European Brit

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



Decision To Leave Was Based on Lies

Boris Johnson And Gisela Stuart Aboard The Leave Campaign Bus
STAFFORD, ENGLAND – MAY 17: Boris Johnson MP, Labour MP Gisela Stuart and UKIP MP Douglas Carswell address the people of Stafford in Market Square during the Vote Leave, Brexit Battle Bus tour on May 17, 20016 in Stafford.           (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

The Leave Campaign spearheaded by Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and Nigel Farage repeatedly said:

  1. They would save the £350 million we spend weekly on contributions to the EU budget on spend it on the NHS.    (actually it is £161 million as they were frequently told)
  2. They would cut immigration.
  3. They wanted to take back control of our country.

Yet the very day after the EU Referendum they admitted that they were not going to spend £350 million a week on the NHS, they could not control immigration and they had absolutely no plan how they would take back control.  On the contrary, it seemed we were losing control as we plunged into financial turmoil.

These lies on which many, many people decided to vote Leave, the decision to take the UK out of the EU was based in totally false promises.

Gove Boris cartoon

Great political cartoon by Morten Morland on 27 June 2016.


Do We Want a PM Who Ignores Experts?

When Michael Gove, the pro-Brexit Justice Secretary, was told by Faisal Islam of Sky News that “the leaders of the US, India, China, Australia, every single one of our allies, the Bank of England, the IFS, IMF, the CBI, five former Nato secretary generals and the Chief Executive of the NHS” were all against Britain’s exit, the response was remarkable.

“I think the people of this country have had enough of experts”.

Faisal Islam was understandably dumbfounded by such a stupid statement from a very intelligent man.

Michael Gove is jointly culpable for Brexit, for the sharp decline in the value of the Pound, the dramatic losses in our investments and pension funds and the fall in our credit rating.  Now while some of these short term responses may be corrected in the short term, that does not help businesses today with higher cost for importing of materials and services, nor holiday makers who  will have 8€ or 11 € less per £.

It was widely expected that Boris Johnson would be the clear favourite to stand as PM and Michael Gove would be his running mate but Gove’s wife, Sarah Vine, “accidentally” leaked an email, destined for him, to a member of the public advising him to be absolutely sure that Boris promised him a top job before lending his support.  The next day, Gove, despite all his previous assurances since 2012 that he would not and could not stand as PM, went back on his word and stood for election.  Boris responded by not standing.

Michael Gove is not to be trusted.  There is an expression, which is surprisingly from Gavin Esler in “A Scrupulous Man” and not Shakespeare, so often the author of our favourite expressions:

“He who wields the knife rarely inherits the crown”.

Michael Gove is one of the Gang of Three (Farage-Johnson-Gove) who duped the public with falsehoods regarding the information on which millions of people based their Remain/Leave vote.  Although they thought the public would vote Remain, they are responsible for the constitutional mess that the country finds itself in and the knock-on effect to our European partners and indeed, the worldwide economy.  Although there are suggestions that a Brexiteer should lead the country in negotiations post triggering Article 50, there is no way that Gove should be rewarded with the glittering prize.  He deceived the country and our memories will not be short.

Furthermore, with the reforms Michael Gove made as Education Secretary, he is widely hated by teachers and parents of children who will sit GCSE from 2017 onwards – including my son.  If the Tories choose Gove as their leader, they are unlikely to win in a General Election.  By all means Tories, choose the man with the bloody dagger.

PS Does anyone else think he sounds like Michael McIntyre?


Nick Barber, Tom Hickman and Jeff King: Pulling the Article 50 ‘Trigger’: Parliament’s Indispensable Role

In this post we argue that as a matter of domestic constitutional law, the Prime Minister is unable to issue a declaration under Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty – triggering our withdrawal from the…

Source: Nick Barber, Tom Hickman and Jeff King: Pulling the Article 50 ‘Trigger’: Parliament’s Indispensable Role

The Ugly Rise of Race Crime Since Brexit

I heard a Leave voter on LBC today saying she voted that way because she believed the message that £350 million would be paid back into the NHS and there would be more money for education and more jobs. She now knows this was a blatant lie and feels disgraced at voting the way she did. She fully supports a multi-cultural society, indeed her daughter is dating a black guy.

Making this vote about immigration was a Fascist ticket and I too believe that the vast majority are more tolerant and inclusive. Yet there have been over 400 cases of race crime since the result, up from the usual 60-80 per week.  The rise of UKIP has been ugly. Unfortunately, my 15 year old son tells me what some of his classmates believe so they must be fed this filth by their chav parents with two council estates within the catchment area. The teachers have a hard job teaching tolerance and inclusion within a very small window of time on a crowded timetable.

Michael Gove, as Education Secretary, removed GCSE Psychology and Sociology because apparently teaching teenagers about people and society is not as important as STEM subjects. Yes, STEM subjects are important but we do not all need to know the details to live successfully in society as adults.  Teaching comparative religions and morals in Ethics & Philosophy has also been sidelined in my son’s school and history is optional post 14. For me these should be core subjects, vital to engendering tolerance and multi-cultural co-habitation.  When you decide that learning about prisms of light, non-ferrous metals and vectors is more important that understanding what other people think and believe, it is no surprise that 58% voted to Leave in Portsmouth and 62% in Havant.

All the tabloid newspapers supported Leave.  They are easy to read with lots of photos and cost 20p-80p.  Compare these to the intelligent press with reasoned discussions for £1-£2.40.  The tabloids feed the sort of language which incites xenophobia and racism:

Daily Express racist headlines

Daily Express: “Migrants make mugs of us all”, “We must stop the migrant invasion”, “Britain must ban migrants” – Disgraceful.

No wonder we have heard stories this week of Polish children in school being told to go home, children who were born here!

What is happening to our country?  I am not sure that I recognise it any more.





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.


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