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« Brexit just got exciting again | Main | A tale of two interviews – vaping and cigarette butts »

Heroes of Brexit

I couldn't be more delighted that Claire Fox, director of the Academy of Ideas, is standing on behalf of the Brexit party in the forthcoming European elections.

Of course I would prefer it had the UK left on reasonable terms (or no deal) and was not having to participate in another European election, but at least I can now look forward to it.

In fact I was discussing over the weekend whether I'd abstain or vote for the Brexit party and I hadn't made up my mind.

Claire's candidature has made that a very easy decision, even if she's not standing in my region.

The other Brexit candidates announced today seem pretty impressive too. They include a former marine, a millionaire businessman, an ex-NHS worker and a charity boss (Daily Mail).

One person I would love to see stand is Sir Christopher Meyer, if he could be persuaded.

The former British ambassador to the US voted Remain but unlike many Establishment figures he accepted the result and has been a font of wisdom and common sense ever since. He is now a fully committed Leaver.

Sir Socks, as he's known on Twitter, has become one of my heroes of Brexit because it would be so easy, as a retired diplomat, to say and do nothing that might offend his Remainer peers.

It takes a certain type of bravery to do that.

Claire is a hero of Brexit too. Week after week she's appeared on the BBC or Sky News arguing the Brexit cause.

I didn't hear her discuss Brexit on Any Questions last week but I understand she stood her ground in the face of a pretty hostile London audience.

Brendan O'Neil, editor of the online magazine Spiked, is another who has stuck his head above the parapet time after time after time.

Occasionally Brendan can come across as a professional contrarian but his insistence that Parliament must commit to the result of the referendum has been unwavering and genuine.

Yet another hero of Brexit is Lucy Harris. I don't know and have never met her, but she's the founder of Leavers of Britain that describes itself as a 'nationwide community of Leave voters'.

From a modest beginning (Leavers of London) the group now hosts meetings all over the country. That's quite an achievement.

Compare people like that with some of the egotistical, high profile Leave campaigners. They may have helped win the referendum but after that they walked away, job half done.

Heroes of Brexit? I don't think so.

If and when the time comes to acknowledge the real heroes the medals should go to those who (mostly) put their egos to one side, didn't rest on their laurels and kept fighting.

PS. We haven't announced it but I can tell you that Claire agreed several weeks ago to be one of the speakers at Forest's 40th anniversary dinner in London on June 25.

Full details to follow next month.

Below: Claire Fox addresses a Forest EU meeting in Brussels (where else?!) in November 2017

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