Apparently I am an anomally; a supposedly intelligent 30 something single mum, who voted to leave the EU. Several friends have asked [some more politely than others] why I supported Brexit, and this Blog has been promised for days [delay being a snotty teething tonsilitis toddler situation and too little sleep to render oneself coherant; life goes on] – This is as much to explain to Fred why his Momma thought his future would be better without the chains of the EU, as it is to justify myself. I ask that if you agree or disagree, and wish to comment or enter into debate; choose your words wisely. Play nice.
It is a sad reflection of the election campaign as a whole that I feel the need to begin this Blog by assuring my readers that I’m neither racist or xenophobic, nor am I a supporter of Nigel Farage and his blatantly aggressive, bizarre politics. I have travelled extensively, would consider myself a liberal thinker, and have friends of many different nationalities and religions. I was lucky enough to read Archaeology & Anthropology at Cambridge, where amongst other things, we explored the rise and fall of civilizations and the dynamics of societies. I’m sure June 23 2016 will be such a topic one day, and lets hope we look back on a good choice, with positive results.
Initially I was going to vote Remain. I was drawn to the ideology more than the reality – an idea of cohesian and unity in a world where this is greatly needed. It sounds so solid, that word – Union. I listened to the debates, all too aware of the propaganda on both sides [I don’t think either “side” can be wholly proud of the campaign.] For me, by far the most logical, kind, and intelligent voice was that of Gisela Stuart, someone I had hardly heard of pre referendum. “If the EU were an energy supplier or a bank“, she said, “you would long ago have stopped believing its marketing, you would have seen it was hopeless value for money and never listened to its customers; You would just move your account.” This coming from a woman, a childhood refugee from Eastern Europe, who has spent over a decade working closely with Brussels.
So, the “idea” of the EU. Here we have, put simply, a collection of diverse cultures and peoples, republics, sovereignties [sp?] states … with very different aims both economically and politically. We had dipped our toes in for years, not accepting the Euro, yet seeking to forge our own unique position for the sake of the single market in the Euro zone. In so doing, we were lumbered with politicians we hadn’t elected, and laws we hadn’t created. Ridiculous laws. And all at a very high weekly price tag. This figure has been banded about a lot in the past days, but £350 million a week? Gosh.
You notice that I haven’t even touched on Immigration, because it did not play a part in my vote or my decision how to vote. Britain has a history of welcoming immigrants and refugees long before the creation of the EU, and this will continue. The racism banded about by certain Leave campaigners is appalling and inexcusable; yet also a reflection of the mood of parts of our country. There is anger, that decisions about our country have been out of our control. This was, for many [not myself] a protest vote.
I believe the EU drained us of money, money which could be better used elsewhere [yes yes, perhaps it couldn’t ALL be handed to the NHS but surely £350million could be put to good use?] – I believe the EU denied each member state the individual freedom and right to create their own laws [I don’t just mean wonky bananas] – AND, I realised that this vote in 2016 was not simply voting for the EU as it is today, but how it will be in the future … Remain campaigners may have made the supposed financial uncertainty into an apocalyptical situation, but what about the very real fragility over the future of the Euro Zone and the uncertainty of their markets? I put my X in the box for Freddie’s future … which I believe will be best served outside of a Union which is already showing cracks which can only deepen with the entry of countries such as Turkey and Albania.
There was no hatred or malice behind my vote. I have seen more hatred and experienced more name calling from the Remain campaigners in the fallout since 23rd than I ever anticipated … I am however, surprised that people are surprised by the result.
This is an organisational shift, and one which we hope will be revealed to us as the government “get onto it” and negotiate our withdrawal. We are still geographically in Europe. We can still visit our friends and they us. We might just get to stand in a different queue at immigration and get a stamp in our passport. Europe and Europeans are still our friends. This was a referendum; a majority spoke.