigel is the determined British nationalist the country needs, for others, he is a divisive figure with an influential platform.
One thing is for sure; Nigel was all for Brexit. With his political party, The Brexit Party, Nigel believed that Britain needed to take back control of laws, borders, and cultural values, despite the economic risk and end to free movement. Nigel’s views were passionate, radical, and unapologetically pro-Brexit.
What does Nigel Farage think about BREXIT in 2020?
“Happy Brexit Day! At last, the day comes when we break free. A massive victory for the people against the establishment....11 pm tonight marks the point of no return. Once we Leave, we will never rejoin the European Union. Time to celebrate.”
Rt. Hon Kenneth Clarke MP - Remain
Kenneth Clarke understands politics more than anyone on this list. Working within the political sphere since 1970, under Prime Ministers like Margaret Thatcher, Kenneth was a leading figure of the Remain movement. Believing in the EU, he publicly backed the Customs Union - however, he also supplied a balanced view of the pros and cons from both sides of the argument.
Speaking openly, Kenneth stated that if there was no chance of reversing Article 50, then he was fully committed to reducing the damage Brexit could cause. With his knowledge of politics, it is no surprise that Kenneth favoured a “soft Brexit” as opposed to a no-deal; he was a mediatory voice offering an alternative to the Brexit deadlock.
What does Kenneth Clarke think about BREXIT in 2020?
"Looking forward to lots of trade deals being announced tomorrow. I’ve been told the rest of the world is desperate, DESPERATE to do deals with us...after they’ve done deals with the US, China, Russia and the EU."
Jacob Rees Mogg - Leave
Chairman of the Eurosceptic MPs, Jacob Reece Mogg was firm in his beliefs that 51% of the British public did not vote for a deal to be made, they voted to leave the EU. Similarly to other Brexiteers, Jacob believed that Britain would be better off if MPs agreed to a “no-deal Brexit”, and a “no-deal Brexit” only.
To start afresh economically, Jacob proposed alternative options for trade deals and suggested that all age groups, from students to retirees, would benefit from a hard Brexit. If there was one thing that both Leavers and Remainers agreed on, it is that Theresa May’s Brexit deal was not good enough - and Jacob’s voice was the loudest of them all.
What does Jacob Reese Mogg think about BREXIT in 2020?
"The electorate, the British people, the most patient and forbearing in the world, will finally have their decisiveness rewarded and, thanks to the General Election result, we will have got Brexit done."
Michel Barnier - Remain
Michel Barnier was the head negotiator for 500 Million EU citizens, and an active player in the Brexit conundrum. Though he leant more towards Britain and the EU maintaining a close relationship, Michel’s main prerogative was to guarantee a positive outcome for the citizens of Europe, even if that meant infuriating some MPs.
For example, Michel had openly stated that he actively opposed the UK leaving without a deal, combating Jacob Mogg’s “no-deal” objective. Michel splits opinions, with many viewing him as a detriment to Britain's future whilst others believed that he could guarantee the same quality of life that EU citizens in Britain were used to.
What does Michel Barnier think about BREXIT in 2020?
“Today my thoughts go to the millions of British citizens who are sad, as we are sad today.”
Michael Gove - Leave
Taking a hard stance in favour of Brexit, Michael Gove regularly criticised Labour’s lack of “backbone” over negotiations. Cabinet minister and Vote Leave co-chair, the MP believed that Britain's economic power and national security would improve upon leaving the EU, stating that it was the people of Britain and not the European Union that maintained the economy - however, many Economists disagree, suggesting the opposite.
Michael is openly sceptical about such claims, consistently denouncing his association with the single market and customs union, as he believed that it has limited Britain’s ability to globally trade. Ultimately, Michael opposed the second referendum, claiming that the vote, which was separated by only 3%, was clear.
What does Michael Gove think about BREXIT in 2020?
“We are an independent country. We will make our own decisions. We will be an independent coastal state. We will be in control of all waters within 200 miles. If they want to fish in it, we will decide.”
