The plan came about after a meeting between three longstanding Eurosceptic campaigners. Lee Rotherham is an historian who spent over twenty years working with Eurosceptic MPs and think tanks, and was Director of Special Projects at Vote Leave. Gawain Towler was a key figure at the very heart of the UKIP movement. Alex Deane is a longstanding campaigner on the big state and personal freedoms and was Executive Director of Grassroots Out.
Between us, we have more decades of experience in fighting Eurosceptic battles than we care to admit. But as a result of our discussions, we realised that the collective memory of the fight for the country’s sovereignty was at risk of being lost, if an effort wasn’t made right now to collect and preserve it for future generations.
So, contacting old colleagues and friends, we have been putting together a team from across the grassroots Eurosceptic movements to work to preserve the archives, literature, and history of decades of struggle. The contact group consists of a dozen veteran campaigners taken from across the Eurosceptic family - including Marc Glendenning, Brian Monteith, Brendan Chilton, Simon Richards, Matthew Elliott, Robert Oulds and others.
Of course, that’s just the core team, and our outreach and engagement as the project expands will go much wider. Because the story is a wide ranging one, involving a chorus of many voices over many years.
What's happening now, in late 2019?
It won't have escaped your notice that over 2018 and 2019 there has been a massive political fight over Brexit. Many of the people engaged in this project are longstanding campaigners, and have been obliged to focus overwhelmingly on trying to deliver on the referendum vote itself.
We're sorry we've had to keep this on a slow burner over the last year, although support for the mission has grown as you can tell from the messages we have put up. The initial priority though has still held - prompting people not to bin things in any clear outs but to remember that material is wanted and valued.
The net result is that our second phase planning has been knocked back by several months. But in the process, the battle over delivering Brexit means all the more material that needs to be preserved for when it finally happens. And with it, a slightly bigger museum ... !
So please do hold onto your treasures while we work around expanding our drop off points. If you do have a bit of storage space, do please volunteer as a local drop off point for your county. (You may note that after some technical issues we've changed the email as well.)