Yes, the Leave vote is hostile to foreigners – and you need to come to terms with that

Here’s what the Brexit vote means to me: 52% of the people I share a nationality with think there should be fewer people like me in Britain’s future. And before you object, or make excuses, let me point out that if Britain clamps down on immigration, there will be fewer people like me.

I was born in England. In Hammersmith, to be precise. It’s where my dad was born. And his mum. And her mum before her.

I was born in England, but I am not English. I have roots in London, but that is not the same thing. My dad’s family – his great-grandparents – arrived here as Jewish refugees in the 1880s, ending up as East enders on one side and West enders on the other. My heritage spans the breadth of the city in which the family whose name I bear has lived for a century before I was born. Like I said, I have roots in London.

And yet, in spite of my birthplace, in spite of that heritage, I didn’t grow up feeling British. I grew up feeling foreign. The reason for that is my mother is an immigrant. Worse, she’s a brown immigrant.

Let me give you a flavour of how that feels, because if you tick White British on your census form, you probably don’t know.

When I was little, I lived across the road from a park. It was great park, with pretty flower gardens, a bandstand and a large playground that I could see from my window. All we had to do was cross the road. Except, we didn’t do that, because my mother was scared. Scared because on a regular basis some ignorant xenophobe would call her a ‘Paki’ even though, dear reader, my mother is from the West Indies. It wasn’t that we lived in a rough area: we didn’t. It was quite nice actually. And to be honest the tone of the area doesn’t matter because, when we visited my grandparents in their adjoining and distinctly affluent North London suburb and I went to the park with my aunts, those taunts would come again “Go home, you Paki!” It wasn’t easy to feel welcome.

I was born in 1980. The start of a decade when people from backgrounds like mine were still being treated aggressively for standing out. There were parts of London I only heard of as a child because Afro-Caribbean people were aggressed and killed there. My family were terrified of those places and still, in diverse and gentrified 21st Century London, there are tube stations where I alight with a sudden involuntary stab of vulnerability.

To give you a bit of context, I look white. Ironically, people are always telling me what a lovely, English Rose complexion I have. In the bad old days, people used to tell me that, you know, I could pass for just white and should roll with that. It seems unbelievable, but that used to be an acceptable thing to say.

Is it a surprise, then, that I didn’t feel British for many years? That I grew up in a limbo, feeling the country I was born in somehow excluded me?

Before my mid-teens, London was my place of origin. I could be from London because I could observe people like me there. I knew I couldn’t be English, and I wasn’t sure I could be British either.

I’ve always felt European, though. Because while I wasn’t sure whether the land of cricket and cream teas included or tolerated people like me, being born in Europe conferred upon me the same rights and freedoms as everyone else.

In the 1990s, things got better. Britain became a more diverse and welcoming place. By the time I was 16, British was something I felt I could be. I was glad to be born in and part of a country that welcomed people from all over to join them. It’s one of the few nice things Tony Blair ever did for me, the opportunity to feel comfortable with that identity.

It feels like the end of something

Today, I feel excluded again. Because that 52% – the people we shouldn’t call ignorant or xenophobic or stupid or short-sighted because their views are as valid as ours even if they send all the country’s assets tumbling – doesn’t think people like me have a place in its future.

Well, the thing is, 52%, if you don’t want us in your future, then you can’t expect us to stick with you in the uncertain present. To bring our skills, education and knowledge to bear in support of your economy. To contribute our taxes to your coffers. If you voted Leave, are you aware of how many young people of working age in this country are like me and may not feel they want to be here anymore?

There are other kinds of otherness. Like the fact that for a lot of older people in this country, people who were alive in the 60s and 70s and remember pre-EU Britain, Europe is still just a collection of neighbouring states. It reveals a lack of empathy that they are unable to realise that for most of us born after 1975, Europe is a part of our identity. Whether we call ourselves British, English, Scottish, Welsh, we have always been Europeans too. You’re robbing us of our identity, you pricks!

Poor life choices are poor life choices

For the moment, I am going to exclude protest voters, who, I hope, are educating themselves on the difference between how a FPTP General Election works and how a UK Referendum works so that they never do something like that ever again.

