I have three big reasons why I support the People’s Vote Campaign. Love, Legislation and Lies
I never thought much about loving being part of the EU before the Referendum was announced. I knew I appreciated the rights it afforded me but it was part of the background of my life, not something I paid much attention to. It wasn’t until the run up to the Referendum when Leave started pulling ahead that I suddenly took notice. It was when I was about to lose this part of my identity that I suddenly realised how much I had loved it.
The EU is not just a group of countries getting together to prevent another war, or because it is mutually advantageous. It has also been building the bonds of friendship & affection between the people in those countries. My friends in London are Italian, Greek, Spanish and French. Countless British people have fallen in love with Europeans and had children.
When I travelled to continental Europe some months later, no one reacted to Brexit with anger or fear for their countries. It was with sadness and sorrow. They feel sorry for us to be losing the many advantages of membership and they are sad we are leaving because they like us.
One of the most poignant moments for me during the referendum campaign was the night before the vote when capital cities across the EU lit up their building in British flags. I’m still emotional when I think of it. I just wish I had realised how much it meant to me to be part of this group before then.
Legislation is the “process of making and enacting laws” according to the internet. It’s how things get done in our government. It’s a long, boring process involving lots of technical detail & compromise.
In 2016, as today we faced a lot of problems. A struggling NHS, unaffordable housing and strain on public services.
These are difficult problems to solve, not least because we don’t all agree on how to solve them.
Into this mix came the Brexit campaign offering an quick and easy solution to all our problems. Leaving the EU will solve everything! NHS waiting lists? Too many EU migrants taking spots. Unpopular law? EU made us do it. It became the scapegoat for everything we don’t like.
The problem is scapegoating doesn’t get rid of the problem. It’s just a distraction from fixing them.
Even if if our economy isn’t hit or our essential workers don’t leave as a result of Brexit, it would still be a bad idea, because it’s a huge distraction from the important process of legislating to fix our problems.
The Leave campaign said that Brexit would be quick and easy. It won’t. If it goes ahead it will be the primary focus of our government for years and years and years. It is a waste of time and energy that should be going to solving our problems.
A friend of mine recently told me, if we had a People’s Vote and Brexit won again she would find it much easier to accept because at least she could be sure people chose it. I completely understand this feeling.
As much as I’m sad to lose my identity as a European and sorry we won’t be solving our other problems my biggest motivation for supporting the People’s Vote campaign is a sense of patriotism and anger.
I am absolutely furious that a group of MPs have deceived and betrayed the people of our country. That they don’t care that they are destroying our reputation on the world stage.
This is why they keep pretending a People's Vote is undemocratic despite the fact that countries who frequently use referenda like Switzerland and Ireland repeat them all the time. They don’t want to be held responsible for the mess that the country is in.
There is nothing more patriotic or more democratic than demanding the People have the final say on this process. Why is the “will of the people” in the here and now of less value than the will of the people two and a half years ago?
The British people deserve the right to stand up and show these charlatans that we will not let them get away with it.
We deserve a People’s Vote.
Sandy Murthy is a volunteer and supporter of European Movement and the People's Vote campaign.