A few days ago, I posted here a few of the longer comments I’d been receiving from readers about the Brexit crisis. I’ve now received another impassioned cri de coeur – this time from someone who voted Remain – which I think is very much worth wider distribution. Please therefore read it here.
Like many Brits, I am simply furious with the sheer contempt and ridicule being inflicted upon this country by its own elected officials.
I won’t lie: I voted Remain in 2016 – even despite my previous desire that Greece leave the EU and my staunch opposition to the Euro. I am also a millennial, a generation heavily supporting Remain.
After learning of the result, I was very disappointed. After a while, I said: right: we lost, but let’s pull up our boots, come together, and get the best deal possible. A Brexiteer is still my fellow Briton, after all.
All my former allies disagreed. The vote was illegitimate, they said, because not every available voter voted. I was shown a pie chart in which the number of those who didn’t vote and couldn’t vote was represented in order to demonstrate that Leave didn’t really win. Astonished by what appeared to be bordering on chicanery, I timidly explained that according to that very pie chart, Leave won.
I received no response. (I’ve also heard the “But Russia… Nigel Farage said… The Bus…” ad nauseam – all dishonest argumentation, since opposition to the EU goes back decades).
Then came the scare-mongering over trade. I accepted difficulties and drawbacks. But we could not give businesses even more uncertainty by insisting that Leave would harm our future relationship. According to my former allies, we were headed for generational poverty because Brexiteers just wanted to cut red tape.
After that came the numerous “warnings” from European leaders, telling us that we had made a mistake, that we were welcome to change our mind, that we would be damaging our future, etc. This raised my hackles. Quite frankly, I thought, how dare they? They might disagree with the referendum result, but the lecturing, condescending tone was unnecessary.
Now, far too late, I ask myself what kind of organisation makes it damn near impossible for its members to leave.
I work in the Financial Services and after having to put up with a mountain of EU Data legislation (the accursed GDPR), as well as learning about the Customs Union properly for the first time (and profoundly disagreeing with its objectives), as well as the European Arrest Warrant, I changed my mind. We must leave, come hell or high water. May’s “deal” alarmed me so much I actually dared to start supporting Brexit in public.
Now I realise what you have been saying all along. It still astonishes me as I think about it. There is a large and growing class of people who don’t just disagree with Brexit. They believe that nobody has any right to want Brexit. The whole decision, in their view, is completely illegitimate. No sane person would want such a thing, unless they were a bigot, or a nationalist, or a nostalgic fool.
This attitude is pervasive among my generation, whose dismissal of the elderly is deeply offensive. (What happened to “tolerance”, eh?). But those same middle-aged+ folks also share the blame for entrenching this culture of disdain for Britain, disdain for the unwashed masses, and veneration of a foreign Superstate built to accommodate Germany.
Theresa May had my respect at the beginning. She has irrevocably lost it. I find myself shouting at my laptop whenever she blathers on about “the Brexit people voted for” – the one being comprehensively ripped to shreds by her “deal”. You have explained better than I could why this deal will ruin our future and why No Deal is our only viable option. (We should have prepared for this at least two years ago, I now belatedly realise).
Apologies for this rant, but I have had it up to here. It’s not just that our elected officials are self-serving and incompetent. It’s not just that millions of sanctimonious individuals insist on maligning their fellow citizens as not being “human” for wanting to Leave.
It’s the fact that we can’t do anything to stop this – or can we? Save from taking revenge at the ballot box, what can we actually do?
More importantly, when will we free ourselves of the EU?