Search

European Brit

A passionate supporter of the European Union, a polyglot Brit looks at life post Brexit vote.

Boris Johnson Dreams of Turkey Joining the EU

Boris Johnson who has Turkish ancestry had strongly made the case for Turkey to be admitted to the EU and said he could not wait for the “great moment when the two halves of the Roman Empire are at last reunited in an expanded European Union”.

“I believe our generation has a historic chance not just to reunite the two halves of the Roman Empire, but to build a bridge between the Islamic and the Christian worlds,”

he said in the BBC documentary, which compared the EU to the Roman Empire.

One of the key lies in the Leave campaign was to repeatedly say that Turkey were about to join the EU.  They said they had applied to join (yes, about two decades ago) and were about to join, probably next year.  Truth is, they have satisfied only 1 of 25 criteria and David Cameron said they are unlikely to qualify before 3000.  They even produced this scandalous leaflet which did not label Turkey but did label Syria and Iraq emphasising the risk of migrants coming in from these countries through new member Turkey.

5 countries joining EU

Those who tell lies cannot keep track of the lies they have told.

The Roller Coaster Week One Post Brexit

Since we woke up to the dreadful news that somehow Britain had voted to Leave the EU, life has not been the same and I wonder whether it ever will be.  I still feel dazed, in shock and so, so upset.  I am literally heartbroken.

Last Friday, the PM who had called this referendum, David Cameron, resigned.  I was angry with him at the time for walking out, abandoning us to the mess his decision had caused.  Since then I have watched him, the statesman that he is, doing his best to lead Parliament and find the best solution for the country he loves.  I know that inside he too is broken.

This was never meant to happen.  Cameron wanted to appease the Eurosceptic right-wingers in his party but somehow the scripts were mixed up.  We should have shown the arrogant Nigel Farage that whilst he has his supporters, this country is not his to overrun with his racist and rude opinions.  Farage on his own was not a votes winner.  He needed support to spearhead the campaign.  In that he found Boris Johnson, the Etonian boy groomed to be a future PM, just waiting in the wings after his eight years as Mayor of London.  Now Boris is clever and he realised that fellow Etonian Cameron would not have the support of the masses.  He saw this as his chance to walk triumphantly into No.10.  Boris does not really want us to leave the EU, he was pro-Europe in earlier speeches, indeed in one he even said how he could not wait for the “great moment” when the two halves of the Roman Empire “are at  last reunited in an expanded European Union” in a documentary he made for the BBC.

Yet tonight, Boris Johnson is in disgrace, licking his wounds and confirmed as not standing in the Tory party leadership contest.  For the first time in a week I laughed, really laughed.  The main who lied and change his support as part of his plan to win the top job has been exposed as a career politician who even put his country  to ransom for his ambitions.  This is one holy Eton Mess.

I tweeted that we should take him to the Tower of London, via Traitors Gate and hang him.

I have always liked Boris, who doesn’t with his incredible charisma?  But this man will go down in history as the man who caused a constitutional crisis, lost billions of our wealth and plunged the UK and indeed the world into uncertainty.  Confidence is falling and we could fall into recession.

George Osbourne, our Chancellor, was on target to achieve his goal of wiping out our budget deficit.  All his work will have been wiped out by this most contemptuous of men, Boris Johnson.  Osbourne too was expected to stand in the leadership but decided that he was not the man to bring unity.

Boris’s side-kick in the Leave campaign, Michael Gove, who was supposed to back him in the hope of one of the top jobs, possibly Chancellor, has stabbed him in the back , declared Boris unfit to lead and offered himself into the leadership battle.  This is the man who said in 2012, that he could not and would not stand for PM.

Then there is Jeremy Corbyn, the nice Marxist who calls himself the Labour Leader.  172 to 40 of his MPs declared no confidence in him after nearly all of his Shadow Cabinet resigned and yet he sits there stubbornly, saying he has the mandate of his party members.  That may be the case but in Parliament his job is to provide effective leadership of the Opposition and that he is failing to do.  In fact today Nicola Sturgeon, leader of the Scottish Nationalist Party, said that the SNP should now take on the mantle of the Opposition as they are clearly united.

Amidst all this, Tim Farron, leader of the Liberal Democrats, has spoken of his heartbreak but said we must seek a future for the UK within the EU.  He has made UK’s membership of the EU the top policy for the party manifesto and is building strength in the party for the autumn General Election which many believe will come.  Since Friday morning, 12,000 new members have joined the party no doubt seeking for a way to remain in the EU and looking to Tim to find a way.  He says if we must leave, then we need to find a new model and he believes the Norwegian one to be the best although it will cost us more to achieve the same as we already have.  That is what the Remain campaign kept saying when people talked of Norway, Switzerland, Iceland and other one foot in models without full membership.

It has been a long week but I think tonight I might sleep more soundly knowing that Boris has had his just reward.

Was the EU Referendum a True and Fair Vote of Democracy?

The EU Referendum was democracy in that one side scored more votes than the other. However, this is not a general election where we could vote for a change in five years. This was an enormous decision with far reaching effects in every section of our economy and society.

The Scottish referendum included any adult living in Scotland but not Scots living anywhere outside of Scotland. It was not fully inclusive of Scottish opinion and, as it affected the whole of the United Kingdom, it was widely felt that the whole of the UK should have voted, although perhaps with some weighting towards Scottish votes. Where they were modern was to realise it mostly affected future generations so 16/17 year olds were included.

