Originally published on Taylor Magazine at: taylormagazine.com/open-letter-brexit/
Nigel Farage announced that the Brexit victory was for ‘ordinary decent people’, and yet it seems the victory was for an indecent campaign; one fuelled by hatred and lies, and policies that seem to have already been backtracked on. And ‘ordinary people’, as Mr Farage puts it, will be the ones who are hurt the most. Not just for the false campaign that was advertised and the manipulation of the feeling of discontent in this country for their own gain, but because they will be hit the most by the fallout, by the economic downtown, by the loss of jobs.
I have also had people give me their sorrows for what this means for my generation, and the younger generations who didn’t even get their say. For that I thank you, but we needed votes, not apologies. We have long been written off as the lazy generation who are entitled to everything, yet we are the ones raised on a recession, and perhaps soon to encounter another. Ones who never dream of owning a house, too busy paying off the debts they acquired simply to be educated. The ones who are now being told we cannot be part of a European Union, when 75% of us stand in favour of it.
Though I disagree with the result, I am also not here to cast off those who voted Leave as ignorant or racist, as I will not incite hate. That was the role of the Leave campaign, and we’ve seen how that turned out. Britain does not need to be divided further. And yet since Brexit won, it seems to have legitimised an atmosphere of hatred, with over a hundred incidents of racial abuse and hate crime being reported since our vote to leave the EU. Britain has long been celebrated as a tolerant country, and I hope we will continue to be the country I still believe we are.
Whether you voted Leave or Remain, we were all misled by people who dismissed the voice of experts, and told us to take control. The people who told us that the £350 million that went to the EU would now go to the NHS, that immigration levels would fall, that this would make Britain great again. However, they have not followed through on their promise. They seem to only be thinking about their own future now the possibility of grabbing more political power has arrived. Our future, Britain’s future, has been already forgotten. Or perhaps, they never intended for this vote to truly go their way and for anyone to figure out that they have no post-Brexit plan. As the aged old saying goes – we’re up shit creek without a paddle.
The reaction to the result has seen shock radiate through not only Britain but the world. Dissatisfaction has led to anger and I have heard people say they have had enough. Many have even considered leaving Britain. In the same way I did not want us to turn our backs on the European Union, please do not turn your backs on Britain now. We may be the indecent minority, but our voice is vital. I am here to campaign for a Britain that is outward looking, tolerant and stands side by side with our European neighbours, rather than runs away from them. I stand for a Britain that will not stamp on the vulnerable to aid the rich. I will not see my country run by those who do not care for all its people, that are so distanced from us. I fear we may be forgotten now they got our vote.
They said we did not need elitist unelected officials in Brussels to run our country, yet it is the elitist and unelected officials here I fear most. It is easy to be disillusioned, but do not give up. And to those in Europe perhaps reading this now, I want to thank you. The European Union is certainly not perfect but we have benefited from being a part of your community and I do fear for our future without it. I know there are those calling for referendums in other European countries; please do not give in to this vilification of the European Union like we did, because it is used as a mask to cover the villains in your own parties, your own countries. Politicians cannot be allowed to blame the EU for problems that they have created. And to the Europeans living in Britain today, we will not turn our backs on you. We stand hand in hand as we fight for a Britain with a brighter future. As we fight for a Britain that not only makes me proud to be British, but proud to be a European.