It's time to end the stereotype that Northerners are Brexiteers

PUBLISHED: 09:05 20 June 2019 | UPDATED: 09:05 20 June 2019

Anti-Brexit campaigners fighting for the UK to remain in the European Union. (Photo by Kate Green/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Anti-Brexit campaigners fighting for the UK to remain in the European Union. (Photo by Kate Green/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

2016 Anadolu Agency

JAMIE DICKINSON explains why the new People's Vote North campaign is so important for the region.

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Since the EU referendum, there has been a caricature of the North perpetuated by those in London, that everyone here loves Brexit, that we can't wait for it to happen and that we are at odds with the majority remain communities like those in London.

As a Northerner, this stereotype angers me. It angers me because in my community in the North East, I can see that people are starting to wake up to the realities of Brexit.

People who were initially enfranchised and empowered by the Leave campaign are now beginning to feel betrayed. The dream they were sold and promised couldn't be further away from the reality facing them. Having already suffered through nearly a decade of austerity, they face further devastation from the prospect of a no deal.

Many of these communities in the North may have voted for Brexit, but let me be clear, they did not vote for No Deal, they did not vote for thousands of job losses, they did not vote for their economies to disproportionately suffer.

This is why I am proud to be speaking at the launch of People's Vote North in Leeds this weekend and why it so important to me, especially as a young person from the North, that we have a People's Vote.

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Despite what some southern journalists may have told you, communities in the North are diverse, hard-working and tolerant. They are being misrepresented and cast aside by Brexiters. These places are to become the sacrificial lambs of the no-deal Brexit increasingly pursued by Farage and a likely option for the future prime minister.

I am scared for my future and the future of my community under a no-deal Brexit, and I am angry that just 160,000 Conservative members, of which 82% are in the top income brackets, will help to decide the economic future of the country at a time when the poorest in the North have the most to lose.

People's Vote North needs to hit the ground running and support our community against a no deal. The rally this weekend in Leeds is going to help show those whose livelihoods are at risk from the threat of No Deal that we are on their side and we will not stand by and watch whilst Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage sell them out for the sake of personal ambition.

Arguably one of the greatest stunts pulled by the Leave campaign was convincing the North that they ever cared about our future under Brexit. People coming to the rally on Saturday live in these communities, they work here, they raise families here, and they are going to fight for their home. For young people like me who weren't old enough to vote in 2016, we are fighting for our future, a future we were not able to help decide but we will now campaign to make better. Let us be heard.

- Jamie Dickinson is a supporter of For our Future's Sake and a Labour activist from the North East of England.

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