If you’ve voted Leave, the likelihood is that you‘ve swallowed a pack of lies, manipulations and misinformation. I have heard lots of well-reasoned, well thought-out, fact based arguments to Remain (I have heard some porkies too). For the most part, what I have heard from anyone who voted Leave has been inaccurate, preposterous or incredible. I’ve heard the occasional valid reason, too, but they were so niche that I don’t think we should kid ourselves that those are the reasons 52% of those who went to the polls voted the way they did.

Admittedly, here in London it’s quite hard to locate a Leave voter, but here are some of the reasons I’ve come across:

  • I’ve heard a woman I consider fairly well-educated and well-informed tell me that our poor little island can’t cope with more immigrants even though there is no evidence to support claims that the UK is overpopulated and the housing crisis is to do with government policy and development greed not a lack of physical space. Not to mention the fact that the numbers of immigrants aren’t enough to cause that problem.
  • I’ve had a friend tell me about a colleague who voted Leave because they wanted it to be a close result.
  • I’ve had a friend with three degrees tell me that he thinks we should leave because free movement of people in the EU is unfair, that it makes EU migrants feel they don’t have to “make an effort” and that EU migrants are mainly unskilled and don’t bother to learn English.
  • I’ve heard a man tell me he is voting Leave because he is angry about events in another country’s relations with the EU. What the actual fuck?
  • I’ve heard another woman tell me that she thinks things would be better for her son – whose main problem is being a stoner – if there weren’t immigrants taking all the jobs in the area where he lives – which has few immigrants. And probably few employers who want to hire someone who gets off their face every day.
  • I’ve read someone from Plaid Cymru claiming that the Leave vote is about sticking it to the elite. Yet it only takes a few minutes thought to realise that the elite are unaffected by this. The elite have enough money to diversify their investments instead of putting it all in the UK basket. They have prospects and can move elsewhere if the UK goes tits up. If they decide to stay, they can afford private healthcare when the NHS goes tits up. If you voted Leave for this reason, you have ‘stuck it’ not to the elite, but to yourself. You’ve shot yourself in the bollocks, that’s what you’ve done.

Do you think these are valid concerns? Because they read like bullshit to me.

It’s OK to tell people they were wrong

24 hours after the fact, I found myself surrounded by people telling me that Leave voters aren’t racist or xenophobic and it’s wrong of me to refer to them in that way.

No, it isn’t. Racist and xenophobic aren’t slurs – they are ways of thinking and there is a strong correlation between those ways of thinking and the Leave vote:

  1. Immigration is the main battlefield on which this referendum campaign was fought. Anti-immigration sentiment has been a primary motivation factor for Leave voters from all social classes and educational backgrounds. Just look at the comments section of any UK paper.
  2. Within hours of the result being called, people around the country were being subjected to racist and xenophobic abuse which was not a part of their lives 24 hours before
  3. A Leave vote makes the position of every foreigner here uncertain, whether because of their status as an EU citizen or their status as a foreign national who may now be mistreated
  4. Any vote sends a message. Whether you want it that way or not, a Leave vote sends a message to EU citizens that they are not wanted here. It also sends a message to all the bigots in this country that allows them to believe they are in the majority and to feel safe abusing foreigners in the streets and online

It might shatter the cosy world view held dear by some, but xenophobia is a significant reason why people voted leave, no matter how prettily they worded their concerns about immigration. Thinking foreigners are a drain, a negative influence, and that they should be shut out? That, my darlings, is xenophobia.

Why don’t people feel comfortable calling it out? It isn’t abusive or disrespectful to tell people they made the wrong decision when the result has been to send the country into financial disarray and to make huge swathes of the population feel they no longer belong.

I read recently the suggestion that Leave voters might be less likely to be open about their decision. To me, that says that deep down they know it is a poor one.

We need to stop making excuses for people when they get it wrong

The other thing I keep hearing is that it isn’t the Leave voters’ fault. That they were too tired/impoverished/ill-educated to look into the facts. That they didn’t understand how the voting system works. That they are just scared, and we shouldn’t judge people for their fears.

