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Report: Brexit strategist to help GOP with 2018 midterm election strategy

Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

One of the minds behind the Brexit campaign is reportedly helping Republicans strategize for the 2018 midterm elections.

Back in 2015, the pro-Brexit group Leave.EU hired American PR strategist Gerry Gunster to help lead the campaign for Britain to leave the European Union.

Now, per Politico’s reporting, Gunster is “in discussions” with GOP leaders on how to tackle the 2018 midterm elections:

Spearheading the discussions is Republican strategist Gerry Gunster, a referendum expert who helped to lead the successful 2016, populist-infused campaign for Britain's exit from the European Union. Gunster — who visited then-president-elect Trump in New York City along with Brexit leader Nigel Farage after the November election — has spoken about the ballot initiative concept with top administration aides, including political director Bill Stepien and Nick Ayers, the chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence and a veteran GOP operative.

Gerry Gunster, who runs the US advocacy firm Goddard Gunster, was a top strategist in the campaign to convince British voters to approve leaving the European Union. Ultimately, 51.9 percent of British voters voted to leave the EU.

The Brexit campaign has been criticized for its use of false statistics about the financial cost of Britain staying in the EU, which many say helped its victory. An article by the Telegraph identified several of the statistics pushed by the Brexit campaign as misleading and downright false.

For example, the “Leave” camp claimed that the UK lost 350 million pounds (about $450 million) per week as a result of being in the EU, and pledged to invest that money in Britain’s health care system if the UK left. This was doubly wrong: The 350 million figure didn’t take into account money the EU paid back to Britain in subsidies, and the Brexit side quickly abandoned its promise to spend the 350 million on health care after they won the vote.

Nonetheless, the GOP seems keen to draw on Gunster’s insights. Despite extensive gerrymandering that favors Republican victories around the country in 2018, the GOP has cause for concern for its incumbents’ and candidates’ prospects, including: Trump’s recent attacks on GOP leaders, the failed recent attempts to repeal and replace Obamacare that have reflected poorly on the party, and 2017 special elections results showing the Democratic Party closing its gap behind the GOP.