Brexit Party chairman Richard Tice has unveiled plans for sweeping, wholesale constitutional reform at the party’s general election campaign launch, introducing proportional representation, replacing the House of Lords, empowering voters with real recall powers, and taking on electoral fraud and judicial bias.
The normally mild-mannered property tycoon, a founder of the Leave.EU and Leave Means Leave campaigns, did not pull his punches against the “stinking, rotten borough of Westminster” at the campaign launch, suggesting that only the Brexit Party could be trusted to “change politics for good” because “we’re not part of the political status quo”.
The changes Mr Tice put forward were dramatic, extending well beyond the realm of the clean, no-deal break the Brexit Party has long argued for and into the realm of domestic politics.
These changes included a switch to an electoral system based on proportional representation, with the current first-past-the-post system leaving millions of voters in so-called “safe seats” effectively disenfranchised and not providing the “strong and stable” government which is supposed to be its hallmark, and real recall powers for voters between elections to stop MPs from changing parties “at leisure” with their constituents powerless to do anything about it.
Of the House of Lords, which comprises a small number of the hereditary peers and senior clergymen who were its historic mainstay and a vast and ever-growing number of political appointees, Tice said it was time to “abolish it and start again” with an elected Upper Chamber.
Speaking exclusively to Breitbart London after the speech, Tice explained that the Brexit Party position is that “there should be an elected second chamber that would be significantly smaller” than the House of Lords, and smaller than the House of Commons.
“Maybe the size of 100… and maybe there should be a sunset clause, so they can’t stand for more than a couple of terms, ten years. You then get a throughflow of expertise and knowledge,” he said.
“[The Lords] are completely out of step with the country. There are 900 Lords — we’ve got 650 MPs, never mind 900 unelected Lords, for Heaven’s sake!”
Tice also took Brexit-blocking senior judges to task during the launch speech, alleging that “the Supreme Court is now a political court” in need of democatic oversight via a proper political scrutiny of appointments — one possibly laid down in a written constitution.
He also lambasted a postal voting sysem “open to fraud, intimidation, corruption, and huge abuse” and insisted changes brought in by Tony Blair’s Labour government must be reversed.
On economic policy, the Brexit Party appears to be pursuing an innovative and faintly populist mixture of Thatcherite tax cuts and leftish investment in struggling communities, with “50 per cent of the bloated, wasteful foreign aid budget” redirected to struggling areas as part of a wider £100 billion investment package in regions beyond London.
Tice also indicated that the Brexit Party would consider a “small online sales tax” to help high street businesses, which would be exempt from business rates, and major moves to rescue and restore the country’s fishing industry and coastal communities once they can be freed to the European Union’s damaging Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).
He expressed disbelief that the Labour Party were opposed to using Brexit as an opportunity to create “tens of thousands” of new manufacturing jobs with new free ports in some of the country’s most deprived areas — a policy which the Tories also support — and that they do not want to leave the EU Customs Union and “cut the cost of living for people up and down the country with a proper Brexit”.
“It’s extraordinary that the Labour Party doesn’t want to do that,” he said.