75% of our under 25s want to stay in the EU yet our 16/17 year olds did not have a vote. That is fundamentally wrong and had Cameron included them, we would be jubilant today and he would still have a job.  Asked why this referendum matters to young people, Nick Clegg said,

“In a fairer world, we’d only give the vote to 16 – 24 year olds because the consequences will fall on their shoulders”

We have all the financial uncertainty and questions in our country but this has also triggered a negative, destabilising response across the EU. How is that going to help the poorer nations and the migrants crisis? Is there any way out of this? Can the young people rise up and make their voices heard, demand their representation, without violence?

What about Her Majesty? Is she going to allow this to happen or step in as supreme ruler of our kingdom before it is too late? Perhaps she is another senior citizen who is not thinking about her grandchildren. I wonder what our future kings think?

Then there is the percentage of the vote.  51.9% of the electorate voted to Leave but that is roughly 17 million of 68 million in our country ie 25%.  Is that democracy?  I think given the enormity there should have been a requirement for at least a clear 5% majority.  Clearly, not enough thought was given to the “what if” scenarios of the result.

Friday 24 June 2016 was a Nightmare

On Friday 24 June 2016, I woke up to my worst nightmare.  51.9% of the British electorate had voted for the UK to leave the EU.

I don’t think anyone ever believed it would really happen.  British people don’t like change and when faced with the stark choice, “Do you think that Britain should remain a member of the European Union or Leave?”, chances are people would quietly vote to Remain.

Something went wrong.  Now we are looking at dismay in strangers wondering which way they voted.  We are told that the older generation predominantly voted to Leave whilst 75% of the 18-25 year olds voted to stay.  We hear that many Brexit supporters only wanted a protest vote, to oust Cameron, but they never meant to cause Britain’s exit from the EU.  Brexit has created a crisis.  Our Prime Minister, David Cameron, resigned within hours to take effect in October and the main Vote Leave protagonist, Boris Johnson, is tipped to take over.  At first I thought Cameron was spineless to resign but on reflection, Boris caused this mess so let him sort it out.  His campaign was based on lies which they now accept cannot be fulfilled.

I personally have experienced the stages of grief: shock, denial, anger but not acceptance.  Acceptance to me would mean accepting defeat.  I feel I must do something.  I had already been campaigning on Facebook and Twitter so I continued to post and tweet.  I don’t want to drive my friends mad so thought it was time to move to a blog.  Here I am.

Featured post

My Positive View Towards EU

Having lived and worked in two other EU countries for 16 years, and bothered to learn four other European languages, I have a different outlook to many Brits. I hold a long term, bigger picture view of Europe which is definitely about being stronger together and not about finding differences or reasons to stand apart. Just as in any relationship, look for what works then focus on improving the rest. Don’t just walk away.

I know the EU has problems as you would expect of an organisation of 28 different nationalities, cultures, languages, ways of working and inevitable bureaucracy. After 58 years of existence since formation in 1958 and having grown from 6 to 28 countries, who would expect different?

On the plus side, we are the largest economic trading block in the world with a population of over 500 million and most countries share a common currency, the Euro .  We have achieved peace throughout Europe since two horrendous World Wars which started in Europe.  Twelve countries were formerly behind the Iron Curtain .  It is quite astonishing what has been achieved.  I prefer to focus on the positive.

Unfortunately, the UK media, at least the populist media, has been negative portraying the EU as a cash-sucking machine rather than a source of inward investment.  Rarely are we told of the specific investments in eg infrastructure which are positively announced with a large EU flag on the Continent.  It is unbelievable how many people still believe that EU migrants are to blame for most of the ills in our economy, from NHS, housing and education through jobs rather than the honest fact that EU migrants bring a positive benefit to our country to the tune of £20 billion in net taxation receipts.  There are many reasons why our country is one of the most overcrowded in Europe and why the NHS always seems to be in crisis but these are nothing to do with EU migrants and more a result of policies from successive governments.  On the contrary, I value their contribution to our economy, our rich multicultural society and particularly their huge presence within the NHS at all levels.  Did you know there are Italian doctors working in various aspects of mental health services which is an area severely underfunded by this government?

Brexit focused largely on two false promises which they know they cannot fulfil ie:

  1. Saying the UK contribution to the EU is £350 million a week (false figure) and this saving would be spent on the NHS.  They now admit this figure is wrong and that money cannot go to the NHS.
  2. Saying they would cut immigration.  They have admitted they have no plans for how to cut immigration.

The Brexit campaign lied to the people.  They portrayed the European Union in a very negative way instead of a balanced look at the good and areas for possible reform.

 

It Is Not Time To Shut Up and Move On

I am European to the core, more than I have ever called myself British.  I started learning French at 4, moved to Brussels at 19 and later Spain.  In all, I lived a total of 16 years in EU countries.  I now speak fluent French and Dutch, fluent but rusty Spanish, fairly intermediate German and some holiday Italian, even a few words of Polish and Turkish.  I have friends and networking acquaintances in various countries.

My 18 year old son who planned to work at the EU Commission as I did, then hopefully become a MEP, feels he has lost his identity. He is fluent in Dutch, has studied Spanish and Latin to Higher Level of the International Baccalaureate rather than A Levels, holds grade A* GCSE’s in Italian and French and studied Mandarin, Russian and a little Greek.  Not your average English boy.  He is about to start his degree course in International Relations and Sustainability with a year abroad in an EU university – if he is allowed to.

If Brexit succeeds and is the start of extreme right governments taking over here and succeeding in other EU countries, leading to the eventual break-up of the European Union, then I no longer want to call myself British. We will be hated. We will be spat at in the streets when we go on holiday.  British workers abroad will start to receive hateful messages just as EU migrants have been the recipients of disgraceful racism over the last few days.

We have to fight for Europe. It is not time to shut up and move on gracefully. It is time to get really angry. Our forefathers fought for Europe. Our children need us to now.

 

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