What makes someone change their mind about Brexit? What makes someone brave enough to admit it – even on Twitter?


First published in July 2019.


I’m lucky enough to work with the @RemainerNow team. We talk to hundreds of people who voted leave or abstained in the 2016 referendum, but who now want to remain in the EU. Find out more here.

This is a list of some of the reasons RemainerNow people have given for why they’ve changed their minds. I offer no statistics, structure or analysis here – but each reason has been cited by at least one person.

“I just want it to be over (remaining is the only way).”

“The Brexits on offer in 2019 are so different from 2016 promises (sunlit uplands, easiest deal ever).”

“Disgust with the people pushing Brexit – they don’t share my values / I don’t trust their motives.”

“I’ve talked to my kids and grandkids – didn’t realise how they felt about Brexit’s impact on jobs / rights / public services.”

“I didn’t realise how complex Brexit was going to be and how badly our government would mess it up. Even if we still want to leave we need to revoke Article 50 now and have another think.”

“Didn’t think about UK people losing our freedom of movement rights (live, work, retire in 31 countries).”

“Our government has already wasted 3 years on Brexit when so much needs fixing in the UK. If we go ahead with Brexit – government will be doing nothing else for another decade or more.”

“Protecting The Union (Scotland + Northern Ireland) – I didn’t even think about Ireland in 2016.”

“Our politicians and press only ever talked about the negatives of the EU. The benefits were hidden or claimed by UK politicians as their own. I’ve learned so much more about the benefits of trade, international co-operation, freedom of movement.”

“Fears over job losses – “project fear” seems to be coming true.”

“The Leave campaign lied (NHS, Turkey, trade deals).”

“The Vote Leave campaign broke electoral law.”

“Worried about NHS staffing + funding.”

“Concerned about availability of critical drug / medical supplies.”

“Worried trade will impact public services funding / tax take.”

“I’ve heard stories about the impact of Brexit on millions of EU people in the UK (e.g. stress of the settled status process) and UK people in the EU.”

“Was told the EU was falling apart – now it seems stronger than ever.”

“I’m nervous about the UK standing alone given behaviour of the US, Russia, China – re: trade and security issues.”

“I voted leave partly to free the UK to invest more in the regions. Now I’ve realised the EU care more about UK regions than Westminster does.”

“Brexit has made us an international embarrassment – staying in the EU is the best way of starting to rebuild our reputation.”

“I didn’t like the idea of EU regulations being imposed on the UK – but then I realised we’re part of making those rules and none of them negatively impact my life at all.”

“I believed we could get a deal that included all the benefits of EU membership without the constraints. I now know that was never realistic.”

“Protest vote gone wrong – just wanted to give Cameron and the government / establishment a kicking – I didn’t want this.”

“I still have criticisms of the EU, but the damage to the UK from leaving isn’t worth it – we should stay and help make things better.”

“I thought we could strike trade deals with the US, China and Commonwealth countries that would more than offset what we lose in EU trade – that just doesn’t seem realistic now.”

“Vote Leave promised we’d have a deal negotiated before triggering the legal process to leave. Now they’re claiming we voted for a no-deal!”

“Given how global politics has shifted in the US, India, China, Turkey and Russia – feels like the EU is the only powerful hope for liberal democracy – we need to stay part of that.”

“I voted to leave because I thought we could pursue a more socialist agenda outside the EU. Now Brexit feels like a hard-right Tory project + I don’t see the EU constraining other left-wing governments.”

“I wanted an EFTA / Norway / Soft Brexit. Given those aren’t on offer I’d prefer to remain.”

“I felt like we should respect the result of the 2016 referendum – but it promised something we now know is impossible.”

“Brexit seems to have emboldened the far-right – I want no part of that.”


Please feel free to let me know of other reasons – yours or those you’ve heard: @JamieWoodhouse.🔷



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[This piece was originally published on jamiewoodhouse.com. | The author writes in a personal capacity.]

(Cover: Pixabay.)



     

THE AUTHOR

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Former Management Consultant. Interested in Sentientism, campaigning to stop Brexit, effective altruism and philanthropy, learning and investment.

London, UK. Articles in PMP Magazine Website