The gravest threat to Brexit is currently posed by an individual over whom the Great British Public have no democratic control. The influence being exerted by Theresa May’s Europe Adviser, Olly Robbins, who continues to shape the debate, risks undermining the biggest political mandate in UK history. As Get Britain Out has previously discussed here, this individual has made it his personal mission to destabilise Brexit at every turn. A fully signed-up member of the establishment, and a committed Europhile, the fact Robbins is now considered as being Theresa May’s “Chief Brexit Negotiator” is a slap in the face for David Davis – the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union – and illustrates just how far this process has been seized by the Remainiacs.
Appointed to his current role in September of last year, this unelected civil servant, Robbins, has wasted no time in thrusting himself to the front and centre of negotiations – allowing him to shape the very nature of our departure. A situation whereby his innate love for the European project has undoubtedly come to the surface. David Davis is now viewed in Brussels with derision, and seen as an unnecessary figure – “We deal with Olly Robbins. We don’t deal with the tea boy” remarked one European minister!
News of his latest interference serves as another reminder of just how dangerous this Civil Servant is for British Sovereignty, and how shamelessly willing he is to do Michel Barnier’s bidding for him. By telling UK Secretaries of State to abandon the Government’s ‘red lines’ in order to “unlock” talks with the EU, Robbins has shown where his real allegiances lie. For him, anything which takes us away from the smothering embrace of the EU is a step in the wrong direction. Rather than Brexit being an exciting move towards independence and fulfilling the mandate Government was given by the Great British Public, Robbins is determined to water it down until it is nothing more than Brexit in name only.
Someone needs to remind this civil servant these ‘red lines’ are not up for discussion. Supported by 17.4 million Britons they require us to Leave the Single Market, the Customs Union, the jurisdiction of ECJ, the rules on Freedom of Movement, and take back control of our regulatory system. Olly Robbins’ mandate is actually relatively straightforward: negotiate around these objectives, but certainly do not cede ground! By urging our elected representatives to abandon these principles, he has done just that, in order to secure some kind of measly trade agreement with vindictive Eurocrats, Robbins is placing his own personal beliefs against the wishes of the country, and the success of a real Brexit.
The latest suggestion – that Number 10 should be pushing for a Norwegian style trading arrangement – is the most recent in a string of ideas from Robbins which would dilute Brexit, and goes against what 80% of the electorate voted for in the 2017 General Election! This follows on from his advocacy of a ‘customs partnership’ and ‘regulatory convergence’. Not only this, but those Brexit-backing ministers with dissenting views, such as Michael Gove, have frequently found their own ideas completely removed from Government documents. It’s no wonder Mr Gove dramatically ripped the document in two as soon as he saw it last week!
Regularly lavished in compliments by Eurocrats, one European official referred to him as “the brains behind the whole thing”, giving us a glimmer of the dynamics around the negotiating table. When praise is being heaped on Robbins by Eurocrats, but not the British Government, it suggests he may not be representing Britain’s best interests.
Robbins is clearly viewed as someone from whom the EU can extract concessions – ie water down Brexit. His strong relationship and so-called “personal connection” with his opposite number, Sabine Weyand, the Commission’s Deputy Chief Negotiator, certainly adds a personal element to the talks, and may make it harder for him to act with the required ruthlessness.
Whilst the public have clearly expressed their yearning to Get Britain Out of the EU – as we can attest from our postbag – Theresa May’s lacklustre premiership, and the influence of so many Remainers surrounding her, including Robbins, clearly poses a stark threat to the instructions given by the Great British Public.
For a true Brexit, Olly Robbins must go.
Robert Bates is Senior Research Executive at grassroots, cross-party campaign Get Britain Out