Letter: The three views on Brexit we encountered on holiday in Europe
PUBLISHED: 06:00 20 May 2018
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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.
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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.”
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Almost four years after its creation The New European goes from strength to strength across print and online, offering a pro-European perspective on Brexit and reporting on the political response to the coronavirus outbreak, climate change and international politics. But we can only rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press with your support. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.Become a supporter