Wednesday, October 26, 2016
Brexit – the vote that dare not speak its name
Since 23rd June I have been challenged from within and without my family asking why a person like me (i.e. well educated and relatively comfortable financially) would vote to leave the EU. Plainly I don’t fit the stereotype.
I have therefore had to formulate a relatively short answer which covers as many of the bases as possible. When asked why I voted to leave the EU, I now reply: I voted to leave a sclerotic, undemocratic, unnecessarily bureaucratic, remote, unwieldy, expensive gravy train weighted in favour of the French and the Germans. What did you vote for?
The answer, when it comes, is usually – trade.
I then have to point out that Britain has been trading with continental Europe since the day when the North Sea poured in and separated the two land masses. Attempts to block this trade, e.g. during the Napoleonic Wars, simply resulted in an increase in smuggling – watching Poldark, anybody?
But I want to be able to work in EU countries!
And then I have to say that in the late 60’s I worked for some time in France. All I needed was confirmation that I had a job to go to and that guaranteed me a visa. Quite a good system, don’t you think? The French didn’t want loads of people bumming around the country with no regular source of income, and neither did we.
So the last answer is – I want to holiday in Europe without having to obtain a visa. This elicits a comment and a question:
Long before we joined the EU I had enjoyed holidays in Spain, Italy, Greece, France and Portugal. All I needed was a passport.
Are you really willing to give up your right to democratic self-determination so that you can lie on a beach in Spain or Italy or whatever for two weeks a year?
Answer there came none.