David, a 56-year-old former NHS consultant from North East Somerset, voted Leave in 2016. He has now changed his mind and wants another referendum to vote Remain.
Before being an NHS Consultant working in a major centre specialising in new-born intensive care, I was a university lecturer and research scientist. In my work I had the privilege of looking after sick and dying babies and their families from all over Britain, Europe, and many other parts of the world.
I have worked with some amazing colleagues from many, many countries. I also helped set up a small charity to support health and education in a village in a Muslim country in sub-Saharan Africa.
My grandparents and great uncles all fought in the last two world wars, and freedom and democracy are hugely important to me.
For me, the EU is undemocratic because I can’t vote for a member of the European parliament personally. This is because in EU elections you vote for a person under a regional party list system. Also because the EU ignores referendums results and asks people to vote again (until they come up with the right answer) or the EU just carries on anyway. That’s why I voted leave in 2016.
But when voting in a democracy, we should be given the facts and the truths to make an informed decision that chimes with our thoughts and values. This did not happen in the EU Referendum of 2016. Instead we were fed lies, half-truths, and promises that could never be delivered.
I was also naïve: I believed that politicians would look after the rights of us ordinary people and not use people as bargaining chips or currency. Instead, many of our friends, colleagues, partners and their families’ lives are in limbo: not knowing what is going to happen to them in the future.
For example, I recently heard a German lady speak about this. She had never stood up in public before and expressed how painful this was for her and her family. She has been married to an Englishman for 25 years. He served in the British army, including three campaigns, and was posted all over Europe.
Being a military-wife, she endured poor accommodation, not knowing when or if her husband would be coming home and supported her family. In her way doing her bit for Queen and Country. But because she has lived out of the UK for much of her married life and does not have an income she does still not know if she will be able to live in the UK after Brexit with her family.
Also, I did not know that some British citizens living in the EU were denied the right to vote in the Referendum.
And why were people who came in good faith from Europe denied a vote in the Referendum? They came to work in the UK and set up good lives, businesses, contribute to society and pay their taxes. What is fair about taxation without representation?
Instead, peoples’ lives are being torn apart: many who didn’t even have a say, and we have a Brexit “deal” that almost no-one would have voted for in the Referendum.🔷
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(This is an original piece, first published by the author in PoliticsMeansPolitics.com)