Mig, from North Wales, fell for the media’s anti-EU stories prior to the 2016 EURef and voted Leave. He has since fact-checked the Brexiters’ lies and realised his mistake. A Remainer Now, he warns others against the sirens of the Brexit conmen, including Labour’s.
I am a 36-year-old male from North Wales. I have autism and dyslexia. I grew up on a large council estate. The eldest of six siblings, my mum did her best to educated us in difficult circumstances as my dad was a heavy drinker who ended up committing suicide.
I here share my background story to explain that I do know what the reality of living in poverty is.
I voted Leave in the Brexit referendum back in 2016. I am not stupid, I am not a racist. I was lied to. I am the victim of a con. I was convinced to throw away my and your right to live, love and work across the EU irrelevant of wealth.
I worked hard over the years to get out of the world where I was born. With a bit of luck, I have climbed the social ladder. And like most people, I was never overly political.
I tended to vote Labour or Lib Dems and was content in never getting involved with any political party. But then, in 2008, the economy went bang. I ran two small businesses where one had its order book completely dried up, and the other halved its bookings. Looking back, I think during that time, I let right-wing propaganda about the European Union seed in my mind.
There was a lot of blame in the papers aimed at the EU’s “globalisation agenda” and only being good for “big business”, then the Greek crisis started, and I completely disagreed with the treatment of their citizens.
I was in Greece as they were just about to switch to the Euro in 2000/2001 and had spoken to local people about their concerns over the prices jumping up and when I saw the stories coming out of Greece about the poverty their citizens were under I blamed the EU because the UK media were spinning the story to say that the EU was forcing austerity on them to protect the Euro, when in reality Greece was given a choice to leave the Euro and they had chosen to stay.
I still believe any country permitted to join the Euro should have their currency risk-pooled between members, but in those days a justified criticism of the European Union was simply drowned out by media lies.
I started my Leave journey in February 2016 on a hostile EU position after having seen what was happening in Greece. I watched every debate, listened to talk radio and podcasts, and although I could never vote in a general election for the people calling for the Leave vote, they were winning the debates with convincing and plausible lies, like:
- “The Irish border will be unaffected unaffected should the people of United Kingdom vote to leave the EU.” (Theresa Villiers)
Our EU membership is mentioned in the Good Friday Agreement and the Irish border clearly is affected by Brexit.
- “If we Vote Leave, we will be able to increase funding to science and still save billions.” (Vote Leave campaign)
We have actually been frozen out of the Euro GPS project and have to pay billions to develop our own.
- “We will negotiate the terms of a new deal before we start any legal process to leave.” (Vote Leave campaign)
I didn’t give my permission for a No-Deal Brexit!
I could go on… We all know the lies that were told to secure votes, and unfortunately, I fell for them, on 23 June I voted Leave. I didn’t really expect Leave to win, but they did.
Within weeks, it became clear the people who had promised this brave new world had no plan. Months went by and still nothing. I began to do the research I would have done if only a reasonable time had been given during the campaign to fact-check. Then, my heart sank. I felt like I had sent my life’s savings to one of these “Nigerian princes in trouble” con-artists.
Why have these conmen/women gotten away with promising things that were complete lies? Shame on the UK political system for opening the doors to such corruption.
This is when I decided I would try to do something about the injustice that had taken place on British citizens. I started voicing my findings on social media and immediately came across @RemainerNow which connected people like myself that had realised they have been conned.
I also decided to join Labour as I wrongly believed that, with their connection to EU socialist movements and history of working with the European Union, they stood the best chance of calling out Brexit for what it is, A CRIME.
I sit here now, typing this up, having just cancelled my membership to the Labour party after Jeremy Corbyn refused to get off the fence and call out Brexit for the crime it is.
So, what next?
I wish I had the answers, do you? Maybe we could work as some sort of collective and lobby as a collective.
If there is one piece of advice, I can give you now it is that the conmen who pulled off Brexit may look like you, they may wear similar clothes and make you think you could be friends, but they are nothing like you. They will do you harm; they will leave you with nothing… so THEY can have a more.🔷
Have you too voted Leave in 2016 and since changed your mind? You can share your experience with us and explain why you changed your mind:
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(This is an original piece, first published by the author in PoliticsMeansPolitics.com. | The author writes in a personal capacity.)