The ‘Union Jack issue’ and my time as an MEP

In a final blog post as an MEP for UK in a Changing Europe, Claire discussed her changing attitude to the Union Jack – and the hatred of nationalism and nationalist symbols within the EU.

“I am not your average Union Jack waver: raised in Wales, second generation Irish, politically anti-imperialist. It has taken some doing, but it has been the EU that has taught me that the flag is a symbol of something worth defending.”

She goes on to note: “Two French MEPs seemed startled that my commitment to national sovereignty does not centre on love of country at the expense of other countries, but rather is due to my belief in the nation as the site of democracy. I talked about the historic progressive aspiration to create democratic nation states as political communities, that allowed citizens within a geographically-bordered area to determine decision-making.

“Ironically, I was drawing on French philosophers such as Rousseau, for whom a democratic nation state was the best vehicle for guaranteeing the rights of a citizens. Popular sovereignty, via national self-determination was seen as the most effective way of allowing citizens autonomy and equality.”

Read the full article here.

RTÉ – Brexit Republic extra episode with Claire Fox

During Claire’s recent trip to Dublin, Claire joined Colm Ó Mongáin for an extra episode of the Brexit Republic podcast. She spoke about how legislation from the EU represents less a foreign imposition, but more the political elites implementing policy whilst bypassing the scrutiny of their own parliament and nation.

Claire praised the energy of the referendum and that fact that it had initiated serious political debate on constitutional issues such as abolishing the House of Lords.

Listen to the podcast here or using the embedded player below.

Irish Times Inside Politics podcast

Claire spoke to the Irish Times Inside Politics podcast on 9 January, to discuss her experience of being an MEP and the Brexit movement. She explains that her time as an MEP has been educational in exposing the corrupting and vacuous nation of the European Parliament, and the false sense of importance bestowed on MEPs despite their lack of real power.

Claire explains her opposition to the EU as being based on sovereign principles rather than the content and outcomes of legislation passed. She finishes by giving her take on the recent UK general election, the failure of Jeremy Corbyn to create a credible economic programme that the electorate believed could be implemented, and his ambiguous position on Brexit as being ultimately responsible for his election loss.

My clash with Alastair Campbell convinced me it’s time to hug a remainer

Claire wrote an article for the Spectator following her appearance on BBC Politics Live. She argues that whatever the aggravations of the Brexit debates, it’s time to try to be constructive in the way we discuss politics.

On Politics Live with Alastair Campbell

Read moreMy clash with Alastair Campbell convinced me it’s time to hug a remainer

Claire on Politics Live

Claire was one of the guests on the BBC’s lunchtime politics discussion show today with Tory MP Stephen Crabb, shadow housing minister Sarah Jones and Tony Blair’s former spin doctor Alastair Campbell. They discussed Iran, the Labour Party’s leadership contest and Brexit.

Watch the full programme on BBC iPlayer here.

Boris Johnson couldn’t have done it without the Brexit Party

Claire wrote for the Spectator on why she was pleased that the Conservatives won a majority in the election. But she also explains why Boris Johnson should be grateful to the Brexit Party – not just for his election landslide but for the fact that Brexit was back on the agenda at all. The party’s decision to stand down candidates in constituencies won by the Tories in 2017 was crucial, too – but it wasn’t based on a belief that the Withdrawal Agreement was truly ‘Brexit’.

Read the whole article here.

The Tories don’t have a divine right to Leavers’ votes

Claire was interviewed for Channel 4 News about whether the Brexit Party was potentially going to stop the Conservatives from getting a majority and prevent Brexit. As she pointed out, there are many areas in which Leave voters are unlikely to switch to the Tories. She also rejected claims that the Brexit Party is racist. In fact, she points out, the Brexit Party has put forward ‘hard-working decent democrats who are not racist at all’. In fact, the party has got more ethnic-minority candidates into the European Parliament than any other party.

Election night: Claire on France 24

Claire gave her initial reaction to the general election exit poll. She praised the electorate for reaffirming their desire to leave the European Union and defying the remain establishment. Claire also drew attention to the collapse of the Labour vote in the north, and the fact ordinary people deserted the party largely because of their failure to honour the referendum. Moving forward, Claire retained her reservations regarding Boris’s deal but was glad the referendum result was finally going to be honoured.

Cross Question with Iain Dale

Claire joined Iain Dale for his LBC show Cross Question (11 December 2019) alongside Alastair Campbell, Paul Mason and Sarah Vine to discuss the general election. Despite the guests all locking horns on issues such as the NHS, racism within British politics, and electoral reform, the debate was largely civil to the point at which Claire gave Alastair Campbell of a copy of her EU paid-for book Reclaiming Democracy – The Left Case for Sovereignty, to remind him what the left actually represents.

Boris’s ‘oven-ready’ Brexit deal isn’t what all Leave voters want

Claire has an article in the Spectator on why voting Conservative isn’t necessarily the answer for many Brexit voters.

Whatever the results on Thursday, there have been aspects of this election campaign not revealed by polling. My experience of speaking and campaigning in my MEP patch in the North West has been revelatory. I am in awe of a layer of new activists who have been inspired to want more fundamental change than that offered by the establishment parties. Many are new to politics, have found their voice and have discovered the power of being actively engaged. It reminds me of a far earlier experience of the miners’ strike, when miners’ wives groups sprang up nationally and formidable women started to take control. 

It’s exhilarating to be with people for whom politics might mean a fresh reboot of democracy; I have been humbled by their energy and hard work. But I won’t lie to you: it is not easy being a Brexit party representative in this election. 

There is no soft-soaping the painful quandary this election is for many Leave voters, largely because many are in a predicament, scared of splitting the Leave vote.

Read the full article here.