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OPINION: Brexit Day isn’t something to celebrate

This week Nigel Farage waved a tiny limp toy Union Jack embarrassing himself and his country in the European parliament, it was a symbolic final act from the Brexit champion. Today, the Brexit process gets under way and it’s so sad that we are leaving the European Union having been a member for over forty years.

It’s so sad that we are potentially stripping away our freedoms of movement. Maybe not completely or instantly but they will be disrupted.

It’s so sad that we are destroying a partnership that, whilst not perfect, has prevented wars, built our economies and expanded our horizons over decades.

It’s so sad that we are losing our rights, our protections and the inward investment into the most deprived parts of this country.

It’s not me I feel sad for, it’s for future generations.

Leaving will potentially close off partnerships and could shut down much of the diversity that feeds into an open tolerant multicultural society that enriches our (cultural) lives.

With the speed of travel and technology our world is getting smaller and instead of continuing to be a outward looking country, we are cutting ourselves off from a neighbouring trading block that will still affect us anyway, to float alone as an island. To make our own trade deals when we don’t have the same influence or strength in numbers to get a good deal, and they will become intractable discussions that are still ongoing years after Boris says Brexit is “done”. It’s sad, regressive and dark.

For what? Nobody can tell me after four years!? Misguided fantasies of what Brexit will mean. Misguided notions of British sovereignty? Freedom? Free trade? Control of our borders. 350m a week for the NHS? Which was always a lie. In fact one report claimed the “economic cost” of Brexit is £130 billion, and now exceeds what we’ve paid in to the EU over 47 years.

We had all of these things already but we also had the strength of being part of a trading block and a union a partnership that pools together to form a bond of strength. We had vetos we had the best of both worlds. Now we are weaker and more emasculated as a result of leaving this group.

Whats the main driver behind Brexit? Ignorance and prejudice, a fear of those who don’t look like you and if that’s why you voted for it, be under no illusion it won’t stop movement into this country.

Crumbling and struggling public services are due to austerity and the NHS wouldnt exist without the brilliant migrant and EU professionals who work in our hospitals. Inequality has widened in parts of our country because of successive governments not the EU! It will only get worse as we leave as a potentially terrible trade deal with the US comes into view as we bow and scrape and open up our health service to Donald Trump. More austerity will be unleashed and now the EU protections are gone and more privatisation in public services is a real danger. Offshore Tax laws will continue to be relaxed and the rich will get richer.

We always had freedom our government is the reason this country is a mess, not the EU.

If you voted for Brexit you’ve got it now and yes I accept there was a referendum (that you won on a tiny margin), but you must accept the consequences and reality of what Brexit will mean for all of us. You can’t dismiss any negative consequences as “project fear” anymore.

Just because we are leaving that doesn’t mean I have to like it. I find it incredibly sad that we are losing out and for those who will suffer.

We don’t ALL reject the EU, we are Europeans! Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson don’t speak for all of us. We are Europeans, whether some people want to think of themselves as that or not. I am a European and I dismiss the dark insular petty small-minded world view that wants to erect walls and wave flags and trumpet nationalism, that means we are leaving the European union. I will carry on fighting for human rights, tolerance, openess and empathy.

Brexit isn’t something to celebrate with parties, coins or mugs. Brexit is intolerance. Brexit is insular and nationalistic. Brexit is a distraction. Brexit is petty. Brexit is a fantasy. Brexit is a fallacy. It is division. It’s Britain downgrading itself. Brexit is bad news and will be for a long time. Today is a heartbreaking day.

  1. Totally agree!!

    DT’s slogan was make America great again. How’s he doing it? Dividing and conquering.

    Europe is weaker with this division.Something he championed. There is no deal in the pipeline 😉 Watch the dollar!

    He’s taking China down a notch. Really causing division in the holy land. Xenophobia on the rise globally. He’s given voice to the separatists.

    His plan is working while most make fun of him. Sad times really.