Hypocrites! You’re judging Donald Trump supporters for their fears. So you need to grow a spine and judge these people too. There was no excuse for not knowing how a referendum works – we had one just a few years ago. The media and Leave campaign bear some of the responsibility, but we cannot absolve the adults who made this decision.

For one thing, 52% of voters is too much for the ignorance argument to hold weight. The compassionate lefty middle classes are saying that because, yes, it’s devastating to think that people decided to vote irresponsibly based on emotion and hearsay when they could have obtained the facts.

But they did vote irresponsibly, and without doing proper research or even thinking logically about whether what they were being fed made sense.

As for those people who are too downtrodden to see straight, they are being given far less credit than they deserve. Let’s not lay this disaster at their feet. In most cases they probably did what 30% of the population did and didn’t vote.

As for me – I am a Londoner.

I am a European.

You can’t erase my identity, I will fight you tooth and nail to keep it.

This post previously had an addendum. It upset some people. I generally try to be nice and considerate, so I have moved it.


26 thoughts on “Yes, the Leave vote is hostile to foreigners – and you need to come to terms with that

  1. I am older than you, like you, my paternal German Jewish family arrived here in the late 1870s. My grandfather was actually born in Germany. My father, born in London, was born before the first world war and fought in the second. My mother, of Scots descent, but third generation Australian arrived in England in 1950. My immigrant parents devoted their lives to this country, my father actually risked his life for this country. They were inveterate travellers, holidaying abroad back in the fifties soon after they married, and introduced me to the wonderful world on my back doorstep when I was 3. We travelled as a family all over the place, my parents introducing me to the wonderful places and cultures of Europe. I have always felt European. I have always lived to roam. And I have always voted, because braver women than me fought for the vote so that we could partake of a future that was bright and rich with colour and culture. I voted Remain. Friday, I felt crushed by the tidal wave of ignorance that overtook us. I feel dispossessed of the thing that I have loved for as long as I can remember, my European status… and now I am angry. At this point in time, I feel that the country and citizenship that I once took pride in has been taken away from me. By an accident of birth (and a pretty fortunate one), I am able to claim another citizenship. I would stay and fight the ignorance, but I think that this ignorance is unlevenable, so frankly, I’m done. Bye bye England.

  2. This may not be any comfort to you but 48% want you to be here and appreciate you. I am ashamed to be British and ashamed for the way you and many have been treated. I hate what is happening. Your article is so clear. Love to you and your family.

  3. You’ve been told that this vote was about immigration, and you’ve believed it. But that was simply the issue that certain parties wanted you to focus on. The large banks, the 15 richest people in the UK, all the global corporations that can spend millions on having just one lobby group in the EU rather than having to fund lobby groups in each country, all invested MILLIONS each into the propaganda we were fed in the run-up to this election. Those are facts you can easily verify.

    Farage was put forward and given lots of media airtime … by whom? By the media who new it would get lots of viewers affecting their ratings and thus their budgets. But Farage was not a leader of the Leave campaign.

    Meanwhile, Martin Lewis of MoneySavingExpert was refused airtime again and again. Why? Because he didn’t want to declare a side, he wanted to be objective. The media didn’t want that. Fair and balanced doesn’t get tweets and views. Again, verifiable facts. Just check Martin’s twitter stream or his site.

    I am one of the people who voted for Brexit.

    Like most people in Britain, my ancestry means I have Jewish, French, German, Russian, Irish, and many other bloodlines in mine. My decision to vote leave was in spite of the people the media tried to present as the faces, not because of it. Logic tells me that if that is true for me, it is probably true for many others like me too.

    I voted Leave because the ‘Remain’ camp used every dirty psychological trick in the book, and could not present one single good reason for voting to stay. I voted leave because on examining every scrap of info I could in the months leading up to the vote, I knew that leaving would be very hard on us financially, but was necessary.

    Remain’s entire campaign boiled down to money. Stay in EU or you’ll all be worse off for a while. That and a bunch of FUD was all they had. I am a proud socialist though. I’m prepared and happy to take home less money myself so that more goes to having a welfare state. I’m happy to give some of my earnings so that there can be a free NHS that is so good even those working will choose to use it. I pay taxes so that children (and adults too) can have free education, because in the world today, intellectual property is the real capital.

