Craig voted Leave in 2016 but changed his mind after the referendum as hate and division soon became apparent. He is a RemainerNow and wants a second referendum to vote to Remain.

At the time of the EU referendum, my reasons for voting Leave were that I always felt that the European Union was undemocratic as the Council and the Commission were not elected, and the European Parliament had little to no power. I didn’t feel that we got good value out of the money we paid in, so I really did not see the benefits of membership at the time.

I have left-wing views, so for me to leave the biggest capitalist trading block in the world had a strong appeal. The EU hadn’t done anything to help this country from years of Tory austerity, and with its treatment of Greece seemed more hardwired to it. I didn’t like state-owned companies in the EU owning our railways and profiting off them to subsidise their own railways back home. The waste in the EU, things such as the pointless relocation of the EU Parliament to Strasbourg at the cost of €103m would really grate me too.

I started to realise soon after the result of the referendum the mistake I had made. The hatred and the division the referendum had caused in this country soon became apparent, amongst my friends, family and work colleagues. The rise of the far-right since has been worrying, and the result has emboldened the racists in this country, causing a hostile environment for people of colour and/or anyone with an accent. The blatant lies and deceit that are still even now being peddled by those behind leave are just shocking.

Leave promised that a deal would be made with the EU. There was no mention of no-deal or WTO rules or a hard Brexit. When the issue of the border in Northern Ireland was raised at the time it was dismissed by Leave as scaremongering. Those that are now advocating it have come up with no good reason for no-deal. I am worried about the chaos that no-deal will cause and the ramifications for mine and my children's future.

Our country is in trouble. People and politicians who are hard Remainers/Leavers will not change their stance. There are some in the middle like myself though who are willing to compromise to see a break in the deadlock. I thought that Corbyn’s soft Brexit was the ideal solution: a customs union and freedom of movement, no border in Northern Ireland, no WTO trade deal, no need for a deal with the USA and no threat to our NHS. But it is clear that there was no majority for that in parliament.

Leave often say that the wishes of the 17.2m voters need to be respected. Well, they also need to respect the wishes of those of the 17.2m like myself who have changed their mind. Democracy didn’t end after the referendum, and I am entitled to change my mind. If it is a choice between no-deal and Remain, then I want to Remain.

I am sorry this was more long-winded than I intended, but hopefully, it goes a long way to explain why people like myself have changed their minds.πŸ”·

By Craig Arnold.

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[This is an original piece, first published by the author in | The author writes in a personal capacity.]

(Cover: Pixabay.)