I voted Leave. I now battle alongside the ‘first generation Remainers’ to remain in the EU.

Chris, a Remainer Now and journalist, from Dorset, explains why he's speaking out about his change of heart over Brexit.

Christopher Oram, a freelance journalist from Dorset who voted Leave in 2016, now stands with #RemainerNow and calls on everyone to see Brexit for the mistake it is and support a second referendum.

As a ‘Remainer-now’ supporter I find myself constantly having to explain myself to other people, either on social media, at home or in the street. People of all ages and backgrounds question my authenticity as a former Brexit voter and try to demoralise my argument by simply denying I ever voted for it.

I decided to vote leave in the referendum for several reasons. Reasons that, when listed together, sound very easy to believe.

1. I was swept up in the idea that our NHS would be better funded with the so-called £350M.
2. We were told that our immigration situation was “out of control” in the extent that ISIS were coming into our country as refugees.
big red nhs leave campaign bus
3. David Davis said we would be doing a trade deal with Germany the day after the referendum result.
4. It was made very clear that: “no-one is talking about leaving the Single Market and/or the Custom Union.”
5. It was suggested that Britain doesn't have any power in making our own laws with the EU breathing down our necks.
6. Cliches like “getting our country back” played in the narrative that we were under the EU’s control.
7. Our former Brexit secretary, David Davis, essentially said that a deal was going to be so easy to negotiate that it could be done over a cup of tea and a croissant, and be back in the UK, all signed off, before dinner time.
Over the course of the following ten months I began to notice some harsh resistance against Brexit. In April 2017 I stumbled, completely by chance, on a radio station called LBC. The host in particular was Mr James O’Brien.

I was totally spellbound by his relentlessness and no-nonsense attitude to the people calling up. I quickly learned that trying to argue with this man was a futile assignment and instead I contented myself in just listening to him ridicule the unavailing arguments of angry Brexiters.

I learned a lot from James’ show:

  1. The £350M was going to be swallowed up by the ‘divorce bill’ we would have to pay.

  2. Under the EU we already had the laws in place to stop mass immigration and the refugees situation was nowhere near as bad as we were told.

  3. We cannot do a trade deal with any single member of the EU, we would have to consult the EU as a whole.

  4. Everyone changed their minds about staying in the single market and the customs union.

  5. Being educated on the way European parliament works and that we as a country have more powers than we were told.

  6. Getting our country back, strong and stable were stupid clichés which when picked apart, mean absolutely nothing.

  7. David Davis spent two years negotiating with the EU and achieved nothing.

Also, we were not told/reminded about the conditions of the Good Friday Agreement. We have to stay in the single market and customs union because there mustn’t be a hard boarder in Ireland. On that stance alone, a no-deal is completely impossible.

The biggest thing I have learnt is how different Brexit is depending on who you are talking to. Get ten Leave voters and ask them all individually what Brexit looks like to them and you will get twenty different answers. There is no consistency in the definition of Brexit so, by default, any deal that is brought to the table won’t be accepted by all the Brexiters.

I explain our situation to other people like this:

The idea of Brexit was sold to us like a mystery box. The Leave campaign list all the things they think are inside. The electorate is excited by this brave new world that could be in this mystery box. We vote for the box. Upon looking inside, we discover that it is actually Pandora’s box! Full of lies, misery, betrayal, sickness, poverty, hunger, deception and greed.

The Brexiters still insist that everything in the box is good for us. They scream and whine that it’s “what we voted for” but we who are blessed with the intelligence to see through it all and the good nature and modesty to admit we were wrong, are now battling alongside the ‘first generation Remainers’ to get that pandora’s box closed, put back on the topmost shelf out of reach from the likes of Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson, and to remain in the EU.

This is why I now stand with #RemainerNow. The mystery box and unicorns we were promised will not come. All of us need to see this for the mistake it is and support a second referendum/people’s vote.

I would also speak directly to our European cousins. The Brexiters in Britain insist that you are also unhappy in the EU. They shout that we are doing the right thing. I will concede that the EU is not perfect and probably never will be, but I would ask you, as a desperate Englishman, to take to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, websites, news programs, newspapers and any medium you have access to and remind my British brothers and sisters just how better it is to be a member of the European Union!


You can view the original article here, at Politics Means Politics - https://vip.politicsmeanspolitics.com/2018/08/24/i-voted-leave-i-now-battle-alongside-the-first-generation-remainers-to-remain-in-the-eu/

Used with permission.