Letter: The three views on Brexit we encountered on holiday in Europe

PUBLISHED: 06:00 20 May 2018

Placards and flags are held by pro-EU protesters. Photograph: Victoria Jones/PA Images.

Placards and flags are held by pro-EU protesters. Photograph: Victoria Jones/PA Images.

PA Wire/PA Images

I've just had ten days in France and North Italy. As I was wearing my EU/UK badge, I got Brexit chat - three types.

My summaries may be useful to readers who discuss more vigorously than this octogenarian.

(1) Leavers in the group I travelled with were polite but firm:

“Bureaucratic gravy train”; “Under the EU we only produce 10% of our food. Alone, we’ll produce 60-80%”; “We signed up for economic stuff, not this supranational guff”;“We decided, so you should support us.”

(2) Anglophones from the developed world thought the UK was mad:

“You’re turning selfish and racist”; “We trade with you in the EU and we’ll continue if you leave – but new agreements will take time and, having less clout, you’ll lose”; “You weaken those resisting authoritarian nationalists like Putin, Erdogan, Orban and Trump.”

(3) Citizens from other EU states were saddened and puzzled:

“We’ll miss you. For all your faults, for two centuries you have helped lead us through so much – through agricultural, industrial and even data revolutions; through wars and reconstructions; through continuing struggles for the values of peace, democracy, the rule of law, freedom of expression and a fair deal for ordinary people. Now, just as all this is threatened and we stumble, you leave us. Worse, you seem to be losing those values yourselves.”

• Send your letters for publication in The New European to letters@theneweuropean.co.uk

MORE: Subscribe to The New European and get it delivered to your door from just £1

MORE: Labour is failing and my party loyalty is being tested to the limit

MORE: John Redwood ducks out of radio debate with young activist Femi Oluwole

Become a Supporter

The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. We believe our voice is important - both in representing the pro-EU perspective and also to help rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.

You've seen the news, now discover the story

The New European is committed to providing in-depth analysis of the Brexit process, its implications and progress as well as celebrating European life.

Try 13 weeks for £13

Latest Articles

Most Read

latest issue


Here's our pick of the upcoming Remain-focused campaign activities, talks and events nationwide.

Newsletter Sign Up

The New European weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy