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Has anyone else switched sides (on the referendum) recently?

(21 Posts)
juneau Fri 17-Jun-16 11:38:44

I've been rabidly 'leave' all along. Since David Cameron announced that should the Conservatives win the 2015 election there would be a referendum on EU membership I was a solid 'leave'. I couldn't wait to put my X in the box marked 'Leave the EU'.

But in the past two weeks I've done a lot of reading and talking with friends and watching of debates and other programmes on TV and, to my absolute amazement, I've decided that I'm going to vote 'Remain'. I never thought I would. All along I just wanted to be convinced that 'Leave' was the right decision. I wasn't looking to have my mind changed at all. I just wanted confirmation that I was thinking along the right lines.

The two things that really changed my mind were the economy (the Leave side have totally failed to convince me that Britain will be better off after Brexit and I've seen the figures - Britain has thrived economically in the EU), and immigration. I really thought that miss migration was a bad thing for Britain - certainly bad for social cohesion and probably neutral financially. But my research has convinced me otherwise. Migration has had a net positive effect. I'm not talking about individual streets or small communities, individual school zones or housing authorities who may well beg to differ, but overall migration has boosted our economy and most migrants have settled in well and are net contributors to this country.

So has anyone else had a change of heart - or been convinced by one side or the other? Recent estimates put the 'undecideds' on 8%, so have you come off the fence?

TooMuchMNTime Fri 17-Jun-16 13:00:12

Sorry I can't help on the mind changing thing

But I'm interested to hear that the economy made you change your mind
I've always accepted that about the economy but my concern is that politicians seem to equate economic growth with well being.

I don't think we are geographically large enough to sustain the kind of business I think politicians want. I realise that politicians may not change those ideas outside of the EU but I certainly think there's more pressure while in the EU.

Also I'm not hugely convinced by the effect on ordinary people. I probably feel poorer than ten years ago. I also worry about the price of goods and services going down and as long as big business has access to so many people I think the race to the bottom will continue.

howtorebuild Fri 17-Jun-16 13:05:45

The economy is going to be damaged if we leave or stay. Long term I think leave will be the better option.

I thought there was to be no campaigning today.

unexpsoc Fri 17-Jun-16 13:21:11

howtorebuild - the official campaigns have suspended their campaigns. But people are still allowed to discuss topics of interest when and where they want, including on the referendum. We don't live in some totalitarian state where we are beholden to limits on personal free speech.

juneau Fri 17-Jun-16 13:21:21

Er, I'm not campaigning! I'm just a MN-er musing, that's all.

TooMuchMNTime Fri 17-Jun-16 13:23:25

How, yes, there is no campaigning today. There's no date for it to resume.
I hope they recall Parliament for tributes.

juneau Fri 17-Jun-16 13:27:24

I am completely respectful of the tribute to Jo Cox and I'm horrified by what happened to her yesterday.

I am not campaigning though - I'm just talking about the most important political choice this country has in a generation and which is happening next Thurs. AFAIK talking about current affairs has not been suspended.

UnGoogleable Fri 17-Jun-16 13:34:50

Your post is very interesting OP, and I'm heartened to hear that someone so set on their position was open to changing their mind (in whichever direction). Well done for admitting it.

I think the main issue for me with the economic argument for Brexit is that the campaign has so utterly failed to come up with a comprehensive plan. It's all bluster and spin. I think if they had really done their sums, and been upfront and honest about what realistically could be achieved, they may have won a few more votes.

And the other thing that sets off alarm bells for Brexit is the prospect of Boris and Gove being in charge of the government should we leave. I think that influences the campaign way more than it should - the referendum should be about the EU, but it has become equally about who should lead the country following either eventuality.

Y0uCann0tBeSer10us Fri 17-Jun-16 14:10:26

I started off on the remain side kind of by default. I work in a research intensive university and it's pretty much a given in the collective consciousness that it would 'be a disaster' if we left the EU (in the words of a colleague). But with such a big decision I did my homework, read everything I could and have watched all the debates, and have decided that actually the UK is better off out of the EU.

I don't believe the 'garden of roses' vision put forward by the Leave campaign and I do think that there will be some short term economic pain while everything adjusts, but I also think that the EU is a declining market (with a looming Eurozone crisis) that prevents us from doing more trade with the rest of the world, and that over time we'd be able to rebuild into a stronger economy. The increasingly farcical doomsday predictions from the Remain side, along with the rather disingenuous assertions that we know where we are with the EU (actually there is no status quo here) haven't done anything to change that view.

More importantly I actually really don't like how the EU is structured and what it stands for. It seems to me that it is increasingly right wing, and I was actually shocked to discover that our MEPs have no rights to propose legislation and can in fact do little more than rubber stamp what comes down from unelected commissioners. While there has been some good legislation I think some give the EU far too much credit (such as for worker's rights, which are far higher in the UK and predate those of the EU), and I'm very uncomfortable with the fact that European courts can over-rule our democratically elected parliament.

This, along with the fact that no-one seems to be able to find anything good to say about EU membership that is deserved (so I'm not talking about worker's rights etc), and even the Remain camp seem to be so reluctantly, has convinced me we're better off out.

shinytorch2 Fri 17-Jun-16 15:42:40

My DSis has decided to switch to out after researching issues over sovereignty and also talking to local people where she lives where businesses have been located abroad (eg. Slovakia) with EU loans.

ThroughThickAndThin01 Fri 17-Jun-16 15:45:59

Ds2 aged just 18 has gone from in to out.

TooMuchMNTime Fri 17-Jun-16 15:50:45

You, that's interesting as I think unis have been quite vocal for IN but then so have a range of organisations.

Through, do you know reasons why the change?

juneau Fri 17-Jun-16 16:04:34

It is interesting that you has changed from in to out, as I too thought that everyone in education/research was pro-EU. I've found it a very hard decision to make from an informed POV. There are compelling arguments on both sides, that's for sure.

Whisky2014 Fri 17-Jun-16 16:11:44

Yes. I was leave but am now remain. This is due to researching what the EU has done for Scotland and the list is long! If it was done to Westminster dishing out the Moola I doubt even half of what's on the list would have gone ahead.

ThroughThickAndThin01 Fri 17-Jun-16 16:14:14

Too not too sure. Possibly becsuse we know a lot of outs and not many ins so could be the influence of the people surrounding him (not in a pressuring him type of way but just the positive chat supporting leave). Although his best friend has her birthday on 24th June and gutted she can't vote remain, so she might put pressure on him!

I dont care what way he votes but have encouraged him to actually. vote when he was all 'can't be bothered' .

Anna2000 Fri 17-Jun-16 16:53:27

Apologies for adding a comment (I haven't switched sides) but I saw a post above that MEPs only rubber-stamp European legislation.

I have been involved in EU negotiations and can confirm that MEPs do have a lot of influence. They can, and they always do, change the legislative text and without their approval, no Directive or Regulation will be passed.

This is why the European Parliament is known one as one half of the 'co-legislator'.

The other half of the co-legislator is the Council. This is where Member States negotiate the text of a new Directive or Regulation.

Quite often, the views of the Parliament and the Council will differ; but no legal text will pass unless they both agree.

The Commission's role is to propose a new Directive or Regulation. The Commission is perhaps best thought of as civil servants under the political guidance of Commissioners, who are put forward by elected national governments - for example Lord Hill in the UK's case. Before Commissioners can take up their role, they have to be confirmed by the Parliament, who has the power to reject candidates - and does reject candidates: see, for example, .

But EU law is made by the Council and the European Parliament alone.

I hope this helps.

fourmummy Fri 17-Jun-16 17:59:41

My trajectory has been similar to You's, from the same starting point. I've been horrified by some of my reading and research. DH and I were just discussing tonight that this referendum has exposed so many issues that we don't think that anyone will ever be the same again in how they think about political processes. Good!

Y0uCann0tBeSer10us Fri 17-Jun-16 19:34:48

That's an interesting perspective Anna. Would it be true to say that only Commissioners, who aren't directly elected by the people of a country, can propose legislation, and that they don't need a mandate (such as an election manifesto) to do so? And that the parliament can then only amend and vote on said legislation in a similar way our House of Lords does in the UK? This is the impression I have of the system.

MissBeaHaving Fri 17-Jun-16 20:36:55

I have changed my mind, I was remain but now I'm leaning towards leave.
One of the many reasons but one that I'd like to mention is what I have learnt about the UK fishing industry & how it's been damaged since we joined the EU.
Ive read many other instances like this,it scares me that we will have no rights over our country & its trade in the future but we will be powerless to stop it if we stay.

EnthusiasmDisturbed Sat 18-Jun-16 00:07:46

Very much along the lines of what You has said

How could I a member of the Labour Party even consider being on the same side as UKIP

But there you go I am but the concerns are very different and sadly and annoyingly some can't see that.

I think as I have known no different as soon as was aware of politics I was aware that we were part of the EU. I grew up under thatcher so a much more political time (my family very political) but i haven't really questioned it we just were in that's the way it was

And now I have because there is chance for change and I have read up on lots of arguments, tried to get my head around how the EU works (that fact is so confusing brings up questions) I ask myself why was a pro remain when I knew fuck all about it

Anna2000 Sat 18-Jun-16 01:04:37

Y0uCann0tBeSer10us, in response to your question, the European Parliament can ask the Commission to make a legislative proposals, but I believe it cannot introduce them itself.

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