Daily Mail


Leaked dossier reveals full details of £6m campaign – backed by foreign billionair­e Soros – to undermine will of the people

- EXCLUSIVE By John Stevens Deputy Political Editor

A PLOT to thwart Brexit can be exposed by the Daily Mail today.

Leaked papers show that a pro- Remain group has launched a six-month plan to stop Britain leaving the EU.

Backed by billionair­e financier George Soros, Best for Britain aims to spend £5.6million on the campaign. The documents reveal that the group will rubbish whatever final agreement Theresa May strikes with Brussels – arguing it is ‘not what we voted for’.

Best for Britain wants to persuade MPs to vote down the Prime Minister’s deal in October. This would throw Brexit into chaos. The sabotage operation includes using trade unions to change Labour’s stance on Brexit.

It will also involve an advertisin­g blitz, social media, a speaking tour by leading Labour Remainers and local campaignin­g.

Best for Britain has amassed a £2.4million war chest but is asking wealthy donors for £ 3.2million

more, saying: ‘We have less than six months to stop Brexit.’ The 26-page plan reveals that: Best for Britain will claim leaving the EU will put national security at risk;

Remain activists will blame Brexit for funding cuts at local councils;

They will also claim Leave voters were rejecting Westminste­r and not Brussels.

It is understood that Best for Britain started sending the document to potential donors over the past few days.

Former Cabinet minister Owen Paterson said the document revealed how far some Remainers would go to overturn the result of the referendum of June 2016.

‘The cynical plan to manipulate the British voter and stop Brexit has now been laid bare,’ added the Conservati­ve MP.

‘Leave voters up and down the country will be disgusted that George Soros thinks he can spend his fortune to determine the direction of our great country. Most Remain voters too just want us to get on with it.

‘My colleagues in Parliament, whether they were for Leave or Remain, must denounce this brazen attempt to undermine our democracy.

‘Those MPs who are seeking to dilute or delay Brexit must now admit that their meaningful vote is really just their plan to stop Brexit – as this document sets out unambiguou­sly.’

Richard Tice, of the pro-Brexit group Leave Means Leave, said: ‘George Soros, the billionair­e who does not live in the UK, will stop at nothing with his elitist friends to stop Brexit,

‘A cynical plan to manipulate voters’

deceitfull­y masking their plans as a people’s vote. Shamefully, they want to deny the poorest in our society from benefiting the most from Brexit.’

Best for Britain was launched last April ahead of the snap general election. It was fronted by Gina Miller, who took the Government to court over Brexit, but she quit earlier this year after becoming uncomforta­ble with the group’s hardline tactics.

It emerged in February that Best for Britain had accepted a £400,000 donation from Mr Soros, the Hungarian-born financier who bet against sterling on Black Wednesday in 1992 – earning him one billion dollars. He then promised £100,000 more, matching a crowdfundi­ng push, and later gave another £300,000.

Board members include Lord Malloch-Brown, who was a foreign minister under Gordon Brown, and chief executive Eloise Todd, who worked in Brussels for Bono’s charity ONE.

When the campaign was founded, its backers claimed they respected the result of the EU referendum. But it has been putting up billboards around the country calling for a second vote and the document says its strategic goals include: ‘ stop Brexit’ and ‘win a people’s vote to stay and lead in Europe’.

It sets out a three-pronged strategy to persuade ‘soft’ Leave voters to change their minds, mobilise hardline Remainers into action, and shift the Labour Party into an anti-Brexit stance.

Best for Britain says it will ‘attach our case to the big non-Brexit issues that have emotional resonance – we need to break out from the Brexit bubble’. Using social media, it wants to ‘reach out to where people are engaged – physically but mostly digitally’. It also pledges to ‘ cut through by being bold and embracing the disruptive’.

In the next few weeks Best for Britain will start arguing the Brexit referendum was not a rejection of the EU: ‘ This was a vote against London as much as Brussels.’

Over the summer, its message will focus on how Brexit is ‘putting the UK’s unity and security at risk’. In October – when it is expected that the outline of the Prime Minister’s deal with Brussels will be known – the document reveals that the group has already decided to argue: ‘Now we can finally see the real facts, this is not what we voted for.’

Best for Britain activists are instructed to ‘survey local issues and concerns and link these to the impact of Brexit’.

They started with grassroots events for constituen­cy Labour parties earlier this month, with plans to start work on ‘mobilising the unions’ in the next fortnight.

The document says: ‘We’ve raised £2.4million, we need another £3.2million. Our activity is essentiall­y scalable – how many we reach is directly proportion­al to what we can spend.’

A Best for Britain spokesman said: ‘We have never hidden our agenda. Our aim as an organisati­on is to stop Brexit democratic­ally.

‘We want to connect people across the country to their MPs, particular­ly in the Labour Party, so they directly hear from their membership and their voters, the vast majority of whom want to make sure we have a real debate on Brexit before our options are taken off the table.

‘Brexit is taking longer than people expected, costing more, and stopping us from creating a better Britain that works for everyone.’

But former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith said: ‘This dossier is yet another example of the complacent Establishm­ent trying to stitch up the people.’

MPs were warned yesterday that post- Brexit customs red tape could cost businesses up to £20billion a year. Jon Thompson, chief executive of HM Revenue & Customs, said the streamline­d plan – which uses technology to keep border checks to a minimum – would cost at least £17billion annually and take up to three years to bring in.

The ‘Max Fac’ option – for maximum facilitati­on – is favoured by Brexiteers, who dismissed the HMRC figures as ludicrous.

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