We will not be bullied into submission over Brexit

PUBLISHED: 22:00 27 May 2018

Young women campaigning against Brexit. Photograph: Ik Aldama/PA.

Young women campaigning against Brexit. Photograph: Ik Aldama/PA.

DPA/PA Images

Brexit isn’t achieveable and it isn’t going to happen. Professor Juliet Lodge explains why she’s fighting against Britain leaving the EU.

Young women campaigning against Brexit. Photograph: Ik Aldama/PA/DPA.Young women campaigning against Brexit. Photograph: Ik Aldama/PA/DPA.

Let’s get one thing straight. This self indulgent pratting about over Brexit will be stopped. But not by MPs kowtowing to party whips in rapture to the latest autocratic executive power grab. And not because media silence blanks out the protests of citizens, but by women kicking off.

Let’s face it. Brexit is essentially sexist. Those spitting out their dummies need a good slap as my gran would have said, and she would have been only pleased administer. She’d have probably denied them sweets, treats and pocket money until they came to their senses too. Her view would be behave like brats, and get treated accordingly. Not that I endorse the practice, but the sentiment is spot on.

Pro-EU protesters take part in a March for Europe rally against Brexit in central London. Photograph: Victoria Jones/PA.Pro-EU protesters take part in a March for Europe rally against Brexit in central London. Photograph: Victoria Jones/PA.

Make no mistake about it. Women will defeat Brexit. Just as women across the world in divided societies have ultimately triumphed. Albeit, usually far too quietly. They have done so by plugging away at keeping family bonds alive. Just look at Ireland, and look at Berlin.

When, as a child of seven, East German guards tried to drag me from my grandmother off a train from West Berlin because my transit visa to Blighty wasn’t stamped in the right place according to their latest decrees, it was the women passengers on adjacent trains and platforms who created a fuss, hauled in the Russian ‘boss’ and set him to rights.

Pro-EU protesters take part in a March for Europe rally against Brexit in Manchester. Photograph: Peter Byrne/PA.Pro-EU protesters take part in a March for Europe rally against Brexit in Manchester. Photograph: Peter Byrne/PA.

The train might have been delayed and we arrived a day late in Victoria - but we got there.

It is the same with Brexit. These crass moronic soundbites about a Customs Union are meaningless and merely delay the invitable... Brexit isn’t going to happen.

Brexit isn’t achievable. That’s the whole beauty of European integration. It ties countries’ economies together making people experience the benefits of cooperation regardless of what colour governments come and go. Integration in effect makes unbreakable ties. Just like in families.

Yes, we all have rows and spats and jealous standoffs. Sometimes stupidly for decades. But the bonds that tie are deep. EU citizenship may be relatively young but do those vapid MPs in Westminster really think people are going to let them snatch away something as precious as EU membership and the Charter of Fundamental Rights just so they can pretend their party is united?

And as for women supporting such nonsense, my gran would have told them to get their pinnies on and stop being so silly. It sounds sexist by today’s standards but she was someone who knew the value of striving for what you believe in. She broached no sexist nonsense. Her girls were as good as if not better than their brothers at just about everything that came their way. She could detect bullsh*t a mile off. She fought sexism and she detested laziness.

And laziness is at the heart of Brexit. Lazy ignorance on the part of conceited MPs who do not know the first thing about the EU. Who are too idle to learn and too self obsessed to think. It’s not that they daren’t think but that they can’t be bothered to. Far more convenient to follow the whips. Or sulk, stamp their feet and smash what they can to teach us a lesson for standing in their way. When was that ever acceptable behaviour? When was it ever acceptable to deny new voters, 16 and 17 year olds, rights and opportunities (as given to all of us EU citizens in the EU) that we have all enjoyed and taken for granted? Does anyone in their right mind think that these young people will put up with that when they get power themselves?

Brexit is decadent, immoral, unethical and implausible.

Here’s to those who know they have a brain and are using it. To those who are prepared to say yes, I’ve had a think and brexit is wrong on all counts.

And yes, 80% of women and 75% of younger people that voted opposed Brexit with determination. And as women are so accustomed to saying sorry, let me say it - sorry but you are not getting away with Brexit. We are staying in the EU where we belong. And we will do our darndest to build a better future for all of us.

We give Northern Ireland approximately the same amount of money as we transfer to the EU. That helps fund progress in both. What kind of person would want to stop that? Why would anyone prevent future generations having the freedoms and rights we all enjoy thanks to our grandparents? What decent person would ever want children on the border ever again to suffer division?

Why permit such obscenity. We all have rights thanks to the EU. We all benefit from the peace painstakingly secured through the Good Friday Agreement. It is time to call out the sanctimonious cruelty of Brexit for what it is. It’s not just about trade, that’s a distraction. It’s a curse on peace and freedom for all.

Why should anyone allow this country to be bullied into submission?

• Professor Juliet Lodge is a member of Women4Europe

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