The Young Anonymous Brexiteer – hear them out

Here on the Young Money Blog, we’re NOT an echo chamber. We don’t necessarily want to perpetuate the views we think will gain popularity. We believe in the importance of disseminating all kinds of stories and perspectives, as long as they are intelligently argued. So today, we have recruited a young Brexiteer to give us their take on the big question facing our generation; should we leave the European Union?

This article was NOT written by Iona and these views do not necessarily coincide with hers. This person wishes to remain anonymous for fear of a backlash from their peer group and the slightly more extreme corners of social media. This is a genuine young person in their late twenties known personally to Iona and has an argument that we should hear out. This article is virtually unedited and what you will read is the writer’s honest and heartfelt belief. It’s up to you to decide what to make of it…

I am a millennial who voted for Brexit last June and sincerely hope that it will happen.

My reason? I want to see democracy in the UK preserved and enhanced. I believe our democracy is a precious gift which was very hard fought for by previous generations, most recently during the second world war when the Britain of my grandfather’s generation stood alone against fascism.

I have come (reluctantly) to believe that the European Union is inimical to the pursuance of democracy, both here and in Europe.

Since the beginning of the referendum campaign a year ago, there has been a quantum leap in the amount of information about the EU that has been available to an ordinary person like me.  It seems to me that prior to David Cameron’s abortive ‘negotation’ early last year, the British media and political class’s attitude to the EU was ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ – in other words, we were in it and no point in rocking the boat.

The main thing that has become apparent to me since last June has been the political structure of Europe.  At the top is the European Council, which is made up of unelected commissioners. These are normally superannuated politicians from their respective countries, though sometimes (like our own Baroness Ashton) they have never even been elected by anybody.

A prime example of this is Jean-Claude Juncker, and I seem to remember that prior to his appointment David Cameron for once stepped out of line and said publicly that he did not support it. Juncker was appointed nevertheless and guess what? The EU is threatened with falling apart on his watch.

Yes, we do vote for a European Parliament, where massed ranks of MEPs sit listening to translators.  Media outlets are fond of berating the public for not knowing who their MEP is and never bothering to vote for them. But the British public is not stupid, as it instinctively knows that the parliament is just a talking-shop and a rubber-stamp for laws handed down by the council. It is not a parliament based on our model of democracy because it cannot initiate or introduce any laws.

More powerful than the MEPs are the thousands of lobbyists, paid for by large and often global corporations and organisations, who effectively initiate many of the laws handed down to us, which the parliament just rubber stamps.

Yet this is the system which is responsible for a huge proportion of the laws and regulations that affect all of us, without any right of refusal by our own parliament or accountability for those pulling the strings.

I also feel very disturbed that so-called technocrats have been parachuted in to both Greece, where they still are, and Italy, over the heads of any elected government.  They effectively replace democracy with authoritarian rule.  The Greek people voted in a referendum against austerity, but crippling austerity has been imposed upon them.  I do wonder how Jeremy Corbyn with his anti-austerity, pro-working people, and internationalist manifesto, has not noticed this dimension to Europe – and indeed how he would feel if the EU technocrats were ever parachuted into Britain!

(I also cannot understand how the Europhiles have failed to notice the economic devastation that the euro has wreaked across southern Europe, with massive youth unemployment.)

Even Europhiles and technocrats admit that the EU works on a ratchet basis – integration can go forward but can never go back. As they say in Brussels, the answer to Europe’s problems is more Europe. This surely is essentially why the UK did vote as it did last June, because the public does not want more Europe.

As a young person, I believe that Europe is such a diverse continent that ‘one rule fits all’ simply does not work. I am not so naïve that I believe British democracy is perfect and there are a lot of things which are worrying.  But I do note that Theresa May has had to call an election in order to put forward her own manifesto, because she was tied to carrying out the Cameron-Osborne manifesto and was seeking her own democratic mandate.

Whether you agree with her or not, this demonstrates how sensitive our system is to continuing democratic accountability. All parties, notably a weakened Opposition, knew they had to support the vote to dissolve parliament and call the election.  This was surely emblematic of a healthy democracy, one which I would wish to pass on to my own children in the future.

And that’s why we need to come out of Europe, as painful or as divisive as that decision might be. In the end, we won’t regret it.

What do you think? Tweet @ionayoungmoney or leave a comment. We hope to hear from the young anonymous Brexiteer again soon…

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Avatar

    I find this article fascinating and it’s great to see someone who is open to expressing their opinion regarding Brexit. I think it’s sad the the Anonymous Brexiteer has chosen to stay anonymous for fear of backlash – this is a free country so you shouldn’t feel the need to hide and share your opinions behind a mask of anonymity. I also voted for Brexit last year for this exact reason – while we remain in the EU, we may as well not have a democratic government because their decisions can be overruled by the EU anyway. I am also voting for Jeremy Corbyn though as I believe that while we should leave the EU, we need to do so amicably and I think Corbyn can provide this.

  2. Avatar

    Well done for featuring a brexiteer on your blog, as it’s always important to get out of our echo chambers. However I’m afraid your writer just shows how little is known by the British public about the EU and how much his/her own media and echo chambers has lied / misinformed them about the EU, as there are a number of big errors in this article. Firstly the writer needs to understand that the European Council (made up of elected member state leaders inc Theresa May, etc) is an entirely different body to the European Commission (which is the organisation s/he refers to) composed of the 28 different commissioners. While it’s true they’re not elected, each one is chosen by the 28 elected member state leaders, i.e. David Cameron chose the current UK Commissioner Julian King. Furthermore, legislation from the Commission has to be approved by both the Parliament and the Council in order to be enacted, therefore the Parliament is not merely a talking shop. It’s a common misnomer that the EU is in-democratic – in comparison to the UK it can actually be argued to be more democratic (but that’s a whole other story involving the House of Lords). As myself a Master’s student of European Society and Politics, I believe the blame for this misunderstanding/ignorance about the EU in Britain lies in the national curriculum’s exclusion of the EU. Nothing is taught to pupils about the EU, so therefore adults grow up also not knowing anything about the EU. At least if we had all been in possession of the facts, then we could have had an informed referendum in 2016 instead of one dominated by biased and manipulative media with its own political agenda. There we go – rant over – and please make sure your writer is reading the comments so knows to look into their errors.

    On a separate point, I completely understand the desire for anonymity. Last year I was broadcast on Sky News defending the EU and saying why I personally voted to Remain, and I was astounded by the amount of abuse and trolling I received, with people sending me some truly hateful and violent messages that really shocked me (and further motivated me to leave Britain, as I have done since the referendum). The trolls are far worse on the Brexiteers’ side: trust me.

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