Plymouth Live - Brexit leave voter writes emotional letter of apology to the UK

Martin Rowe says he is now a 'reformed Brexiteer' and wants to apologise to everybody for his 'mistaken vote'.

A self-styled 'reformed Brexiteer' has written an impassioned letter of apology to everyone in the UK - saying sorry for voting to leave the EU.

Martin Rowe, from Plymouth, is now calling for a so-called 'people's vote' on the Brexit deal so he can correct what he describes as his "mistaken vote".

He says he feels bad for voting leave in the EU referendum and now wants the opportunity to "undo the damage we did two years ago"

It comes as a major new survey of 1,821 readers from a single constituency reveals just 36 per cent of people would now vote to exit the EU.

In April a separate poll suggested people in Plymouth - which voted to leave - were changing their mind.

However, our snap survey of shoppers in the city centre this weekend showed different results, with many saying they were still gunning to get out of the European Union.

A Theresa May announces a new timetable for her delayed big vote on the Brexit deal, though, one thing is uniting Remainers and Brexiteers - they're sick of all the talk and want the politicians to get on with it.

Mr Rowe, who lives in suburban Plympton, says his opinion has been changed so dramatically he now wants to axe all our MPs entirely and put the power in the hands of MEPs.

He wrote his emotional letter to Plymouth Live's sister print title The Herald - here it is in full.

I'm sorry for voting Leave

As a leave voter I must apologise to the people of Plymouth and the UK for my mistaken vote.

Now that I understand that Theresa May’s withdrawal proposal is the best Brexit deal on the table, I’ve come to realise that I should never have voted leave in the first place.

The current membership deal we have with the EU is, and always was, the best deal for the UK. Unfortunately I voted leave out of ignorance of the facts and like most of the leave vote I was misled by Boris’ big red bus.

Over the last two years I’ve been persuaded by the BBC, Sky and indeed The Herald Brexit coverage that it is in Plymouth and the UK’s interests for the UK to remain a member of the EU.

Despite criticism from leave voters, these institutions have regularly featured a truly unbiased cross-section of society either in print or via television programmes, such as Question Time, making the valid point that while I voted to leave I had no idea of the destination or indeed what leaving truly meant. After all I did not vote to be poorer. Hear-Hear!

Like the diverse opinions expressed in the media, the diverse world of business, politics and academia have consistently concluded that my leave vote was ill-advised and short-sighted and I now agree with them. After all how can I quibble with experts over issues I barely understand?

And as their speculations are fast becoming reality I now know, unlike in 2016, what leaving means for the UK. For example; the UK will have trade friction with the EU, the UK will have hard borders on land and at sea, the UK will struggle to trade with the wider world, the UK will have to deal with President Trump chlorinated chickens, the NHS will collapse with no nursing staff, there will be an economic recession like that endured in the 1930s and Kent will become a permanent car park filled with lorries of rotting produce. I did not vote for this.

So as a reformed Brexiteer I am now fully supporting a people’s vote so that people like me can undo the damage we did two years ago by voting to leave the EU.

This time around I will vote to remain and what is more I will be campaigning for Britain to truly integrate within the EU. No more rebates, no more special treatment over Schengen and no more pound sterling.

It is time we face facts that the nation state is dying. We have a duty to take a leading role in the EU and yes that means let’s have the euro. Let’s show our EU family that the UK is fully signed up to the EU dream of solidarity, unity and interdependence.

I admire what the EU has accomplished in many of its member states particularly across the Mediterranean. Despite some hiccups, the EU has held firm in the face of crises.

I look to Spain, Italy and Greece and I find myself frustrated that we have not taken our fair share of the responsibilities of EU membership. This must change.

I agree with Gary Steeter and the likes of Anna Soubry, Nicola Sturgeon, Dominic Grieve and Caroline Lucas who all advocate for the UK to return to the top table of the EU, and I look forward to their dismissal as nation state MPs along with the Westminster national Parliament and the devolved Welsh and Northern Irish Assemblies and Scottish Parliament as irrelevant nation state institutions.

After all I now understand that if the UK is to play its part in the EU, we no longer require national MPs who think of the nation state. Surely most remainers and reformed brexiteers will agree with me, that our representatives must now be MEPs and EU commissioners as we look to truly become European in our outlook and identity.

In short it is clear that former leave voters like myself should push for a second referendum and then push further still for the full integration of the UK into the EU, consigning our then redundant MPs and Parliament to the history books as we look towards a brighter and better future within the European Union.

Credit: Plymouth Live website

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