Ann Pettifor - Remain
Describing Brexit as a “reckless economic experiment”, Ann Pettifor is a financial expert. With her years of experience, through such financial turmoil as the 2008 economic crisis, Ann has a vast understanding of what leaving the EU, especially with a “no-deal”, meant for the UK. Speaking in many interviews over the last three years, she openly backed the EU’s vision of peace and economic prosperity, however, she was not blind to the EU’s downfalls.
Ultimately, Ann prioritised the financial wellbeing of the United Kingdom. Despite the consistent rumours spread by many Brexiteers, Ann firmly denied that the UK would adopt the Euro should they remain and passionately believed that the economy would suffer from Brexit.
What does Ann Pettifor think about BREXIT in 2020?
"We do anticipate a slight improvement in the economy in 2020 compared to 2019, as the first element of the Brexit uncertainty unwinds, and as the world economy seems a little less anaemic."
Dominic Cummings - Leave
Creator of the controversial bus-side slogan about spending £350m-a-week extra on the NHS, Dominic Cummings is a passionate Brexiteer who has boldly stated that the British Government had "irretrievably botched" the Brexit process.
Dominic’s main issue with Theresa May revolved around her lack of preparation before revoking Article 50, claiming her promise of frictionless trade deals and no change to the Irish border was "logically, legally and practically incompatible”. Though he shared the opinion of many Remainers that Brexit so far was a “train wreck”, he was determined in his stance that Britain needed to leave the EU.
What does Dominic Cummings think about BREXIT in 2020?
Dominic has been largely quiet about Brexit in 2020, unsurprisingly considering his controversies over the COVID-19 pandemic. Political insiders have described his approach to political discussions as “frantic” yet determined, earning Dominic the respect of Prime Minister himself, Boris Johnson, who describes him as a “Renaissance man”.
However, this political friendship may not last for long, as Dominic stated in November 2019 that “there’s a reasonable chance I won’t be around anymore. As you know, I strongly dislike Westminster, so I’m reluctant to return”.
Alistair Campbell - Remain
Alistair Campbell was one of the leading supporters of the People’s Vote, a march that took place outside of Westminster's and garnered support from over 700,000 people. In several fiery interviews, Alistair confronted Brexiteers like Nigel Farage about the argued lies Nigel spread to sway the vote in 2016 - including the bus slogan created by Dominic Cummings.
In his passionate speeches, Alistair called out Theresa May’s lack of acknowledgement for the People’s Vote, favouring instead to repeatedly rely on the problematic 2016 vote result. Ultimately, Alistair was passionate about remaining in the EU and giving the British public a chance to make a more informed second vote.
What does Alistair Campbell think about BREXIT in 2020?
"I think it is fair to say ‘our European friends and neighbours’ as Johnson likes to call them, have behaved with somewhat more dignity and respect than the 'Farage flag wavers' and 'Brextremist BigBenBongers'."
Suzanne Evans - Leave
Board member of Vote Leave and former Deputy Chairman of UKIP, Suzanne Evans has one goal - for the UK to leave the EU without a deal. Warning that Britain will “pay the price” if we do not leave the EU, Suzanne passionately denies polls that suggest many voters in 2016 did not know that Brexit meant leaving the single market or customs union.
Susanne’s main rhetoric is that Remainers are purposefully trying to make Brexit as difficult as possible for their own personal gain, rather than “looking at the numbers”. Ultimately, Suzanne believes that Brexit has devolved into “political correctness has gone mad”.
What does Suzanne Evans think about BREXIT in 2020?
"My hope is that Brexit will bring a fresh wave of patriotism: for far too long the trend has been to rubbish our country, when actually we have a huge amount to offer and I think most voters know it."
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It is safe to say that Brexit is a confusing yet defining moment in Great Britain’s history. For business owners, however, the vote sparked concerns other than whether we can still holiday to Spain – many now face an uncertain future of trade deals and financial turmoil. Politics speakers will supply a valuable insight at events, arming your company with the knowledge needed to come out of Brexit prepared for the coming changes.
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Please Note: This article, originally written in 2019, has been updated to reflect the current views of each political figure as of 2020.
Megan has managed the internal content for Champions Speakers since 2019 when she joined the company as a Digital Copyrighter. In 2020, she progressed to Content Executive and only a year later, Megan was promoted to Senior Content Executive, where s... Read more
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