[Ed: you can read Part I here]
Step 5: Make Brexit guilty by association
You’re going to associate Brexit with the far-right. Nothing is off the table – you don’t know this yet, but you’ll be able to blame Nigel Farage for other people’s racist violence (it’ll eventually turn out to be nothing of the sort, but the mud might stick if you stick your fingers in your ears and refuse to admit the untruth).
You’ll take any opportunity to associate Brexit with every negative you can find. At this point you don’t really know how it’s going to play out, but you do know polling. You know that Vladimir Putin polls very badly in the UK, and that the presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump also polls badly. Better still, they split Leave voters: some like them, others hate them, so as a bonus you’ll cause Leave supporters to fight amongst themselves.
Associate Brexit with three things: the far right, Vladimir Putin, and Donald Trump. It’s a classic smear campaign.
Step 6: Everything that goes wrong from now on must be the fault of Brexit.
Two words: Despite Brexit. Those two words will cover any good news that happens. You can now blame any bad news on Brexit, and you win. This strategy will work whether unemployment, the stock market, the pound, the deficit, or anything else goes up or down.
Step 7: Divide and conquer
Pick away at the pieces, one step at a time. The strategy’s simple: Northern Ireland has a land border with the EU. If you can complicate that enough, and create some mischief requiring a special deal for Northern Ireland, you can then rely on Scottish and Welsh politicians to push for the same. London can then follow suit. As one Remainer Conservative politician put it to me recently, “Just Grimsby and a few other places will be left”. Sorry people of towns north of Watford, you’re not part of the Remainers’ strategy to derail Brexit. Such people can be caricatured, derided and ignored.
Step 8: Consistently take the EU’s side against the Brits in negotiations
You have to believe that everything that the EU wants in negotiations is automatically correct. You can shout that from the rooftops. If your plan is going to succeed, you need the UK to be unsuccessful in negotiations. You must undermine them at every opportunity. The critical point is this: the UK and the EU must not negotiate as equals. The UK must be the fawning supplicant, asking the EU’s permission for everything. Anything that the EU doesn’t fancy doing, you’ll then be able to claim is absolutely impossible. Keep pouring scorn over everything the government tries to do; you know it’s weak enough already, all you need to do is tip them over the edge and they’ll soon be conceding all sorts of things that they don’t need to.
Step 9: Launch Project Fear 2
So Project Fear didn’t work, and people voted for Brexit anyway. That’s okay, because you can keep right on going. Now that Leave won the referendum, it’s difficult for them to keep campaigning for an outcome that’s already won. If you continue with Project Fear, it’ll be far harder for anyone to oppose you. If you try really really hard, you might even be able to create a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you can persuade enough other people to say how awful our country and its economy will be post-Brexit, you just might be able to convince the markets to believe you. Remember, you can hurt the British people as much as you want in support of your campaign to reverse democracy. You’re doing it in support of the Remain cause, but you can always blame Leave for it later. You can try to tank the economy, knowing someone else will take the blame if you succeed. It’s a win-win for you, isn’t it?
Step 10: Claim that people have changed their minds since the Brexit vote and demand a second referendum to overturn the first
You can sow the seeds of this one gradually for a year or two, but eventually – probably at some point in 2018 – you’re just going to have to go for it. The trick will be to stoke up a non-existent wave of public anger, supported by your friends in the media, and cherry-pick any poll which could possibly support your position. Polls generally overestimated support for Remain during the referendum campaign, so you’ll need to completely forget that fact and pretend that whichever poll you choose to cherry-pick must be utterly infallible. One in every 20 polls is a rogue poll; find a rogue poll which implies that the public have changed their minds over Brexit, and mention it as though it were in fact the oracle of all wisdom.
This isn’t just a thought experiment though, it’s reality: Remainers have been following this strategy for real. We all know what triumphs when good people do nothing; we need to fight this tooth and nail. Are we ready to battle to protect Brexit once more?