The fascinating story of Jamie, who voted Leave in 2016, and went from wanting the UK to leave the EU without a deal to becoming a #RemainerNow and now even supporting a Peoples Vote. Here he is correcting his own misguided tweets...

First published in October 2019.

Jamie Thomas, is a musician who describes himself as “a Socialist and a Leaver transformed into a Remainer”.
• He wrote and shared the following story on Twitter a few hours ago.
• It was turned into this article by our Editorial Team to be fully readable.

This has probably been done before but basically, I am a #RemainerNow and I thought I would have a look through my old tweets out of curiosity and respond to them correcting myself, and pointing out how silly I was. So here goes.

8 Feb 2019 | “Verhofstadt is an elected Member of the European Parliament. Elected by whom exactly?”

Verhofstadt is an MEP. He was elected by the people of Belgium in the European Parliament elections.

18 March 2019 | “Both campaigns played dirty, and people can’t say they weren’t informed; the Remain campaign’s strategy was to outline the worst case scenario – we may well be close to that scenario now but we voted as informed people. Anyone who wasn’t informed in 2016 would be just as ignorant.”

As has been revealed since by the Government’s own data, the worst case scenario was right. But the Leave campaign dismissed it as ‘Project Fear’ and enough people believed them to affect the result. But now we have a chance to avoid that worst case scenario.

20 March 2019 | “We are leaving, Remain has been off the table since 2016.”

No, it hasn’t!!! I have changed my mind on this, and so many others have too. Just look at the polling for Leave vs Remain. If you leave Remain off the ballot paper, you remove the ability for us to show we have changed our mind.

21 March 2019 | “If I put an offer on a house that half the country were campaigning to say, “Hey guy, don’t buy that house, it might fall down”, then I obviously really need a house. People voted Leave despite all the campaigning from the other side. Get real.”

The house is now falling down and we have a chance to run away and get to safety.

21 March 2019 | “Three years is not a very long time ago.”

Three years is clearly long enough for the country to change its mind (see polling) and while I still believe revoking Article 50 is a bad idea, having a confirmatory referendum between a deal and Remain is THE MOST democratic solution to this problem.

23 March 2019 | “We had a referendum, that was our chance to make our views known. You should be grateful we are allowed to have petitions and protests in the first place. Some people don’t have that privilege.”

What an awful tweet. Putting aside the plain rudeness, I seem to be implying that once our votes have been recorded we cannot change our minds. We are now careering towards something we don’t want, because we voted for it with little correct info.

23 March 2019 | “We were presented with worst case scenarios by the Remain campaign before the referendum took place. People knew what they were voting for. We were told this was a once-in-a-generation thing and that there would be no second referendum. Not to mention how undemocratic it would be.”

A second referendum with a Deal vs Remain would be MORE DEMOCRATIC. Why? Once we have a defined Leave option, there won’t be any “we’ll get the best deal ever” rubbish. A simple choice between two defined options.

23 March 2019 | “Those who can vote but choose not to forfeit their right to complain about the result. While you’re correct about how referendums aren’t binding, it would diminish the importance of referendums in the future by quite a lot if the result were to be ignored.”

But the result has not been ignored, that is why successive Prime Ministers and governments have attempted to negotiate a deal with the EU that can pass through Parliament. It is still OK to ask “Now that we have a defined Leave option, is this what you want?”

23 March 2019 | “If their fears and concerns are stupid then it isn’t as bad.”

This is a stupid and ignorant tweet, and I am sorry.

Polling April 2019. / Kantar

10 April 2019 | “Sure it has a higher number in that image than the other options, but the Leave option has been split into three. If the referendum were between those three options, it would make more sense. We already voted to leave, a second referendum should be about how.”

Sure, if you add up those three options then the Leave vote is larger than the Remain vote, but in the end if we leave we’re only going to leave with ONE of those options, none of which can get a majority over Remain.

25 April 2019 | “If there is an option to remain, or it is not specified, they are losing my vote to the Brexit Party.”

I did end up voting for the Brexit Party in the EU elections. Massively regret that. I don’t think I’m the only one who did it. Now, I’m annoyed at Labour for not yet deciding to CAMPAIGN FOR Remain in their second referendum. How things have changed...

30 April 2019 | “It’s only right that Labour means Leave – I’m glad that the party I support has given clarity that it does in fact see sense.”

Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong. Labour is the only main party that will give the public a final say and that is huge. That is sensible. If Labour meant Leave I would be politically homeless.

I guess the point of this thread is that it’s okay to change your mind. At the beginning of this year I wanted to leave the EU without a deal and now I am a Remainer in full. I will be going to the People’s Vote March in London next week.

People are asking what made me change my mind: using Twitter more regularly. I wanted to get balanced political news, so I followed people from both sides of the argument and I quite rapidly came around.

For a bit towards June kind of time I supported Brexit mainly for ‘democratic’ reasons just because it won the referendum, so it was sort of an empty support by that time. I think the turning point was the Tory leadership contest and He Who Shall Not Be Elected entering Number 10.🔷

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[This piece was first published as a Twitter thread and turned into the above article on 14 October 2019 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.]

(Cover: Dreamstime/Wavebreakmedia Ltd.)