By Darren Selkus, former Brexit Party Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Epping Forest.
12th October 2019
On the 1st May this year, after it became apparent Parliament was not going to honour the result of the referendum, I paid my £25 and joined the Brexit Party as a supporter.
A few days later I started receiving emails from them looking for people to stand as parliamentary candidates. I carefully considered the offer and decided to stand up and fight for what I believed.
Not only did I want to get us out of the EU I hoped to represent this new and exciting party that was going to #ChangePoliticsForGood. I had a vision of a Party with a new breed of politician who puts truth and trust above career and Party.
Then the whirlwind began. I was interviewed on Monday the 24th June. Wednesday 26th I was longlisted to stand for the Brexit Party as a prospective parliamentary candidate and Sunday 30th asked to join Nigel Farage on stage at the Big Vision Rally at the NEC.
There were 100 prospective parliamentary candidates at the Rally and we spent the day together. It was a fantastic team from all walks of life and politics united in the name of Brexit and changing politics for good. The bond was immediate.
This team grew as 600 PPCs of the highest calibre were recruited and allocated constituencies. After some basic training we were set free to build a team of local volunteers, start campaigning and get ready to fight a General Election.
Preparations went well and over the next 3 months the army grew. By the time a general election was called I had built a team of 40 amazing volunteers. This had been repeated nationwide with thousands of motivated and dedicated volunteers out on the streets leafleting and campaigning.
My constituency Epping Forest is a safe Tory seat. Dame Eleanor Laing has been the incumbent MP for the last 22 years. For the last six years she has been Deputy Speaker, impartial and doesn’t vote in Parliament. The voice of the Epping Forest constituents has gone unheard.
She is a career politician and disconnected from the people who elected her. She was involved in the MP expenses scandal. She is not readily available to constituents and surgeries are almost non-existent. Replacing MPs like her is exactly why I wanted to stand for election.
With a huge 18,000 Conservative majority in the last election Labour and the Liberal Democrats have absolutely no chance of winning Epping Forest. There is no risk of “the Brexit Party splitting the vote and letting Corbyn in.”
The support we have received on the streets during the last 4 months has been incredible. The reward seeing the pleasure on people’s faces finding out that the Brexit Party would have a candidate standing in Epping Forest was priceless.
In the referendum Epping Forest voted 62.7% leave and that support was evident. Many of those voters are well informed and understand the problems with Boris Johnson’s Deal. The high volume of Brexit Party pledges received bears no relation to the opinion polls. Even our small scale “winter” canvassing twice showed 42 percent would vote Brexit Party on the 12th December.
Realistically the odds of winning in a safe Tory seat are low but the chance to give 10,000+ disillusioned voters someone to vote for very achievable.
Our election campaigning just stepped up a gear. In the last 5 days 8000 leaflets explaining the problem of Boris’ Deal and Brexiteer newspapers were delivered.
Street stands were held in Loughton and Epping. On Remembrance Sunday I had the honour of marching in uniform at two parades to lay Brexit Party Wreaths in remembrance of those who had fallen.
When Nigel Farage announced that 317 Brexit Party Prospective Parliamentary Candidates were being stood down I missed it. I was busy talking to a member of the public on a street stand. A van driver pulled up next to us and asked what we were doing as he had just heard on the radio we weren’t running.
After a quick verification online myself and three volunteers put the street stand away. In a matter of moments my mission to give leavers a choice, deliver a real Brexit and #ChangePoliticsForGood had been shattered.
I don’t understand Nigel Farage’s decision to stand us down in Conservative seats with zero risk of a remain party winning.
I don’t understand after exposing Boris Johnson’s deal as a surrender why the Brexit Party is now backing it.
I don’t understand why we are being told to trust a man who told us thousands of times we are leaving on the 31st October to now take us out by the end of December 2020.
I don’t understand why Nigel Farage has betrayed my incredible volunteers and thousands of constituents who will have no one to vote for.
I don’t understand why 317 dedicated PPCs were the last to know they had been stood down and locked out of their Brexit Party email accounts and supporter database.
I don’t understand why you build a dedicated new Party and then sacrifice half of it without missing a step.
I don’t understand how you can then have the audacity to ask those supporters and PPCs to still help you campaign.
