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conservatives for britain statement on the launch of the vote leave campaign

Conservatives for Britain (CfB) represents the large and growing number of Conservative supporters who want to see fundamental change in Britain’s relationship with the European Union. We have support from over 100 MPs, 40 Peers, the majority of the MEP delegation and Conservative councillors, members and activists. Our President is the former Chancellor of the Exchequer Lord Lawson of Blaby.

We consider the current terms of the UK’s relationship with the EU to be untenable, and take an optimistic, globalist view of the UK’s future.

Conservatives for Britain has consistently supported the creation of a professional, mainstream cross-party campaign that can fight the referendum if the EU fails to allow fundamental change; returning the UK to a relationship with the EU based on trade and co-operation rather than political union. Some of our supporters will reserve their position until the final deal can be judged. We all believe a credible prospect of exit is necessary to underwrite the renegotiation and we look forward to assessing the final proposal.

However, we cannot delay explaining to the public what is a complex issue and an important decision. The deal could be announced within a few months and the referendum could take place shortly afterwards: this large campaign team must be built now.

Furthermore, President Hollande’s comments in the European Parliament on Wednesday provide a strong indication that there is little realistic prospect of the European Union backing the fundamental changes we need. President Hollande’s comments that: “the federation of nation states… must remain our horizon” run completely against the looser relationship with the EU which is backed by a majority of the British people.

We recognise such a credible ‘Leave’ campaign cannot be built in a few weeks, and that work must start now. CfB has established a strong working relationship with like-minded organisations from across the political spectrum and has over recent months worked with these groups to build the campaign we need to argue for the best deal for Britain.

Consequently, Conservatives for Britain warmly welcomes the launch of the ‘Vote Leave’ campaign, and wishes it every success in setting out a positive vision of life outside an unreformed European Union. ’Vote Leave’ will provide a credible, cross party exit campaign and underscore the ongoing renegotiation to maximise the changes of securing fundamental change.

However, if after the renegotiation the British people are faced with a choice between the damaging status quo or exit, we will fully back the ‘Vote Leave’ campaign.  We continue to await the expected renegotiated deal with interest.