First of all thank you for letting me come and be here today. I am honoured to be able to address you. More so, because I appreciate that not many of you know me and I do not know many of you. There is a danger I will appear rude and I want you know I am sensitive to that.
Also, I want you know I have come here today in the hope and the expectation that I am wasting my breath. The problem is that with all the lies and misrepresentation and exaggerations and cherry-picking perpetrated by the mainstream media it is hard to know what my Brexit voting countrymen are really thinking. So I have come as precaution to make sure some things are understood.
Brexit won fair and square by 1 million two hundred and sixty nine (and a half) thousand votes. A 4% margin of victory on the day our leaders seem in fact to have given up. They were being told they were toast. That is amazing and deserves to be respected.
More than half of leave voters told Lord Ashcroft pollsters that they wanted democracy. They wanted to be free of the compromise of that ideal repressed by the outgoing constitutional arrangement. Democracy was therefore the biggest single motivation- bar none – for people voting for Brexit. Some prominent activists, such as Martin Durkin, were deliberately at pains to avoid mentioning the second most popular factor – immigration.
I am hear to make a very simple point. I favour, subject to security service vetting, a norm of open borders and free immigration for anyone willing to pay their way. I voted Leave for reasons not at all related to that preference. I too voted for democracy and for international trade. I did not get polled by Lord Ashcroft but for 14% of those leave voters that did, immigration was literally the last thing on their mind.
Consider that your margin of victory is 4%. That 14% translates into about 7% of the electorate. If there is to be a second referendum and you have alienated that 7% then this alliance will crumble and the EU will win. They will win and you will never get a chance to defeat them again.
Thank you for listening.