I started on this road to change politics for good but finish realising while career politicians are at the top it will stay bad forever.
The last four months have been an amazing and enjoyable experience. I have made friends with incredible people and on the 12th December like many others will have no one to vote for.
By Darren Selkus
Published in The Conservative Woman 27th October 2019
Boris Johnson has agreed his deal with the European Union.
Unfortunately it's as we expected, the reheated Theresa May Deal that Nigel describes as putting lipstick on a pig.
It's identical to May's deal with 2 changes
But here's the problem. We will be stuck in the legally binding Withdrawal Treaty until the future arrangements are agreed. Those future arrangements will require not only regulatory alignment with the EU but acceptance of their other conditions. These conditions, listed below, are already laid out in the Withdrawal Treaty which is their framework for our future relationship.
The transition period is supposed to last a few years but with no mechanism to leave the Withdrawal Treaty until future arrangements are agreed we can expect the negotiations to be long, painful and last many years.
We will be in a terrible negotiating position and can't expect to get a good free trade deal. Also don't be surprised if we are forced to agree an annual fee of billions to gain access to the Single Market.
There's also the question of the Union and if Boris' Treaty abandons Northern Ireland in the EU.
Surely we are much better off leaving with a clean break and negotiating any future arrangement from a position of strength. Don't forget we import from the EU double the amount we export !
8th October 2019
by Darren Selkus
Be in no doubt, there is a clear and present danger, the EU want military integration. Guy Verhofstadt, EU Commissioner has said "EU Military Unification is now our project.” He wants a "European pillar, based on a European defence community and a European Army, so that Europeans can take their future into their own hands."
Angela Merkel wants the EU to "work on a vision of one day establishing a real true European Army" and according to Frederica Mogherini, head of the European Defence Agency (EDA) "all the blocks of a security and defence union are finally there". President Macron believes “we will not protect Europeans unless we have a true European Army …….. to defend itself better alone.” According to Heiko Mass, German Foreign Minister they "are in the process of transforming the EU into a genuine Security and Defence Union."
The foundation for EU military integration dates back to the 1992 Maastricht Treaty and the establishment of the Common Foreign and Security Policy. Since the Cologne European Council meeting in June 1999, the EU has been implementing a European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP). In July 2004 the European Defence Agency (EDA) was established and tasked with overseeing the strengthening of European military capabilities. The 2007 Lisbon Treaty renamed the ESDP the Common Defence and Security Policy (CDSP). It made provisions for military integration through the establishment of the European Defence Fund (EDF) and Permanent Structured Co-Operation (PESCO) but maintained that decisions on military or defence must still have the unanimous support of EU states.
So if we still have our veto what’s the problem ?
In 2016 and 2017 after the UK voted to leave the EU Theresa May (PM), Boris Johnson (FM), Alan Duncan (FM) and Angus Lapsley (FCO) agreed to the activation of the EDF and PESCO deliberately, or as a measure of goodwill to avoid interference in a club we were leaving, withholding our veto.
The EDF, proposed in 2016 and established in 2017, will exert political influence over defence and intelligence procurement. EU military integration will be achieved through funding and procurement. Member states will not be able to award military contracts to their home manufacturers and be obliged to take part in EU wide tendering with purchasing decisions made by the EU Commission.
PESCO was activated in December 2017 with the approval of the European Council. Only three of the 28 members are non-participants; Denmark with a permanent opt-out from the CDSP, Malta that wishes to remain neutral and the UK as they are scheduled to leave the EU in 2019. PESCO is the driver for structural defence integration, EU strategic autonomy and a future EU common defence.
Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement and Boris Johnson’s proposed deal not only commit us to the European Defence Agency and European Defence Fund but also sign us up to Permanent Structured Co-Operation and EU military integration in perpetuity.
At the current rate of military integration we can expect an EU Common Defence to be established by 2025 with fully integrated Armed Services by 2027.
Our veto is spent, EU military integration is already decided and in process. If we sign the Withdrawal Treaty or remain in the EU, with a Europhile PM, control of our Armed Services and Intelligence will be handed to the EU Commission.
Having served in the British Army from 1988 to 1998 I will forever remain loyal to Queen and Country. There are many that will never swear allegiance to the European Union or accept EU Military Integration and our Armed Forces commanded by Brussels.