Bradley, from Yorkshire, voted Leave in protest against Cameron’s Government and the London-centric political class. When he realised that Brexit would be a disaster for the North East, he changed his mind. A RemainerNow, he thinks a People’s Vote is the only logical democratic solution.
If David Cameron thought for a moment that, when casting their votes in the 2016 Referendum, voters would base their choice purely upon issues relating to the EU, he was very wide of the mark.
I would love to claim that I cast my vote in a rational and disciplined manner, confining myself solely to consideration of the merits or otherwise of the UK’s membership of the EU — but that would be a fib.
Instead, I was one of those who used the opportunity provided by Mr Cameron to register a protest against a Government (and indeed, a political class) who didn’t appear to care for the needs and concerns of the North East of England (where I live) or any other region of the UK outside London for that matter.
To be honest, I didn’t think that Leave had any chance of prevailing and I was thus both surprised and a little worried when I heard the result of the vote. Not normally given to retrospection, I found myself analysing the reasons why I had voted Leave.
I realised that, as well as registering a protest against the London-centricity of the political class, I had also used my vote as an adverse reaction to a number of advocates for the Remain side who appeared to be incapable of empathising with the genuine concerns of large numbers of Leave voters (in respect of immigration and regional economic development) and who appeared to assume that the result of the Referendum was a foregone conclusion and that consequently they didn’t really need to try very hard to win-over Leave supporters (whom they appeared to view as ‘unsophisticated uneducated provincials’).
As time has moved on and as the spectral promises made by the leaders of the Leave campaign have evaporated and been replaced by objective evidence-based facts, I have realised that my region — the North East of England — stands to gain nothing and lose so much if the UK leaves the EU.
Do I regret casting my vote for Leave in 2016 ? Not only do I regret it but I am embarrassed by it. A mature, reasonably intelligent chap should not have based a decision to vote in a certain way in a crucial vote, on issues which were irrrelevant and distracting, but I did! And I know that others to whom I have spoken within my area did likewise and now regret their decision just as much as I do.
I believe that, in the light of the impasse that currently exists, the democratic way out of that impasse is to hold a further Referendum. Those who argue that the British People have already had their say back in 2016 are clearly not taking into account the hundreds of thousands of people who have achieved the age of majority in the past 29 months and thus joined the electorate and the thousands of people who are no longer members of the electorate (either because they have passed away or emigrated). The ‘British People’ is not an unchanging entity, it is a dynamic group which has changed massively since the 2016 Referendum.
And there are many like me who did vote in 2016, but who have now changed their minds in the light of emerging evidence. The ‘British People’ who will be affected by the UK remaining in or leaving the EU in 2019 are the people whose ‘will’ should be taken into account, their futures should not be determined by the votes cast by a very differently constituted group 29 months ago. A People’s Vote is the only logical democratic solution.🔷
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(This is an original piece, first published by the author in PoliticsMeansPolitics.com. | The author writes in a personal capacity.)