    We’ve been in the EU for decades, and in those decades, we’ve LOST free university education. In those decades we have lost a lot of the quality of healthcare the NHS provides, (along with most free prescriptions, free dentistry, etc) with longer waiting times than ever before. I don’t even need to tell you how education has fared.

    Do you know what a democracy is? It is when you put forth all the arguments you have for a set time and then let everyone vote as their conscience dictates. Its when you go along with the majority, and assume that they put every bit as much care, thought, and conscience into their vote as you did to yours.

    What democracy is NOT, is assuming that anyone who voted differently to yourself is a fool. That’s just plain arrogance and self-deception.

    The entire point of a voting system is to END an argument. You give people a set period of time to debate, to put forth evidence, and then you vote and whatever the outcome, accept it and get on with making the best of that decision.

    That so many don’t understand these basics is why we so desperately need a massive overhaul of THIS country. An overhaul that has been evaded for decades because anytime there’s a prickly issue that may cost them votes, our UK politicians just delay and wait for an EU decision to make it moot.

    The EU has NOT defended our welfare system, our legal system, our education system, and certainly did not protect us from financial hardships at any time in the last 30 years. Leaving won’t fix those things either, but it will remove the distraction, and the scapegoat, that UK politicians have used for so long.

    More than anything else, we were only offered 2 choices – a change, or for things to Remain as they are, and the British people voted for change.

    I think we all do want change. Nobody, on any side has campaigned for less trade. Nobody on any side has campaigned for no tourism, or no more visas, or for no foreign business investment. If someone tells you otherwise, that person is lying to you to manipulate you.

    Some simply feel that the problems we all, all sides agree there are can be fixed from inside the EU, and others feel that we’ve tried that for 30 years, and that only an Exit will actually create the environment needed for change. But we all seem to agree change IS NEEDED.

    • Hi there. Actually, I wasn’t ‘told’ immigration a big issue. I made a point of talking to people who wished to vote Leave and the vast majority of them had immigration high up on their list of motivations. I also observed the Leave justifications shared by individuals on social media and news site comment threads – immigration dominates.

      Leave voters, who, like you cite econimic reasons, tend to hang their decision on factors that have nothing to do with the EU. Our GOVERNMENTS are responsible for the state of education and the NHS, not the EU.

      The EU has, in fact, protected many of ‘us’ from financial hardship by giving funding to impoverished parts of the UK that Central government had forsaken.

      • I’m sorry, perhaps my comment was too long for you to follow. I actually stated that in the short term we’ll be worse off. But the lie you have been told is that we wouldn’t be worse off remaining. That’s simply not a guarantee or prediction anybody could make.

        The EU is rife with hot issues right now, any one of which could cause a major economic downturn, even if we had remained. Italy, Spain, and Greece, are certainly obvious worries, but the german banks are so heavily over-leveraged that they could collapse very easily. Of course, if the German banks do collapse, we will still have to pony up to save them, thanks to the IMF, but the point is that it was always implied that the EU was financially stable as a choice, which is patent nonsense. Economies are always subject to fluctuation.

        I notice you side-stepped entirely my points about the verifiable fact that the media has been feeding you a very biased version of the debate all through. I’ll take that as a concession.

        For me, that alone would have been enough to vote Leave. I really didn’t like the way our Govt decided to attempt to bias and prejudice a free referendum that has the whole purpose of TELLING the Govt what the people want them to do. But what was worse was the sheer levels of FUD (Fear Uncertainty and Doubt) that made up their entire strategy. And they used taxpayer money to send us that nonsense.

        I didn’t want a referendum in the first place. Because, as we all saw, just having one at all raises doubts and worries that affect the economy and the value of the pound. In fact, the only reason that we had a referendum was so that Cameron could get a few more votes last Election. He made a deal with the Devil, and we all got stuck with part of the cost.

        But once we had a referendum pushed on us, there was already a financial hit. There was already a weakening of our bargaining power in the EU. The Remain camp wanted us to believe that a vote to stay meant business as usual, and that too is patently a lie. Those lies began before I heard a single word from a quickly forming campaign to Leave. They set the tone for this entire debate, which frankly, is the most deceiptful, manipulative display (on both sides) I have ever seen in British politics.

