The following statement was agreed at our meeting on 14th September 2019, and issued to the media last week.
Reacting to the likelihood of a snap General Election, WR General-Secretary Nick Xylas, said:
“With the passing of the 5 year Fixed Term Parliament Act, Wessex Regionalists thought that we would have time to sensibly plan for the next election. Our plan was to be able to field multiple candidates in the election when it was due in 2022 and selection of candidates was already underway. However, as General Elections now seem to be staged more frequently than before the Act, the Party finds itself, yet again, having to mobilise years early for the possibility of yet another election.”
“The Party’s Executive Council met on 14th September at Weston-super-Mare to decide our strategy. It was unanimously agreed that, if we field candidates, we would adopt a Hard Remain position. WR have always been committed Europeanists and the threat of Brexit has not and will not change that stance.”
“The reality is that this next election will be focussed on Brexit. Wessex is dominated by the Conservatives, now attempting to out-Brexit the Brexit Party, and who hold 69 of the 84 seats in the Region. WR does not want to limit in any way the chances of Remain candidates defeating the Conservatives in any Wessex seat. That can best be achieved by the Remain campaign coalescing around one candidate in any constituency. As a minor party, for the present, Wessex Regionalists will not stand in the way of achieving that goal and will, therefore, not be fielding candidates if there is a snap election as is widely predicted.”
“We remain committed to securing a future for Wessex that is a part of Europe not apart from it.”
Notes to editors
WESSEX REGIONALISTS POSITION ON EUROPE
The whole idea of the 2016 referendum was to save Tory party unity; a result it has singularly failed to achieve. It was advisory and cannot bind Parliament; nothing can be superior to Parliamentary Sovereignty. It was only the Tory and Labour Parties pledge to act on the result that has created this fiasco.
The result in Wessex was much closer than the rest of England with 48.2% voting Remain against the English average of 46.5%. The difference between the 2 camps in Wessex was just 161,111 votes from an electorate of over 6 million. Four counties – Berkshire, Bristol, Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire voted to Remain. 6 voted to Leave.
We would not seek a second referendum. To have a genuine referendum it needs to be run on a straightforward proposition not an extremely complicated one; it requires there being a well-educated, well-informed electorate, free and open debate, a fair and balanced media. Those conditions do not apply in Britain and a re-run would only re-open old wounds and solve nothing. Neither side will accept the result.
Wessex and Europe
Our approach to the European Union has been, and remains, supportive of its protective powers in promoting peace and stability across this previously war-torn continent, whilst recognising the many aspects of it with which we disagree.
WR recognises that the referendum exposed genuine misgivings and concerns amongst the electorate over the way the EU operates. We share many of those misgivings.
We would suspend Article 50, leaving the UK in the EU for the foreseeable future and would seek to build up a consensus amongst the population about the issues that need resolving and would work with other European states and regions on genuine democratic reform of the EU and its institutions.
What Europe needs, we believe, is a union that allows all its historic regions to emerge and flourish as self-sufficient entities free from subjection and coercion by any other entity. It does not need another superior layer of centralised control and command.
WR believes in a Europe of the Regions, a Europe of the people not of the corporations. Such a Europe would see the gradual dilution of the central power of nation states to the benefit of regions but within a Europe-wide organisation that promotes co-operation through a confederation. To achieve that aim means remaining within the EU; to be in the club to be able to change its rules.
Steps to Achieve WR’s Goal
WR will position itself as the Party of Hard Remain, meaning that if Brexit happens as we predict, we will campaign to re-join the EU even if that means having to adopt the Euro, Schengen and full metrication.
In the interim we would strive to make Wessex the most democratic, tolerant, fair state or region in Europe – the envy of all the others and a model for Spain, Germany, Italy etc to truly federalise or disband; a modern Wessex in a modern Europe. We would seek to reform and remodel the EU. For that reason, WR stands willing to work with like-minded movements across Britain, England and the EU to create a Europe that benefits all its people.