Philosopher Helen De Cruz has concerns over the People’s Vote campaign’s current treatment of ethnic minorities, EU citizens, Brits in Europe, and Leave voters.
While the People’s Vote campaign is commendable for bringing together a fractured Remain collective, I have some serious remaining concerns (no pun intended). I hope people consider it as we are getting closer to Brexit and a potential Article 50 pause.
Like the Remain campaign, they still play a lot the economic calamity card. Problem is this is giving the opponent the initiative. You now hear things like “the UK may avoid recession, a prediction that will embolden no-deal ERG members and MPs.”
Yes, it has got to that point where avoiding recession equals former sunny uplands. And we get into endless discussions about why Honda is closing.
While economic calamity is to be avoided, this tactic did not work the first time around, likely won’t work now.
Not enough attention to ethnic minorities.
The previous marches were very white. The UK is about 80% white. But whenever I go to events organized by the People’s Vote, the percentage is much, much higher.
Last time, Leave got more ethnic minority votes than people expected (especially since the campaign was so racist), and in part it is because Remain did not care, and still does not care sufficiently, for British and non-British ethnic minorities.
Curry chefs are now angry and disappointed with Leave. Yet, except for scoffing and I told you so, I don’t hear much from Remainers. They should say something like “Here is how I see your concerns addressed if we stay in the EU”, but nothing...
Not enough attention is given to and no voice given to EU citizens in the UK and British citizens in the EU.
We are still talked about as passive objects to be pitied, not as active stakeholders. There is no push to enfranchise us in a second referendum. This is a mistake.
If you believe in the European project, you should give the British in Europe and the EU citizens in the UK a vote and not pander to those who say “It cannot be done”, “We are not British,” etc.
Not enough attention to left behind communities who voted in droves for Leave.
Lots of schadenfreude at the prospect of devastated Cornish farmers, Sunderland factory workers, etc. All I hear is some “We can’t go back to what it was,” but there is not enough detail.
I have to admit, I have been really angry at all Leave voters, including those who voted against their own interest. But this is getting to the point of petty resentment. We need to make some really detailed plans of what a UK in the EU looks like, that is acceptable for them. Now.
Still not enough positives on immigration. Sure, free movement is framed now as reciprocal right, which is good but my sense is the People’s Vote campaign still shirks that debate, and if they shirk, they give away initiative.
We need to make the case that people coming in this country constitute a good for the country, rather than “If only we applied EU directives strictly we could kick them out/send them home after 3 months unemployment” — which is what I so often hear.🔷
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(This piece was first published as a Twitter thread and turned into the above article, with the author’s consent, with the purpose of reaching a larger audience. It has been minorly edited and corrected. | The author of the tweets writes in a personal capacity.)