This morning, a friend sent me this piece, which had appeared on his Facebook feed from someone called Sean McCarney. To me it summed up the whole Brexit debate, and indeed most of my own reasons for voting to leave the EU. He articulates the case for leaving in 500 words in a very rational and balanced way, and puts it better than any politician I have ever seen.
Now Brexit has happened, it’s time for the UK to look forward. I know some of my close friends are sad and feel that yesterday was a terrible day for this country, and I understand that but I respectfully disagree.
The sad thing is that Brexit or something like it was inevitable at some point. The choice really wasn’t for Leave or Remain: It was Leave or go on an inexorable, unstoppable journey to a European State, with the slow expiry of National Governments and, eventually, direct rule from Brussels.
Democracy is not a perfect thing, but it works best when those in power are chosen by the people, are close to the people and can be removed by the people.
The EU could never have fulfilled these criteria and it had shown time and time again that it had no intention of changing its method of governance. The European Parliament is not a Parliament as we know it, but exists to do little more than rubber stamp and, at best, tweak the agenda of the Commission. The Commissioners, once selected, are a law unto themselves. The E.U. is set up to ensure the continued retention of power by a centralised technocracy. It is a system designed for post-war Europe, where a war-weary continent looked to men (as they all were then) of intellect and learning to take the decisions away from the political class which had led them into two world wars. And it worked. For a time. But it is now a wasteful behemoth, run by second rate or failed ex-politicians more concerned about centralising power and becoming a state in its own right than listening to the citizens of its member countries. Indeed, Maastricht, Lisbon (aka the European Constitution), the implementation of the Euro and every decision and Directive since has taken the continent deliberately further down that path.
I have watched this for thirty years now and I could not in all conscience vote to remain in such an organisation with a terrible history of coercion, racist-protectionism, political interference and corruption.
I believe there will be bumpy times ahead for the UK, but there are also very bumpy times ahead for the E.U. and some of those will make Brexit seem like a walk in the park.
The EU is not Europe. It has done much good for the continent in its time, but it is also causing much damage, I believe it’s current trajectory is deeply flawed and I fear that it is only time before it faces a real existential threat. I still believe we will be able to travel freely through Europe and our children will be able to study and work there in the future. I believe we can develop a good working relationship with our neighbours. I believe too that our neighbours in the EU will be able to do the same here. I am positive about the future, but I understand the sadness of those who are deeply saddened about leaving the EU.
One thing we need to remember is that overwhelmingly most leavers are not deluded xenophobes, and overwhelmingly most remainers are not neo-liberal democracy deniers. Overwhelmingly, most people who took the time to vote did so because they cared enough about the future of this country to do so. I salute all of them.