Here on the Young Money Blog, we’re NOT an echo chamber. We don’t necessarily want to perpetuate the views we think will gain popularity. We believe in the importance of disseminating all kinds of stories and perspectives, as long as they are intelligently argued. So today, we have recruited a young Brexiteer to give us their take on the big question facing our generation; should we leave the European Union?
This article was NOT written by Iona and these views do not necessarily coincide with hers. This person wishes to remain anonymous for fear of a backlash from their peer group and the slightly more extreme corners of social media. This is a genuine young person in their late twenties known personally to Iona and has an argument that we should hear out. This article is virtually unedited and what you will read is the writer’s honest and heartfelt belief. It’s up to you to decide what to make of it…
I am a millennial who voted for Brexit last June and sincerely hope that it will happen.
My reason? I want to see democracy in the UK preserved and enhanced. I believe our democracy is a precious gift which was very hard fought for by previous generations, most recently during the second world war when the Britain of my grandfather’s generation stood alone against fascism.
I have come (reluctantly) to believe that the European Union is inimical to the pursuance of democracy, both here and in Europe.
Since the beginning of the referendum campaign a year ago, there has been a quantum leap in the amount of information about the EU that has been available to an ordinary person like me. It seems to me that prior to David Cameron’s abortive ‘negotation’ early last year, the British media and political class’s attitude to the EU was ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ – in other words, we were in it and no point in rocking the boat.
The main thing that has become apparent to me since last June has been the political structure of Europe. At the top is the European Council, which is made up of unelected commissioners. These are normally superannuated politicians from their respective countries, though sometimes (like our own Baroness Ashton) they have never even been elected by anybody.
A prime example of this is Jean-Claude Juncker, and I seem to remember that prior to his appointment David Cameron for once stepped out of line and said publicly that he did not support it. Juncker was appointed nevertheless and guess what? The EU is threatened with falling apart on his watch.
Yes, we do vote for a European Parliament, where massed ranks of MEPs sit listening to translators. Media outlets are fond of berating the public for not knowing who their MEP is and never bothering to vote for them. But the British public is not stupid, as it instinctively knows that the parliament is just a talking-shop and a rubber-stamp for laws handed down by the council. It is not a parliament based on our model of democracy because it cannot initiate or introduce any laws.
More powerful than the MEPs are the thousands of lobbyists, paid for by large and often global corporations and organisations, who effectively initiate many of the laws handed down to us, which the parliament just rubber stamps.
Yet this is the system which is responsible for a huge proportion of the laws and regulations that affect all of us, without any right of refusal by our own parliament or accountability for those pulling the strings.
I also feel very disturbed that so-called technocrats have been parachuted in to both Greece, where they still are, and Italy, over the heads of any elected government. They effectively replace democracy with authoritarian rule. The Greek people voted in a referendum against austerity, but crippling austerity has been imposed upon them. I do wonder how Jeremy Corbyn with his anti-austerity, pro-working people, and internationalist manifesto, has not noticed this dimension to Europe – and indeed how he would feel if the EU technocrats were ever parachuted into Britain!
(I also cannot understand how the Europhiles have failed to notice the economic devastation that the euro has wreaked across southern Europe, with massive youth unemployment.)
Even Europhiles and technocrats admit that the EU works on a ratchet basis – integration can go forward but can never go back. As they say in Brussels, the answer to Europe’s problems is more Europe. This surely is essentially why the UK did vote as it did last June, because the public does not want more Europe.
As a young person, I believe that Europe is such a diverse continent that ‘one rule fits all’ simply does not work. I am not so naïve that I believe British democracy is perfect and there are a lot of things which are worrying. But I do note that Theresa May has had to call an election in order to put forward her own manifesto, because she was tied to carrying out the Cameron-Osborne manifesto and was seeking her own democratic mandate.
Whether you agree with her or not, this demonstrates how sensitive our system is to continuing democratic accountability. All parties, notably a weakened Opposition, knew they had to support the vote to dissolve parliament and call the election. This was surely emblematic of a healthy democracy, one which I would wish to pass on to my own children in the future.
And that’s why we need to come out of Europe, as painful or as divisive as that decision might be. In the end, we won’t regret it.
What do you think? Tweet @ionayoungmoney or leave a comment. We hope to hear from the young anonymous Brexiteer again soon…