Why I have changed my mind on Brexit after voting to leave the EU

Doncaster resident Leon French has written this powerful letter about the Brexit saga.

By Barbara Craythorn
Wednesday, 20th March 2019, 9:56 am
Updated Wednesday, 20th March 2019, 9:58 am
Brexit, what next?
Brexit, what next?

In 2016 I took the decision to take a leap of faith. I voted to leave the EU. Now we come hurtling towards a No Deal Brexit I did not vote for, it’s clear to me it was the wrong decision.  

I felt that Britain needed to leave the EU to reclaim some apparent lost sovereignty. I wanted the UK to be able to strike new trade deals across the world, while working closely with our European friends and allies.

I bought into the idea that by leaving the EU, we would “take back control”. Now I find myself thinking, “take back control of what?” I certainly don’t feel any more in control than I did before 2016. Actually, I feel that the UK has lost control of the situation.

People will blame Parliament. People will blame the Government. People will blame campaigners such as the Peoples Vote campaign for “undermining” Brexit, the people who have “betrayed the will of the people”. I’m sorry to say it but the only people who betrayed us leave voters are the Vote Leave campaign itself.

They gave us this vague idea of what leaving the EU would look like. They made promises to us, such as an extra £350million a week for the NHS. They tried to scare us, saying Turkey would join the EU and Turkish immigrants would come to Britain en masse. They were wrong then and they are wrong now to insist plowing on with this blindfold Brexit is the right thing for Britain.

This is why, despite voting leave, I am supporting the Peoples Vote campaign and, when the vote comes, voting to remain in the EU.

Holding a Peoples Vote is not about “undermining Brexit” or “ignoring the will of the people”. It’s about looking at the facts nearly three years after the vote and asking if we want to proceed with this. How can we “take back control” as a nation if we are not allowed to register our views on the biggest constitutional shakeup of our lifetimes?

As I write this we are just over a week away from Brexit day with no agreement in Parliament, or the country, on the way forward. Parliament cannot find a way forward. It’s up to us as the people to tell them the way forward.”

Leon French


See this week’s Free Press for more Brexit letters P32-33.