I’m A Remain-Supporting Student, But Even I Know We Have To Leave the EU

There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that another vote would both prove equally divisive and deliver exactly the same result as its predecessor.

Politics has often seemed like a fairly abstract concept to me. A collection of intangible decisions that a future government will eventually alter or conditions that I will simply have to learn to live with.

Arguably it is a symptom of my student-minded-optimism, but I’ve always had an overwhelming feeling of ‘it will be alright eventually’ towards the future and this is the position I’ve always adopted towards Brexit.

That was true until this morning, when I received an EU election leaflet through my door. By virtue of living in the North West, I was greeted with an A5 portrait of the convicted fraudster and self-appointed bastion of ‘British values’ Tommy Robinson (Stephen Yaxley-Lennon) standing as an independent MEP.

The implications of which are both far-reaching and profoundly disturbing. In fact, it is something that has compelled me to change my entire view on Brexit.

The realisation that a founder and former leader of the English Defence League, a known far-right Islamophobic group, is now able to appear in glossy leaflets preaching from the gospel of Brexit betrayal is the clearest sign yet that we’ve come too far.

The writing has been on the walls for months, but remain-orientated voters, myself included, have been blindly walking ourselves into political oblivion.

The massive surge in popularity for Nigel Farage’s Brexit party, Ukip’s utilisation of popular right-wing internet commentators, and even the insatiable hunger from backbench Conservative MPs for a no-deal Brexit are all signs that the horse has now bolted.

The Brexit genie has been well and truly released from the bottle and unless we act to take control of the situation, it will take us all down with it.

In attempting to subvert the result of the referendum, we are inadvertently giving power and influence to the Farages and Robinsons of right-wing British politics. We are, in effect, playing directly into their hands and allowing them total control over the narrative that the ‘liberal elite’ are somehow betraying the average voter.

Of course, there is no simple way out of this situation. Many will tout a second referendum as the Holy Grail to unlocking the secrets of a universal Brexit solution. However, the main caveat to this solution is its most glaring issue – an option to remain in the EU.

Put simply, we cannot under any circumstances allow this to happen. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that another vote would both prove equally divisive and deliver exactly the same result as its predecessor.

Single-issue political parties are always at their most effective when they’re motivated and the ammunition that another poll would give them is immeasurable.

However, alternatively, a single-issue party is totally ineffective when the issue no longer exits. The only solution therefore is to follow Vote Leave’s own advice and “take back control” of the Brexit process.

As maligned as Theresa May’s dreaded “Brexit means Brexit” mantra is, it highlights the meaningless beauty of the entire process – nobody even knows what Brexit means. That is for us to define.

Even having an equally close relationship with the EU post-Brexit, but still leaving, is preferable to the turmoil that the current situation is creating.

That is not to say that we should accept a bad deal, or worse no deal, but as remain supporters we need to come to terms with the inevitability of the Brexit process and create an agreeable option for our departure.

Leaving the EU now is by far the most important political decision of this generation. It requires a great deal of strength to stick your head above the parapet and argue for a self-defeating option.

However, history will eventually judge us for our actions at this critical time and if the choice is between leaving on our terms or our entire political system descending into a toxic far-right cesspit, I know where I stand.


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