        It was very, very important to me, for the future of all politics in this country, that such manipulation of govt power and position, that such tactics of FUD and disinformation, must fail.

        Did you notice, as everyone else I have spoken to noted, how damn hard it was to find any level of fact at all in the discussions and propaganda, from either side? And that worries me more from Remain because, as demonstrated in my prior post, the media chose who represented Leave, and their choices certainly didn’t match mine. Farage does not speak for me or my desires. Nor does Johnson. Certainly not Gove. Remain had ALL of the facts of the various intelligence agencies, the govt bodies, etc at its disposal, and still could not make a decent enough case.

        That leads right back to another point above about what the entire purpose of a voting process is for. Both sides get a set time to make their cases and then the people vote. They don’t always get persuaded by the winning side – sometimes they just doubt the losing side enough to vote the other way – which is why Cameron had to stand down.

        The EU has done many good things, and quite a few very poor ones. We’ve tried to change it from within for decades now. And in one referendum we may have made it reexamine more its stance than in all those decades.

        After Brexit, our politicians will have no scapegoats, no excuses about EU to hide their own failings, or decisions. I think that too is fundamentally important. Britain is decades behind in aspects of its labour laws and trade laws, and while it could simply let the EU decide those things and pass the blame for any fallout, that avoids the real issue. It is past time that the British people got to decide what Britain should be in the future.

        I believe that Britain needs time on its own, in the political sense, to re-find and re-discover who it is, and who it wants to be. We are, and have been for hundreds of years, a land tolerant enough in the main to draw refugees from all over the globe. Be it the French Revolution, the Russian Revolution, Fascism, in Germany or Italy, or modern day refugees. It has also been a beacon for those who don’t need to move here, but want to, presumably including your ancestors just as much as mine.

        It is a land where despite some elements, we have mixed and integrated communities. Where Soho and Brighton have become internationally renowned for their open, welcomed gay communities. We are a nation that imported Tea and made it so much a part of our culture that Britain is now more famed for drinking tea than India or China.

        The famous ‘Chop Suey’ was invented in a British Chinese restaurant, and we have long held curry as our favourite national dish, be it Indian or Thai. And we have mostly avoided creating the ghettos that so many other countries do with their immigrants. And all of that integration has nothing at all to do with the EU. Our integrated, welcoming shore was here long before the EEC even, and will remain long, long after the EU.

        Basically, the EU is a relationship. And its a relationship in which neither side was particularly happy, but they stuck with it for decades because it was easier than change. They were scared of the unknowns of splitting up. Where will we live, how will we pay the bills, how would we dicvide the posessions…

        But we got asked, finally, if we wanted it to carry on. It was close. Parts of the collective mind wanted security and the good times. Parts of the collective mind focused on non-issues, or made up fears. But ultimately, we all got to hear debate, we all got to have that debate in a clear understanding of when and how it would end with a vote, and that vote was made.

        Were there people who made foolish decisions? Of course. And they’ll probably make more of them in future. But a vote is unbiased. Everyone gets to decide and collectively, we make it work. I think there is just as much stupidity in those who didn’t understand that a vote was to be made, and that democracy means if the majority vote out, we go along with it. I think there is incredible stupidity in some factions wanting a ‘do-over’ (Einstein said “Insanity is to perform the same actions and expect a different result”).

        Hopefully, you will note that this particular Leave voter, originating from Peckham in South London, is educated, lucid, thoughtful, and not in the least xenophobic. How many others just like me voted? Because, in all humility and honesty both, I’m not that special.

      • Nope. I followed your comment perfectly well and responded appropriately. You replied with *an even longer comment* because I didn’t agree with you.

      • However, thanks for sharing your view, it is always good to debate these things and do rest assured I’m aware that some Leave voters (including some of my friends) made a reasoned decision.

