Brexit

I voted to remain and reform, and still believe it’s possible. I back a People’s vote, but we need to address the reasons why people voted to leave.

I understand why people voted to leave.

I’ve spoken to many people and know that there are a number of reasons why they chose to vote leave.

  • To send a message to our own UK politicians because they didn’t think their voices were being heard in ordinary elections.
  • Because the EU is responsible for social and economic decline in their area.
  • Because the EU is undemocratic, cannot be reformed and should be abandoned.

Each of these voters had legitimate concerns, but ultimately I disagree with them. I believe the blame lies firmly with our own UK politicians and is something we can fix without leaving the EU. What we’re not seeing is the political will to do so.

We need to tackle the root causes.

  • Britain needs major reconstruction on a scale not seen since the post-war rebuild.
  • Not just housing, but rebalancing our economy to make it fairer for all.
  • Fixing the democratic deficit by introducing a Proportional Representation electoral system to give voters back their voice.

A people’s vote is needed.

It is not anti-democratic to ask the people if they are happy with the terms of the deal being presented. It won’t be straight-forward. Remain would have to be on the ballot, because some leave voters may prefer that over a no-deal. If a fair and legally binding format can be agreed, then we need to put it back to the people for a final say.

Yes, I believe the EU can be reformed.

  • For all its faults, I believe the EU is redeemable.
  • The UK can influence and shape the direction of the EU, but only by electing progressive MEPs to boost the EFA/Green group that is already a strong voice for reform.
  • The UK would not just thrive in the EU, but lead the way.

Can’t we just leave and get it over with? I’m bored of it now.”

I understand this feeling, but leaving without a deal would only be the start. We would have a significant period of upheaval while trade deals were negotiated, spanning years, plunging the UK into a period of instability and upheaval that would take decades to recover from. Meanwhile, the lack of accountability to fellow EU countries would enable a Conservative government to lay waste to environmental and health standards, as well as worker’s rights, which will affect the poorest in society.

It is my personal opinion that a less destructive way to “get it over with” would actually be to revoke and remain. I believe Brexit would have lost its appeal by now if we’d had a Government willing to take bold and immediate steps to create a fairer Britain. Instead, we have all had to suffer while our main parties play political games with people’s lives.

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