Why leavers and remainers should continue to express their differences “post-Brexit-Day”

Maud Webster argues that, even in 'post-Brexit Britain', it may not be time for remainers and brexiteers to put their differences aside.

Maud Webster
12th February 2020
It was meant to be the 29th March 2019. Then the 31st October 2019. Now, the 31st January 2020 has been and gone and here we are - two general elections and two delayed exits later - finally heading towards a post-Brexit Britain.

You might be a remainer, or a leaver, or neither, or have flirted with both sides of the debate over the past few years. Some may argue we should put our differences aside, and work together to create a more “prosperous” Britain. However, whilst we are now legally on our transition out of the EU, I think it’s not yet time to put aside our differences and accept this 'noble', 'new' Britain and drag another contentious issue out of the political scrapyard.

Leavers argue that our move out of the EU will help regain control over immigration, will remove the EU interference in UK law-making, and will stop the UK sending over far too much precious money to Brussels. (An ironic belief considering the estimated £200,000,000,000 lost in economic growth thanks to Brexit, which happens to be almost as much as we’ve paid to the EU budget since our membership in 1973. But I guess that’s besides the point now.)

Remainers argue that stepping away from the EU will leave us struggling economically and would undermine workers’ rights and environmental protections. Many also wanted to retain their feelings of strong attachment to the EU.

These seem like pretty massive differences to just put aside for the ‘sake of unity’, to me.

It appears Brexit is now properly in action, and there’s little to be done to reverse that. 

Some remain-aligned journalists, politicians, and members of the public are contending that surely we just should hope and pray that Brexit proves successful, for the sake of the country.

Other remainers, angrily posting “we’re moving to FRANCE, f**k brexit !!!!!!!” on Facebook back in 2016, are simply trying to jump ship and move to the continent. It’s unclear though how many have followed through with this plan.

It might depend on if you’re an optimist or pessimist, and how hardcore a remainer or leaver you are. But I think putting aside our differences will mean losing some of the EU values - values of human rights, acceptance, democracy and equality - which many remainers are so keen to cherish; values which are so vital in a secure and fruitful society. 

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AUTHOR: Maud Webster
(She / Her) Second-year Architecture & Planning student at Newcastle University, and arts sub-editor for the 20/21 academic year.

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