Friday, January 31, 2020

Happy Brexit Day?

So, after all that, we leave the EU at 11pm tonight.

Happy Brexit Day one and all!

Doesn’t really sound right, does it? – to me it feels a bit like saying “happy operation”, or maybe “happy amputation”.

Still, Brexit we must, and Brexit we will. Along with many others, I don’t particularly like it, and didn’t choose it – but, we live in a Representative Democracy, which means we avoid killing each other to get our own way – instead, we periodically elect representatives who best reflect the overall public will at that point in time.

To my mind it would have been better if the Referendum had been legally, rather than politically, binding. The day after, we would all have known we were coming out. There still would have been the wrangling about how, but that’s not the point. Instead it was left to elected politicians to interpret the result as they wished. This in itself then caused years of paralysis, fuelled by anger, protest and complaints from all sides – not least from yours truly.

A legally binding referendum would have kept the debating and lobbying restricted to how, not whether, we left – and the result could have been significantly different. My personal view has always been that we were right to enter the Common Market – now the single biggest market and trading bloc on Earth – and we would have been better maintaining closer integration.

Still, what’s done is done. Those wanting this deserve a celebration, although I hope there isn’t too much taunting of the vanquished.

I still maintain that many of the victors don’t actually understand the reality of what they voted for, and my conversations with several of them over the last few years have confirmed that.

Do I feel animosity towards Leave voters? – no, not if they voted for the right reasons – although I haven’t met many of the latter. After the referendum I commented that Leave voters in my experience invariably were on a spectrum from simply misled, through gullible, ignorant, stupid, xenophobic, and ending up with racist. That’s not to say that everyone ticked every box – I’ve not met many who didn’t tick at least one of them, although I live in hope.

To those EU citizens inconvenienced – or worse – by this, I offer my sympathy and ongoing support. I’m sorry I couldn’t manage to stop it.

To those Brits abroad who didn’t vote for this – the same also applies, while to those who did, I will be quietly laughing at you for years to come.

To my children – who didn’t get to vote, yet who are way more knowledgeable on the subject than most who did – I’m immensely proud that you represent the future of our nation.

And to the Leave voters who truly believe Brexit will be good for us economically – I do sincerely hope you are proved right, although I won’t hold my breath.

As a patriotic (NOT nationalistic) Brit, I’ll do all I can to make this work – and I call on everyone else who didn’t choose this, to do the same. Our nation holds its place in the world because of an awful lot of bright, dedicated people, many of whom don’t want it – and I hope they stick with us.

As well as unleashing the darker side of the human psyche – seemingly giving thugs and racists a license to express their vile views without fear of retribution – Brexit has also achieved something positive: a movement of millions of people prepared to speak out where there is prejudice, intolerance and injustice, shining a light in the darkness.

Today, tomorrow, and always, I’ll carry on calling out racism, xenophobia, ignorance and stupidity. Sorry if anyone thought that might change! 😳🤣😁