Edmund Fordham and Paul Hearn Brexit Party visited Bedford during campaign Image: Brexit Party

Why should voters in Cranfield and Marston Vale vote for the Brexit Party?

As far as the Brexit Party is concerned, these European Elections should not be taking place. However, it has put up seven candidates to try to win all the MEP seats available in the East of England Region.

Two of them, Paul Hearn and Edmund Fordham, came to Cranfield to explain why the Brexit Party is standing.

A strong criticism from those wishing that the UK remains in the EU is that the Brexit Party does not have a manifesto.

Paul Hearn, who actually voted to remain in the EU, countered this argument by saying:

“Our position is very clear, this is a new party the aim of at this first stage is to deliver as strong a message as we can by doing as well as we can.
“And that message is that we should be having a clean break no-deal Brexit or WTO Brexit.”

Edmund Fordham agreed, he said:

“I think that is right we are campaigning to ensure that the result of the referendum is implemented.
“It’s that simple, there aren’t that many issues apart from that.”

Although the Brexit Party hasn’t published a recognised manifesto, the two candidates said that the party is working on a full platform of policies in anticipation of a general election.

Paul said:

“We think that this whole democratic deficit needs to be addressed. There is a huge amount of work going on producing and working on what the policies will be.
“This particular election is about Europe and a relationship with Europe.”

Paul doesn’t believe that the party would have existed, if there had been a “sensible” withdrawal agreement. He feels that Parliament has failed to deliver Brexit, and that the Country is “bored stiff with it all.

If our MPs haven’t been able to provide Brexit, how can a small number of MEPs achieve the ‘impossible’? Edmund believes that a large raft of brexit MEPs would send a huge message to the people in Westminster:

“You have to look at what Nigel Farage has been able to achieve as an MEP in Brussels. He has built a tremendous platform that can put pressure on the European Union from the inside to start to be sensible about a future relationship and deals.”

Edmund added that there is no legal requirement either in domestic or international law for any kind of deal at all. But he would have liked to have seen a free trade agreement possibly based on the Canada model:

“Which we now know Donald Tusk did offer at one stage of the negotiations. We need to say that we are leaving on WTO terms to incentivise the EU to come back to the table.”

Would the Brexit Party MEPs be able to build a large enough group to force the EU to go back to the table? Paul said:

“I think this only really becomes relevant if we are still there after the 31st of October, which our aim is to ensure that we won’t be.”

So, both candidates are standing in an election that they didn’t want to see happen. Why should they be taken seriously as a candidate? Will they embrace the role of an MEP? Paul said:

“If we did powerfully enough, we might not get to take our seats, but if we do we will have to take it seriously as people have had the decency to vote for us.”

EU Elections are on 23rd May 2019 Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

This area has just experienced a local election. It is easy to contact the elected councillors to ask for help on local issues. This sense of connection to an elected representative is significantly reduced when moving up to an MP. How will the voters in Cranfield and Marston Vale notice the work a MEP has carried out on their behalf? Paul said:

“In general, I think that MEPs have very little influence on individual communities in a way we are fortunate that we have Edmund who has a link here [he started his engineering career in Cranfield at BHRA] and a passion for that.
“My own knowledge is based more to the east and those communities. So I’m not going to sit here and pretend that I would be focussed on Cranfield.
“I think that you’re very lucky that we have one of our candidates that has a connection here.”

So why should someone vote for the Brexit Party?

Edmund said:

“You can’t have a referendum with a clear result, a general election with both main parties saying that they would respect that result and end up with a withdrawal agreement that isn’t Brexit.

“The main message of the Brexit party in this campaign is that we want to restore trust and faith in the democratic principle.”

Paul agreed:

“A decision has been made and we just need to get on with it!”

The full list of parties standing for election for the East Region is:

  • Change UK
  • Conservative Party
  • English Democrats
  • Green Party
  • Labour Party
  • Liberal Democrats
  • The Brexit Party
  • UKIP
  • Independent – Attila Csordas