after nearly three years of Brexit debate, I’m still just as ambivalent as I was on 23rd June 2016.
The last few weeks haven’t disappointed, the two major political parties are still gridlocked with indecision crippling the “mother of all parliaments”; The Liberal Democrat’s strutting like cats with the cream, enjoying a resurgent popularity (won’t get into the validity of the lates polls here) and then there’s the Brexit party, if there was ever a time when the UK didn’t need a new political vehicle to legitimise Nigel Farage it would be now. But with all this continued political chaos, just how much has actually changed, actually very little. labour is still having the same internal struggle it was having when it was campaigning for remain in 2016 (to Brexit or not to Brexit). The conservatives have exploded over what type of Brexit will do, which has now spilled into to what type of Brexit prime mister will do. Public opinion it seams, has remained just as split on the issue as it was in 2016; and after nearly three years of Brexit debate, I’m still just as ambivalent as I was on 23rd June 2016.
Politics is remote and allusive to the majority of the working classes in the UK
I still find the European Union a deeply floured system, I still distrust the EU Commission and the associated business lobbies that controls its policy agenda, i still dislike the lack of accountability at the heart of the system and yet I’ve have not changed my opinion that remain and reform is the best option (even if it looks less and less like every passing day). What I have done over the past three years, is try to understand why all the things I’ve listed above have pushed so many people to believe that Brexit at all costs is the best option. I think it has a lot to do with the distrust and remoteness of our political glasses, in January this year it was reported that 17% of people in the UK said they trusted our politicians, this isn’t as shocking as the figure may seam; public trust in politicians has hovered around the number for the last 30 years. The Palace of Westminster is owned by all of us, but if you asked most working families who have spent that last ten years struggling to get by, weather or not they felt like the own a palace (well i doubt you’d have to think to hard to come up with the answer). Politics is remote and allusive to the majority of the working classes in the UK and it is undoubtedly like that on purpose (please forgive the blatant cynicism). I think it is only human nature that same distrust would be amplified for a even larger more allusive political system, who’s seat of isn’t on the same Island as us.
I fail to see how taking a sledgehammer to 50 years of political, social and economic integration can lead to anything good
So why, even with all these reason to change my mind on the EU haven’t I? Well I think like a lot of other “young people” who voted to remain in the 2016, I saw it as an exercise in choosing the least worst option; Yes the EU has deep seated constitutional issues, but it’s also provided a lot of positive legislation like parental leave, the working time directive and the right to 28 days paid holiday a year. There are also more selfish reasons, I have family that are French who I want to be able to continue to live and raise their children in the UK, I want visa free travel for my children when they grow up and maybe go traveling; I understand that some of this might seam like middle class problems, especially when your struggling to afford food let alone a passport, but these are rights for everyone and it’s something we could be giving up with no concrete answer as to what we will get for the sacrifice. However I think the biggest reason why I haven’t changed my mind on leaving the EU is I fail to see how taking a sledgehammer to 50 years of political, social and economic integration can lead to anything good in the short to medium term. Dismantling our relationship with the EU can be done so easily, but we have no plan how to rebuild ourselves after these bridges are torn down, any and all attempts to build that plan have lead to the greatest constitutional crisis our country has faced in a generation.
Our political system has proved beyond doubt it is incapable of delivering Brexit.
With no sign of this crisis being resolved anytime soon, I have to admit I am part of the problem, because after these three years of political turmoil I am still a reluctant remainer; I’ve tried to listen to both sides pragmatically and not shy away from when the other side has a point that I agree with, I have listened to the left wing case for Brexit and yet I still can not find it within myself to support it. Like the rest of the country there is no more consensus between the two sides to be found, no comprise that won’t leave the UK more divided than when this process began. I have no answer to this, accept a second vote. Our political system has proved beyond doubt it is incapable of delivering Brexit, a second vote probably will divide the UK more than it already is, however I believe it is the only realistic way to break the crisis that is crippling the UK.
if there is a second referendum I would vote remain again, but not out of patriotism, but because I believe it is the least worst option we have.