Since the Leave vote won the referendum by four percentage points, I have seen a lot of comment in the mainstream and social media to the effect that Leave voters voted on the basis of misinformation, with the suggestion that consequently their vote should be discounted. I have seen many calls for the referendum to be ignored, favouring the 48% who want to Remain over the 52% of voters who want to Leave, and suggesting that this is acceptable because Remain voters and MPs know better than Leave voters.
I haven't seen any coming out saying why they voted Leave and presenting their good arguments for leaving the EU. Perhaps this is because I'm not looking in the right ways in the right places. But also I think it is because many Leave voters, like myself, were simply too scared to say that they want to Leave after the reaction of some Remain voters to the result.
So I am presenting here some of the economic and democratic reasons that led to my voting to Leave the EU.
Does the UK really believe in the democratic process? Or do we want to return to an oligarchy, where only the educated elite can have a say?
Whether rightly or wrongly, the government gave the people the choice whether to stay in the EU or leave. Cameron said that he would initiate Article 50 immediately upon a vote in favour of Leave. The people who voted Leave did so in the expectation of immediate action. Having given that people that choice, it is wrong to now renege on that deal for no better reason than it happens not to be what some, or even most, of those in power want.
The weirdest thing I have found in the reaction to the referendum is the dichotomy between what (some; many?) Remain voters label themselves as, and the consequences of a Remain vote.
Let me explain.
Some Remain voters are anti-big business. But they voted for the option that big business preferred.
Some Remain voters dislike the current Conservative government. But they voted for the option that our government’s leaders, Cameron and Osborne, wanted.
Some Remain voters are anti-racists. But they voted for the option that protects white Europeans to the detriment of Asians and Africans.
I haven’t blogged in a while and this seemed an appropriate topic to get back into blogging with.
The result was a close call which says to me that the views of the Remain voters and their reasons for voting Remain are important and need to be listened to, at the same time as respecting that the majority vote, however small, is for Leave and therefore the Leave process should be started now. A democracy should listen to all sides and not simply go with the largest single group, ignoring the wishes of everyone else.
From what I’ve read, it seems to me that the key issues for Remain voters include protecting worker’s rights, protecting the environment, and collaborating with other countries on national and international security.
Compared to previous programmes, the Work Programme is not helping more people into work or keeping them in work longer. As we move into more favourable economic conditions the WP should improve, but comparisons to previous programmes (that operated under unfavourable conditions) would then become invalid. Improvements that reflect the economic environment would not be an indicator of the efficacy of the WP, but rather an indicator of the importance of demand: if there are more jobs available, more people get and keep jobs.