I was just on twitter and saw a tweet by a self-confessed “Hard Brexiteer” stating that the deal for Brexit was Europe’s problem not ours and it suddenly dawned on me that many of these people are completely unaware how small the UK is.
I have to admit that the first time I saw a globe and saw how small the UK is I was shocked. I seem to remember the weather maps on the TV when I was little illustrating Europe as some small place off the coast of Kent – but that may have been just my childish perception.
What is a definite memory is growing up with the knowledge that we had recently saved Europe from Germany (which at my young age led me to believe that Germany and Britain were similar in size with a strip of much smaller countries physically dividing us); and also being the head state of the Commonwealth, the former Empire – which again gave me a false sense of our size.
We have continued to be a major player on the world stage throughout my life but mostly because of our inclusion in NATO and EU (and our position in NATO could be weakened if we leave EU). Once we are out we will have far less influence than we do now.
These people genuinely believe that those German car manufacturers are going to insist that there is a deal on the table for the UK because of how much business they will lose. The Prosecco producers, the cheese makers, the tourist trade, none of these are quite as dependent on us as we’d like to think they are, none of them will spend much time or energy insisting that we are given whatever we want to keep our trade. And as exporters, we need them more than May, Johnson and Fox are prepared to admit and the Brexit voters are prepared to consider.
To be honest I didn’t vote to remain because I was concerned about financial prosperity, my reasons were more about “the sum of the whole”; and because I wanted to protect the way of life we have with all its diversity and choice than revert to a way of life that has been romanticised in the minds of little Englanders encouraged by people whose finances WILL improve, and egged on by people who don’t like people from the next town let alone other countries.
The tools they used were by playing on the racism of some of the Leave voters with that awful poster of queuing refugees, but also playing up to national pride and our sense of our own importance.
Why shouldn’t we have Freedom of Movement, to me that is MORE important than the access to the Single Market that some people think we can have without FoM, why can’t we stay vibrant and diverse? Because people who are going to find out – too late – that we aren’t so important have either decreed it or at least enabled it because of exactly the attitude of the aforementioned tweeter.
I’m still upset, I don’t want to go, but if we DO have to go I don’t believe it is the EU’s problem to make the deal.