Alastair Campbell: 'Resigning Brexiteers had no real plan for leaving EU'

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Former Director of Communications and Strategy for Tony Blair, Alastair Campbell, has accused Brexiteers of failing to take responsibility.

The author, who has been campaigning to fight Brexit and for the final deal to be voted for by the people when the final deal is agreed with the European Union, lambasted Brexiteers on Julia Hartley-Brewer's show on talkRADIO.

Boris Johnson and David Davis were key advocates of the Leave campaign, and both resigned on Monday over their opposition to Theresa May’s Brexit plans .

‘They had no plan’

"He's [Johnson] behaved as if he has no influence over this. He was one of the leaders of this campaign and what's become clear is they had no plan," said Campbell.

"There was no plan for this great Brexit, I don't think he can walk away from this like it's everyone else's fault. Whether it's Cameron calling the referendum then wandering off into the sunset, it's always somebody else's fault.

"I don't think Theresa May has led this process at all well but she's trying to make sense of what people voted for.”

Brexit white paper was written

Crispin Blunt, MP for Reigate, explained that Davis had in fact drawn up a Brexit white paper but it never saw the “light of day”.

Read more: David Davis: 'I couldn't deliver the Brexit proposal as I don't believe in it'

"As far as I understand there was a white paper drafted under David Davis' direction that did not see the light of day. The baseline is no agreement between the UK and the EU and that was the basis on which the Remain campaign pointed out it would bloody if the country was so presumptuous as to leave," he said.

"What we should have done by now is understand what would happen if we left the EU with no agreement. That could happen if the negotiators fail to agree, if a qualified minority of the state fail to sign up, or the EU parliament could veto it.

"The only sensible thing to do would be to plan for the worst case scenario, then you're building up from that."

Brexit plans ‘worst of all worlds’

Campbell went on to argue that the plans laid out at Chequers on Friday were the 'worst of all worlds'.

"We're going to end up with the worst of all worlds, people like myself aren't remotely happy with the deal they struck," he said.

"They're going to have to revisit it because they haven't met the interests of business.

"Boris Johnson and David Davis have been in the cabinet, Liam Fox still is in the Cabinet, Michael Gove is still in, the idea that these people have been outmanoeuvred or manipulated by Theresa May is just the latest fantasy."

Blunt argued: "David Davis and Boris Johnson are in a different position, Davis has not been able to lead and manage this negotiation, that's seen by the fact it's been taken in to Number 10.

"As far as Boris is concerned, he's right to come to the conclusion that he couldn't sing the song he's being invited to sing now. We're not dealing with just next year or two years, this position will begin to pay off for the UK about a decade after they've left."

Theresa May ‘will remain Prime Minister’

One thing both men agreed upon was Theresa May would remain as Prime Minister - and leader of the Conservative Party - after the Brexit date.

"The government needs a leadership election like a hole in the head. Even if 48 were unwise enough to seek a vote, Theresa May would carry that vote comfortably. The mood among the cabinet last night was a recognition she has to be supported," said Blunt

"I think Crispin and I are going to agree here - I think Jacob Rees-Mogg needs Farage's endorsement like a hole in the head. Nigel Farage is someone for whom this has become a gigantic game, but what he's doing there is mischief making," Campbell added, referring to Nigel Farage’s comments that Rees-Mogg should be the next Conservative leader.

When asked by Julia Hartley-Brewer if he’d consider running for leadership if a challenge arose, Rees-Mogg said planned to remain a backbencher.