    • I am a seventy two year old widow who voted out and I whole heartedly agree with your articulate argument ….I am rather disappointed with the back lash on face book from people I thought would accept the vote of democracy. I have always felt that immigrants to this country brought a wealth of benefits and will continue to do so…. fortunately we have laws about racial abuse and these should used…against the bigots and possibly the uneducated…
      I feel that we will continue to trade with the EU and the emerging eastern countries and our friends in Commonwealth…
      The pound has had a downward graph since we joined the EU…and last week the pound on Friday was in the same range as the previous Monday..
      I feel that there will be a uncertainty in the financial markets…but the UK has always had a can do attitude and without the EU..dictatorship we can over come anything.

    • Hello Ammon. Out of interest, if you believed the Remain campaigners used “every dirty trick in the book”, how do you feel now about the cleanliness and validity of the Leave campaigners’ arguments, especially in light of several of their key promises already having been backtracked on?

      Also, can you explain why you believe the loss of free education in the UK and the cuts to the NHS have been worsened by our membership in the EU, and how will they be improved by leaving it? I am not aware of any evidence that supports that assertion*, but perhaps I’m missing something.

      * – other than the assertion that the EU fee will be given to the NHS, which firstly has now been backtracked on by the Leavers, and secondly is not likely to be possible due to the scale of the predicted recession which would make that money disappear anyway.

      • Hi Army. I do indeed believe they used every dirty trick in the book. In fact, in several books. Right down to books on NLP. (the two sides were initially called Stay and Leave, but they quickly change to ‘Remain’ which is straight out of Neuro-Linguistics and Mentalism stuff). Whether you believe in such stuff as NLP, suggestion, etc, or not, there’s no arguing the fact that they chose to switch names to a longer one that is, in such texts, more ‘persuasive’. Just a fun fact for you.

        I think I already answered your first question in my prior reply: “Those lies began before I heard a single word from a quickly forming campaign to Leave. They set the tone for this entire debate, which frankly, is the most deceitful, manipulative display (on both sides) I have ever seen in British politics.”

        Consider for a moment what the whole purpose of a referendum is. A referendum is how the Government ask us to instruct them in how we think/feel about something. It really is that simple. Now think of the implication of the Govt then deciding to hold a referendum, but to actively take a side in it, and spend govt resources on printing propaganda to persuade people to vote a certain way.

        It was completely and inexcusably unethical for Cameron to be both the PM and to attempt to influence a vote who’s entire purpose was to tell him how we want him to behave and what side he, as our foremost elected leader, should be on. Really think about that for a while. Make your own decision.

        For certain, the first bit of complete guff that infuriated me with its lack of facts and heavy use of FUD was that leaflet we all got. The one that told us we’d be worse off if we left (but neglected to mention we were already worse off because the same person had put us into the referendum in the first place, and would be worse off even if we remained, plus, nobody can predict the future).

        Right from the start, before any leave campaign had organised and spoken, we were being fed a powerful, manipulative mix of FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt) with straw-man arguments. So yes, I absolutely believe that the Remain camp set the tone, and a disgusting tone it has been for British politics generally.

        On the second question, I’m merely pointing out that while the EU does a lot of good, especially for business (you did notice that almost all Remain support was in the business centers of the country, or the strongest commuter homes for same, right?), it has no effect on many of our biggest issues. For me, some of the greatest achievements of recent British history are that we built a powerful and effective Welfare State, had world-class education for free, etc. The social stuff.

        The EU is mostly a business focused initiative. It’s basically the same conservative stuff we know here, about making more money, not about improving the welfare of the elderly and infirm. Big business almost universally supports the EU, as it makes their life easier – only one lobby group to fund, one parliament to bribe, oh, I mean ‘lobby’, fewer and easier regulations and taxes to get straight.

        You know … the same people who voted to cut free university education in the UK if it will get them a tiny tax-cut. There is a correlation. I’m not claiming causation. But I am clearly pointing out that the EU is completely irrelevant in the things that really matter to the welfare of the British people, and has done not one thing to reduce the cuts. In fact, it has pushed the same cuts onto other EU countries, through pressure to bring down their spending.

        I believe that education is one of the most important matters of our time. This is an age where super-powers are built, more than anything else, on their intellectual property and capital. Whether its the licenses paid for software, the patents on hardware and pharmaceuticals, or the sheer propaganda of being seen as a more advanced, forward thinking nation. This is a time when we should have been investing MORE than ever before into University for all who want it. The EU cannot help us in that agenda. In fact, they are mostly a distraction to even having the debate.

