Eoin from Wiltshire voted Leave in 2016. Having realised that the information voters were given at the time was incorrect and fraudulent, he has changed his mind. He is a Remainer now and he calls for a People’s Vote.

First published in January 2019. | Updated in October 2019.

I voted to leave the EU. I was already feeling like my democratic voice had little influence over the policies and laws that we abide by as citizens of the UK and by extension, the EU. I was attracted to the idea that my vote might be important. I liked the idea that I might be able to look at the information on a topic, make a decision, and then hopefully, find that enough people agreed with me for that to become reality.

I was wrong to vote that way but if I could rewind time, I wouldn’t change my vote. If I knew what I know now and rewound time, I absolutely would. I’m confident that I made the best decision I could with the information that I had, given who I was at the time.

I’m happy to admit that in this case, my idealism overcame my sense of reality. I didn’t realise that the democratic vision that I was voting for was not the reason that other people were voting the way I did. Except, in a way, it was. We were all voting for change. We all wanted to be heard.

As we’ve learned in the time since Brexit, the information we were given to make our decision was incorrect. Not only incorrect, but outright fraudulent. It’s a little terrifying that people who can lie so completely to the public are still allowed to be involved in government but most people dismiss that as just politics.

In the past few days, we’ve heard a lot from Theresa May on the subject of the inviolability of referendums. Of course, it then transpires that these statements about the will of the people and the democratic trust of the public are indicative of a change of opinion on her part. She did not feel that way with the Welsh Assembly. She has changed her mind about how important a referendum is. Mrs May has learnt from her past mistakes and is not trying to overturn this referendum as she did in 1997.

I would like to exercise that same right. I have decided that I have made a mistake. Brexit is not the best direction for the country to move in. We definitely need a new direction but I think it would be better to figure out where we are going from within the economic security of the EU. You know, in the same way that if you’re lost and it’s raining, you duck under a tree or into a shop before you pull up Google Maps.

Speaking of shops, why is it that I have a period of time to refund basically any purchase I make (I mostly order online) but there’s no opportunity to attempt to refund Brexit.

Look at the headline selling points of the Brexit campaign. Now, look at the Brexit that we face. If you order a Lamborghini and a Fiat Punto shows up on your doorstep, you would probably feel like that was a problem. I did not vote for this deal. I did not vote to leave the EU in this way. I was misinformed, deliberately. I was manipulated, deliberately.

Believe me, I think the Remain campaign has just as much to answer for. Both sides failed to inform the public of the consequences of the choice we were making.

The woman in the yellow jacket had a great point on Question Time. She wants us to stop feeling sorry for Theresa May. I’m happy to say, I never did.

Mrs May wanted to lead the Conservative Party. She decided to make the choice of implementing something she was against. She has spent nearly three years creating the longest list of ministers to leave government in that short a time and has made no attempt at engagement with Remain other than to say “It’ll be even worse if you don’t vote for my deal.” There has been no attempt to reconcile this divided country.

However, in fairness to Mrs May, she has put on a masterclass of how to weather a political storm. She has consistently said and done just enough to prevent a coalition of opposition from forming and that is the most dangerous thing. Brexit has used up all political bandwidth. It has been a daily topic for years now.

The fact that in the first three months of 2018 71% of all Personal Independence Payment appeals were awarded in favour of the claimant by tribunals has barely been discussed. The fact that I, a Universal Credit claimant, initially wrote this on day 67 of waiting for a mandatory reconsideration (that would normally be escalated after 21 days) after the revocation of the work capability component, without contact with my GP being made, is indicative that that system is overloaded. I requested an escalation on day 61, it was rejected due to the size of the backlog. The first step of their own process was achieved at the same time they rejected the mandatory consideration, on day 70.

Food bank usage has risen by 100s of percent. Local authority researchers interviewing Universal Credit claimants are taking suicide prevention courses because of the condition of the people they are interacting with.

Here, we find the biggest problem with Brexit. It will make this country poorer. The UK’s GDP will shrink by over 5%. This will affect the poorest far more than it will the richest. The average person in this country lives a month at a time. We simply can’t afford anything to get more expensive.

Scotland will probably vote for independence. Personally, I wouldn’t be surprised if Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland ended up leaving England in the cold and formed United Britannia with the Republic of Ireland. Given the state of our political system, I’d vote for that if I was still a resident of Scotland.

The scariest thing is that if you look at the history of secessions, it takes a long time for the new country to be able to function in any way normally and that’s when there is a clear majority for it to occur. With our country in this divided state, we will be much less able to navigate the complex trade deal negotiations that we will need. We can’t even negotiate an agreement to leave the EU, let alone sort out how we’re going to trade with them.

Democracy is a system where we vote on things in order to steer the direction of the country. We need another vote because, as it stands, this country has no clear direction. We have a crossroads ahead of us and we now understand a lot more about where the different directions lead. I propose four options on a referendum: “No-Deal,” “May’s Deal,” “Remain,” and “Revocation of Article 50 until such time as a significantly different deal is available.”🔷

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[This is an original piece, first published by the author in PoliticsMeansPolitics.com on 21 January 2019. | The author writes in a personal capacity.]

(Cover: Pixabay.)