I voted to stay in the EU, but arrogant Remainers have ruined everything
A London columnist - and millennial - explains why she now wishes she'd voted Leave
I voted Remain, and I regret it. I regret being cajoled into voting in the first place, on a decision I was unqualified to make, armed with inadequate facts. I resent then being force-fed an agenda by my left-leaning peers, who were just as uninformed. It was like being stopped on the side of the road and asked to fix a broken car.
Initially, I said I couldn’t. But I had to vote, they all insisted – it was my civic duty. So I tried (and failed) to find the impartial manual I needed, and entered the voting booth undecided. In the end, I ticked Remain. I reasoned it was easier than getting under the bonnet.
If I could go back, I’d vote Leave. Not because I have different facts or a new understanding on the matter (I don’t – no one seems to) but because I’ve been so horrified by the conduct of Remainers – both people and parliament – that I’ve lost all respect for their cause.
The sheer audacity of that viral petition to revoke Article 50 – a document calling for the overturning of a democratic vote, signed by many of my generation because it didn’t go their way – was the final straw.
That I am outlawed from every conversation in which I question my peers’ certainties seals the deal.
It would be amusing, if it wasn’t so dangerous, that the liberal left are today more entitled, more patronising and more arrogant than the right. To call for a second referendum on the basis that those who voted Leave didn’t really know what they were doing the first time, bless them, is a way of saying: this wasn’t a vote, it was a test, and you failed, peasant.
Imagine the furore if Remain had won and a Brexiteer government left the EU anyway. It’s proof that the London echo chamber in which I live, so aghast at the verdict nearly three years ago, has learnt nothing. Fingers in ears, they’re as unwilling now to process the wants and desires of Britain’s 51.9% than they were then – more concerned with saving the UK’s temperamental marriage to the EU than addressing the widening divide within their own country.
Remainers argue that withdrawing from the EU will undo all the progress we’ve made in the past 46 years. But how far back in history do we set ourselves if we extinguish the power of our public vote? To set that precedent would be the true catastrophe, not Britain separating from a union it’s been a part of for a fraction of its antiquity.
Remainers maintain that the cataclysmic mess our government has made of negotiations thus far is proof that we simply aren’t capable of leaving. On the contrary. It proves not only that we are indeed squashed beneath the thumb of Brussels, but stifled, too, by one of the worst parliaments in the history of British politics. It’s a wake-up call.
Yes, the divorce will be messy. Yes, it will take time for the UK to stabilise itself. Yes, certain industries will suffer, just as others will benefit from the split. Even if the fearmongers are right and Britain tumbles into a recession as a result of leaving the EU, so be it. And I say this as a millennial, whose life and livelihood would be directly impacted.
I voted Remain to play it safe. But no option is safe now, so let’s drop the histrionics. Henry VIII did not ruin England when he broke with Rome. The millennium bug failed to bite. Donald Trump has not driven the US economy into a ditch. Nor will Britain vaporise when it leaves the EU. It may even prosper. And what a boost that would be for a nation that’s entirely forgotten its worth.
– © Telegraph Media Group Limited (2019)