  2. I’m celebrating. I’ve waited three and a half years for this. I’ve been involved in so many arguments I’ve lost count. 25 people have ‘unfriended’ me on social media because of my views and at least two lifelong friendships are finished, forever. I’ve even been exorcised from attending work-related events just because of what I happen to believe in. Today was long, long overdue. Whether or not this ‘healing’ process actually takes place remains to be seen – personally I don’t think it will – but at least it has a slightly better chance, owing to what is happening today. A line is finally being drawn.
    We aren’t going to lose our freedoms of movement. Can you imagine the likes of Spain and Portugal quietly acquiescing to losing the British tourists (and residents) on which they depend? The EU didn’t prevent wars in Europe. There is only one inherently belligerent nation in Europe and that is Germany. Instead of heaping financial reparations on it as after World War 1, the allies shamed it after WW2 instead. It still does, you saw it earlier this week at Auschwitz. That is why we haven’t had any major wars. The EU didn’t stop the Balkan Wars, did it? NATO did that.
    I thought Johnson had committed to investing in the most deprived areas of the UK. He will be judged on that statement. EU – invested cash here was only what we had given them in the first place.
    Why will leaving close off partnerships? My relationship with Europeans, for both work and pleasure, remains exactly the same as it did and indeed it grows and prospers (unlike my relations with some Britons, see above).
    “With the speed of travel and technology world is getting smaller and instead of continuing to be an outward-looking country, we are cutting ourselves off”. The European Union is a small part of the world Bill, there are much bigger pickings beyond it including a host of countries across the globe that are lining up to do trade deals with us. You’ll hear more about that next week.
    One report claimed the “economic cost” of Brexit is £130 billion, and now exceeds what we’ve paid into the EU over 47 years.” You know the old adage. Two economists, three opinions. I pay fuck all attention to any of them, and I am one.
    “What’s the main driver behind Brexit? Ignorance and prejudice, a fear of those who don’t look like you and if that’s why you voted for it, be under no illusion it won’t stop movement into this country.” That’s a dangerous comment. Personally, I don’t believe that it was the main driver behind the decision of most people other than in small parts of the country; rather it was sovereignty. But if it keeps being put up as a reason and threats are made people will turn against immigrants. You know that the vast majority of EU citizens will be allowed to stay in the UK; it’s only newcomers who won’t be allowed to come here unless they have skills that are needed. For my part, I’d like to move to Spain. But I probably won’t be allowed to now. I have to accept that, and I do.
    “We don’t ALL reject the EU, we are Europeans!” Who said I wasn’t European, irrespective of which way I voted? I voted to leave the EU, not Europe and that is what is happening today. I’ve never met anyone who dislikes Europe, never mind hates it. Only the EU and people like Verhofstadt and Tusk who consider me, someone they have never met, to be scum because of my nationality.
    “I will carry on fighting for human rights, tolerance, open-ness and empathy.” And the corollary is that I won’t, because of the way I voted?
    The saddest thing to me is that before I read this article I was knocking up a quick ‘Pop Classic’ article in my lunch break with the subject Europe’s ‘The Final Countdown’. I thought it might bring a bit of much-needed levity.
    But from what I’m seeing and hearing in the media today it wouldn’t be taken in that way at all, no matter how I wrote it. Rather it would be seen as ‘triumphalism’. And that tells me that too many people are never going to accept the result of that referendum and what is happening today. That is the real intolerance, and that will finish this country.

  3. David, you are entitled to your opinion just as I am. Brexit is happening and I actually would have begrudgingly accepted it in 2016 if a reasonable deal had been struck but the Tory government made a complete mess. And I don’t make it personal. You assume I am criticizing you or other Brexiteers personally from what I said, I would do, but I am not, I am stating what I will still do. To say it’s nothing to do with immigration or intolerance is palpably false we have seen hate crimes, division and insults increase since 2016 and a rise in the far right. Indeed many people gave immigration as one of their top reasons for voting for Brexit. You still give no reason for Brexit beyond sovereignty. When we had many vetos and still had access to the single market in the EU, we had the best of both worlds now we are leaving and will be worse off economically and culturally as a result. Of course, Brexit doesn’t mean we won’t do any deals with the rest of the world, the point is our influence is lessened and trade deals are very complicated and take years, being on our own we won’t have the strength of being part of a larger trading block when we negotiate them. We are cutting ourselves off by leaving the EU by not looking outward to our neighbours first, we are losing out on co-operation across borders over security and science and having investigated the effect on music it won’t be good for culture either. Yes, we are signalling that we are looking inward rather than outward.

    You have taken some of my points literally and without the consequence I suggest, so I have clarified some of them in the piece. Of course, free movement won’t cease instantly or completely, yes Eu residents will stay the point is it will be disrupted it will no longer be “FREE”(The government promises an Australian style points system that will mean more red tape, more costs, who knows what it will mean for Brits going the other way it will increase costs and democracy and our ability to settle in Europe) and that’s because of Brexit and you know that. Yes the world is getting smaller and by leaving a huge trading block we are losing out economically and on being part of something and on having the influence, to be an “independent state” emasculated and weaker on our own and with less influence upon a neighbouring block that will affect us whether we like or not.
    As for preventing wars, of course we’ve, had conflict upon European soil but it has helped prevent wars because the EU is a way for nations to discuss issues collectively.

    It’s good that you think of yourself as European but Mr Farage and Johnson clearly don’t share your enthusiasm and have for decades smeared and demonised the EU and Europeans, and you may be able to separate citizenhood from the politics of being a member of the EU but most of the Brexit champions clearly cannot.

    That’s my opinion you are entitled to celebrate but I do not, I find the whole thing very sad and unnecessary and we are shooting ourselves in the foot for no reason. It’s a dark day for me and many others.

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