I sent this letter to the local paper which was printed
just after Christmas. I’ve edited it
again for the blog. I’ve pulled together
all my reasons for voting Leave so apologies in advance to those points I’ve
already mentioned before and this will probably be my last word on the subject…
As a Brexiteer, I made my decision to vote Leave, on the
basis of careful consideration of what I believe to be, legitimate concerns
about the political direction of the EU.
As well as the lack of democratic accountability within the European
Commission, I believe the EU is working in the interests of the corporate elite
and not the people of Europe, consider also, if you will, the following;
The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership or
This trade agreement was drawn up between the EU and the
US and was, in effect, handing over the democratic institutions of the
countries of Europe to global corporations.
Part of the TTIP agreement was ISDS, which stands for Investor State Dispute
Settlement. This would have allowed
corporations to sue governments in secret courts, if they brought in
legislation that affected their business profits. The Philip Morris conglomerate did this in
Uruguay and Australia, over anti-smoking legislation. Ironically, we have Donald Trump to thank for
getting rid of it.
The introduction and subsequent collapse of the Euro has
wrecked the economies of Greece, Italy, France, Spain, Portugal and Ireland,
and has allowed the corporate elite through the EU, the IMF and the World Bank
to come in and asset strip the public sector and privatise public
utilities. The people of Ireland will
know this through the attempted imposition of water charges that they fought so
successfully against last year. The people of Greece too, know this as their
public utilities have been sold off and they have been saddled with debt, in
the form of loans from the IMF and World Bank, which their grandchildren will
be paying for.
When did the EU change from a ‘common market’ to a United
States of Europe with its own army? Why
does the EU need an army and more importantly, who will control it? Why are they continuing to expand eastwards and
why did they try and provoke a conflict with Russia over Ukraine, 2 years ago? If the governments of Europe are really
interested in peace then why do they not support Russian membership of NATO? In whose interest is it to continue to paint
Russia as an enemy of the West?
The EU and the Bilderburg Group
The Bilderburg Group are an elite group of 120 -150
bankers and corporate CEO’s who hold secret meetings every year to decide
political policy in the EU and the US. They were formed after the Second World
War and were instrumental in setting up the EU. These are the people who control the
government which is why for the last 37 years; policy has remained the same,
regardless of who was Prime Minister.
Costs and waste
The EU moves
every month from Brussels to Strasbourg and back again at a cost of
millions. It costs £250,000 just to move
the files. It also has its own shopping
centre and pays for private schools for the children of their staff. This is only a small sample of how it wastes
resources but if you research online you will find plenty more.
There is no free movement of goods and services. All the talk about hard borders and customs
is propaganda dressed up in media hype and fear-mongering. Anyone who trades within the EU will know
that customs papers still have, and always had to be filled out and anyone who
imports or exports within the EU will know about Intrastat reports where every
item has to be coded, accounted for and submitted to the tax authorities every
month. The customs have never gone away,
the only thing that happened is the actual barriers on the road were taken down
and if you still believe in free movement, ask anyone from Ireland if they can
buy a car anywhere in Europe and bring it back without having to pay import
The people of Ireland seem to have forgotten that they
rejected the Lisbon Treaty but were bullied into another referendum with the
threat that they will continue until the powers that be get the result they
wanted. Sinn Fein at the time, were also
opposed, a fact that seems to have been forgotten lately.
China is one of the biggest and fastest growing economies
in the world at present. China does not
have a trade agreement with the EU, yet most of what we buy seems to be made in
The narrative created and promoted by the
media that anyone who voted Leave is an ignorant racist and shouldn't be
allowed to breed, let alone vote, is to distract from genuine concerns in
relation to the lives of the working-classes and while I believe we in Ireland,
North and South, have benefitted from immigration, I do recognize the reality
of life in working-class areas of Britain where immigrants have been
placed disproportionally in working-class, as opposed to middle-class,
On top of this
demographic reality, jobs that used to be done by the working-classes have been
allowed by successive governments and the EU to walk offshore.
The work that used to be done in factories here and in Britain are
now in China, South Korea, India and a number of other 2nd and 3rd world,
exploitable economies. The jobs that are
left are insecure with no guarantee of hours or permanency, union rights or
The last 37
years have also seen the decimation of Britain’s coal, steel and car
manufacturing industry and a fisheries policy that has led to the seas around
Britain and Ireland being fished dry.
working-class people in Britain complain about immigration and job losses, this
is the reality of what has happened in working-class areas over many
years. This isn't necessarily racist although it suits many in the
national press to twist this into a narrative that appears racist and an
idea for others to exploit. That's not to say, there aren't some people
who are racist. Of course, there are, that's reality. However, to be anti-EU is not necessarily to
be anti-Europe or anti-European.
John Pilger, in his article ‘Why the British said no to
Europe’ called the Brexit vote, ‘an act of raw democracy’ where millions of
ordinary people refused to be bullied and intimidated by business leaders, bankers, media commentators and political
I would encourage everyone to read it.
Tony Benn in his book, Letters to my Grandchildren,
states that the ‘first basic right in a democracy must be the right of people
to elect those who make their laws and the right to remove them’ and rejected
the ‘European Empire’ and the unelected and unaccountable, bureaucratic elite
who run it.
In the midst of all the negative rhetoric and
fear-mongering that took place prior to the vote, we were bombarded with
propaganda, threats, and all manner of doomsday scenarios were trotted out by
economists. These were the same
economists who said that business in Britain would be destroyed by not joining
the Euro, and yet completely failed to warn us of the great economic crash that
came in 2008. A further blow to the
working classes, who have disproportionally paid for the recklessness of the
bankers who caused it, through the Conservative’s ‘austerity’ policies.
The DUP and Sinn Fein are, as usual, on opposite sides of
this debate but are both political cowards.
Sinn Fein fought against tugging the forelock to Britain but go down on
their knees to the EU with a begging bowl.
The DUP are like scared children, afraid to let go of Britannia’s apron
strings and running away from fighting their corner in a united Ireland that
makes practical and economic sense.
Have neither of them the imagination to envisage an
economic union first and foremost within the UK? Instead of worrying about a divorce bill from
the EU, it would suit Britain and Ireland better to redraw the terms and
conditions of the UK with 4 independent nations - Ireland, England, Scotland
and Wales - united and working together for the benefit of all the people here
and not just the elite.
One other point I didn’t mention but may have mentioned
elsewhere on the blog was that this was the first time in many, many years
that I had the chance to stick one to the governing elite and in spite of all
the rhetoric and arguments since, if I had to vote again tomorrow, I’d still