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Old 05.02.2019, 21:26
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

Still at it here, I see?

I've been having an interesting time on a British based political forum where the overwhelming majority of members are pro-Brexit. I don't agree with everybody on every point, but this seems to be the general thrust of opinions over there:

1) Nobody was convinced by a bus. Yes, quite a few people believe that any money saved from leaving the EU could/should be spent on the NHS, but nobody ever believed that the government would ever honour such a commitment.

2) The most important reason, which comes up again and again in post after post, is accountability: people simply don't believe that the EU is accountable to the people. It's phrased in some pretty robust ways (EF is like a kindergarten compared to the forum in question), but that's the crux of the matter.

3) Yes, immigration is a concern. I disagree with almost everything posted on this subject over there, but I do acknowledge that people's concerns were belittled and ignored for decades and the vote for Brexit was almost certainly a consequence of this. Selber schuld. I was warning my colleagues about this nearly twenty years ago.

4) Anti-European sentiment is not a new thing invented by Russian bots to destabilise the west. Many of the members of the forum were adamantly opposed to membership of the Common Market way back when, and haven't been persuaded to think more kindly of its successor either.

5) People are a lot better informed than some members of EF might imagine. Ironically (in the view of some EFers), the pro-Brexit camp seems a lot more aware of events on the Continent than many of the Remain camp. There are a few misconceptions flying around, naturally, but not as many as some of you might imagine. I've been quite impressed, to be honest, and have learnt a lot.

6) Events over the last two years have done nothing to persuade people that they did the wrong thing voting for Brexit. Indeed, there are one or two people in the group who have switched from Remain to Leave after seeing how things have gone.

7) I can live without some of the World War II imagery and rhetoric, but that's hardly a new thing either. I remember once invoking the Dunkirk spirit when describing what happened when my train was delayed. It's what we Brits do...

And my current position? I still support Brexit (those documents, once read, can never be unread), still doubt it'll actually happen, but deeply regret the way the British government has handled the whole show whatever happens. I'll probably never vote again, unless I'm invited to vote in a referendum for Scottish independence or the abolition of the monarchy, in which case I'm all for it!
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