        It has been far too easy, for too many decades, for our politicians to avoid every difficult issue by spreading a story about the EU demanding straight bananas. We need to focus on our politicians for Britain to ever become great again. The EU is a sideshow.

        Does that help explain the thought-connection?

      • You didn’t really answer either of my questions. My first question was about your opinion on the Leave campaign’s honesty, but you have instead explained your view of the Remain campaign’s honesty. This is not what I asked.

        My second question was about a causal link between the state of our education/the NHS and the EU, and you have responded that the EU is irrelevant to education and the NHS. If it’s irrelevant, why not keep it?

        You do have a good point about the EU forcing cuts on Greece which I, too, believe was a wrong thing to do. However, in the context of the current debate, this is a straw man. The EU has not forced such cuts on the UK. The UK cuts have been carried out by the UK Conservative government; and parts of the NHS were privatised by the same bunch – as far as I am aware, this had nothing to do with the EU, and everything to do with the Conservative agenda. The recession that we are about to enter as a result of leaving the EU will very likely trigger even more cuts than before, delivered once again by the Conservative government. I struggle to see how leaving the EU will help rather than hinder.

      • Army of Snails, I answered you very clearly.

        You asked my opinion of the honesty of Leave and my answer stated:
        “the most deceitful, manipulative display (on both sides) I have ever seen in British politics”. But ultimately, the Remain campaign had more responsibility, since they were not only representing a side in the debate, they were led by the man sworn to serve as the Prime Minister of this country. Just because you don’t like the answer, doesn’t mean it wasn’t clearly given, and fully answering your question.

        Regarding the question on the causal link, as you’ve now reframed the question, I again answered very clearly:
        “I’m not claiming causation.”

        I never once claimed a causal link, and explained in great detail the link as it is in my chain of thoughts, and which you just underlined yourself – it is a straw man that continually blocks addressing the real issues.

        “It has been far too easy, for too many decades, for our politicians to avoid every difficult issue by spreading a story about the EU demanding straight bananas.”

  4. Thank you for this response. You have beautifully put in words what many of us are feeling. After reading, I began to believe in this solidarity that is rising between all of us in the wake of Brexit.

  5. I am from London, my family has, for 300 years come exclusively from East London without a drop of anything exotic. I, however, feel privileged to be part of such a diverse city. I actually talk to, listen to and embrace friends lucky enough to have a more diverse heritage. You didn’t say in your post but I’m guessing your Mum came here post war when Britain asked the Commonwealth to send us skilled workers. Something we should remember and be grateful for.
    Your post is wonderfully eloquent, please have faith in the 48% we believe Britain is richer for its variety xx

    • Thanks for your comment! I think we should be proud to be Londoners, it’s an exceptional city. My mother and her parents actually came here quite late, around 1970, when the political situation in their country became volatile.

  6. No, I responded because you miscategorised my reasons for voting, ( “… like you cite econimic reasons, tend to hang their decision on factors that have nothing to do with the EU…”. ) which I took as an honest mistake rather than deliberate, and thus explained. Apologies for the length, but as Mark Twain famously said “I didn’t have time to write a shorter [version]”. 🙂

  7. It would take more time than I have at the moment to comment on everything written…which I much enjoyed reading. One v. quick point however, I am not sure what the EU has to do with university fees in the UK as there are EU countries where uni is free (also for students from other EU countries) and others where there are fees….that are also much lower than they are in the UK. Just google cost of uni education across Europe. I know because I helped a friend of mine research this for her daughter…and there were several free options across EU including courses in some universities that held high world rankings.

  8. Excellent comments on both sides of the argument. Wish we could have heard discussions like this before the vote. I got more information from this then from any debates last week.
    Ultimately however I have to agree on one point by Ammon. That this being a democracy we must accept the result of the vote and get on with making things work.
    Britain will always be a place where immigrants are welcome despite the few who fight against a changing world.
    Let’s put aside our differences and get to work to rebuild this great country together.

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