Letter: I'm full of Bregret

PUBLISHED: 12:00 12 May 2018

Prime Minister Theresa May delivers a speech at the Mansion House in London on the UK's economic partnership with the EU after Brexit.

Prime Minister Theresa May delivers a speech at the Mansion House in London on the UK's economic partnership with the EU after Brexit.

PA Wire/PA Images

I voted for Brexit. I never expected it to actually happen.

I voted for Brexit. I never expected it to actually happen.

When I ticked the box marked No, I believed my vote would be a stern warning to the Eurocrats that their power had extended too far and that they were meddling too much in the business of my sovereign nation and many others like it.

To me, Jean-Claude Juncker and his cronies were akin to Sepp Blatter and Fifa, a corrupt machine which served only to glorify and enrich its boardroom – and that needed to be forcibly set on the straight and narrow. I believed that a close result would go some way to doing that.

Safe in the knowledge (acquired from every poll, every newspaper I was reading and every politician I believed I could trust) that Vote Leave was never actually going to win, I voted to leave the European Union in the hope that my vote would make the result tighter and that the EU might take the hint and clean up its act.

When I saw the result, I realised how stupid I’d been. As the son of an immigrant, I was reminded of the reasons why the European Union was formed – a sense of unity, strength in numbers, freedom of movement and business, the spirit of sharing.

I read the torrents of racial abuse combined with spiteful glory that muddied the pages of social media. The George crosses and Union Jacks that were so readily associated with Vote Leave no longer made me feel proud; they made me feel that my country had isolated itself.

My vote was intended as a warning shot over the heads of the establishment in the Union, not one to completely extricate myself from the very idea of it. After all, in the case of Fifa, I was delighted to see Sepp Blatter brought in some way to justice, but I still want to see England play football!

I know I’m not alone in my understanding that I made an error of judgement. In conversations with many, there are countless examples of votes that were drawn in by misleading information: hundreds of millions of imaginary pounds for the NHS, safety for British jobs, increased trade overseas, bringing power back to our country – so many promises which almost certainly will never materialise.

With Theresa May’s recent struggles to secure agreement for the EU Withdrawal Bill, it seems that the possibility of a second referendum or, at least a vote on whether to adopt the Brexit strategy her government forms, is increasingly likely. This idiot Brexiteer will vote with his heart and not his head next time.

Simon Maier

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