Our objective is to establish a museum that tells the history of what we know today as Brexit. It’s the story of how the UK - in official terms - “pooled” (or surrendered), and then reclaimed, our sovereignty.
But Brexit didn’t happen overnight. Nor did it happen because of a few months of concentrated campaigning.
It was the consequence of decades of events, decisions, debates and controversies.
Some of these even preceded the UK joining the EEC in the first place. And sadly, a number of those involved in the campaign are no longer with us. We want to honour their memory, as well as those who strived so hard, for so long, and so thanklessly. We want to do so fairly, honestly, and honourably.
The aim is to set it up with four pillars;
A public collection that tells the story of the Eurosceptic Movement and its people across the decades (and countries), starting off in the wider context of defining Sovereignty through the ages and our relationship with Europe's great powers.
An accessible collection that preserves the hidden or personal story, for academic research.
An accessible collection that preserves the extensive and varied printed literature.
A resource providing ongoing support in post-Brexit issues, especially to Eurosceptics abroad.
There are a lot of possible models for achieving these which have yet to be decided, on depending on how big the collection turns out to be. In any event, the goal is creating something that will be still be around to reflect back on the 100th anniversary of the UK joining the EEC – in 2073.
We won’t be around then. We also doubt the EU will still be around by then either. And if it is, it’ll be in a form that justified our leaving.
This is an ambitious task. It will take a number of years for the museum to happen. We also believe that it is proper to allow some time for the country to heal politically. A little bit of a time gap will help the nation put Brexit in a more balanced perspective. Some wounds are still raw and we do not seek to aggravate them. But if we are to record the history, we do need to start work now.
So our task right now is to start to build the collection, the archive, and the library. That is why we are launching an appeal, and bringing together as many willing partners as possible to help achieve as diverse a record of these decades as we can.
This, then, is Phase One of our task: an appeal for support from your own collections, bottom drawers, shoeboxes, and troves.
Stopping the clock on Brexit Day on 29th March 2019 - and the ongoing campaigning to deliver on the vote - has kept all of us involved in the project a bit busy! But the programme continues. It just means that there are more archives and material that will need to be preserved...