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Why I Voted to Leave the EU

(395 Posts)
Asprilla11 Sun 26-Jun-16 19:19:16

So I recently started a thread about the misconceptions many remain voters may have about why people voted leave. I argued that there were many reasons other than immigration and that the majority voted fully understanding what the outcome would mean.

On that thread and many more on MN the remain voters keep asking us WHY we voted and are annoyed when we don't answer in full, they forget that since the result SOME have acted in an aggressive and belittling manner towards us, so why would we feel engaged to reply? Many leave voters have had to spend time defending themselves because we have all been branded thick and racist. We are more than aware some racist people voted to leave in order to pursue their disgusting agenda, most leave voters don't want to be associated with those people and we condemn their stance.

I am willing to say my reasons why I voted leave, even if it means I am attacked for doing so.

EU Commissioners

They are not democratically elected (by EU Citizens) and the President has the final say on any candidate that a member state has put forward. Technically they are accountable to the European Parliament by the fact that the Parliament is able to force the entire Commission to resign through a vote of no confidence. However the Parliament has never done this, but have threatened to do it once. It also needs 2/3 of the Parliament to vote and agree on the reason for the no confidence vote. We can elect MEP's but they have little power over the commissioners.

The commissioners are paid nearly £200,000 per year (some more) and also get generous allowances, benefits and a very good pension. I do not believe the current commission deserve that level of pay, they simply have not earned it, I believe they put their own self interests above EU citizens and I believe they are morally and financially corrupt. If they were worth the salary then the amount would be fine, I just don't think they currently are.

EU Economy

There is very little growth and it is only going to get worse if the Eurozone fully collapses which I feel is a real possibility. Struggling EU nations such as Greece, Spain, Portugal and Italy are in massive debt, suffering with austerity and massive youth unemployment. I don't believe many of the of the other EU nations care about this, as long as the wealth benefits their country then they will pay lip service to those who are less fortunate. I also believe a lot of the benefits of the EU economy and the trade it brings also benefits the wealthier members of society more than the poor, in all of the EU member states.

If the EU had showed they would reform and a new fairer commission was set up which looked at making deals fairer for all EU member states and also looked at immigration in depth (not necessarily changing it) then I would have voted remain without a second thought. However the commission proved what an arrogant bunch they are even before Cameron went to get his 'deal', they won't reform, they don't want to and they don't care who knows it.

UK Economy

The UK will be 6-8 billion pounds better off after no longer paying the EU membership fee, even after the grants we used to receive are taken in to account. However there were several studies that pointed out that the loss in trade will far outweigh the savings from leaving the EU and we will actually be worse off financially. I didn't doubt some of the facts in those studies and I could see how they came to their conclusions, however even those studies have to admit they can't say for certain because nobody knows how quickly we will get new trade agreements with EU member states and how favorably they will be. Additionally although EU membership did not prevent trade deals with the commonwealth and other countries, it did reduce the need and the imagination to. It is only when those deals are in place can you truly say leaving the EU has left us worse or better off. In the short-term we will be worse off, I knew that risk prior to voting.

As a Labour supporter and also someone who is very distrusting of the current Tory Government I can hand on heart easily say that not a single thing Farage, Gove, Johnson and Duncan Smith said I believed at face value. In fact I consider Gove as one of the worst Education ministers ever and IDS I hold responsible for the suicide of some disabled benefit claimants, such an odious man. So believe me the leave MP's definitely didn't impress or influence me!

I did my own research which I always do whenever the Government (any party) state things as 'facts'. I knew the £350 million claim would be wrong (which remain supporters kept shouting was lies) however I also knew the Governments claim that every household in the UK would be £4300 worse off was also wrong, but do you get the leave voters shouting lies? Both sides lied, that is a fact!

Since the crash in 2008 many, many people in the UK (not just the British) have not seen any improvement in their wages or living standards. They have borne the brunt of austerity more than the people who could afford to. The 5th biggest economy in the world and an economy that has recovered and grown still has not brought any benefits to the poor and working class. They didn't consider how leaving the EU would affect their ISA's, Savings, Stocks and Shares because they don't have any! They didn't think about if their child could go to Uni because they would never have been able to afford that anyway. The poor and working class in the UK and the EU don't care if they are a bit worse off for a few more years, they are sick of the wealth that is generated only benefiting the wealthy, this was their chance to be heard.


I wasn't going to mention this as it did not play much of a part (if any) in my decision and I also feel like as a leave supporter I have to keep defending myself whenever the word immigration is mentioned, simply because the remain voters keep saying we are all racist.

But here goes.

I worked in the Civil Service from the age of 19 for 15 years. I worked with people of all ages, all religions, all nationalities, LGBT and disabled people too. I matured as an adult in this environment and it undoubtedly made my life richer. I was also a Union Rep and defended colleagues in disciplinary, poor performance/attendance, diversity and disabilities (covered by the Equality Act 2010) meetings and hearings , both british and non-british. Since I left I have kept in touch with former colleagues who are now lifelong friends, some are British, some aren't, it wasn't a factor in whether we became friends or not.

I only mention all of that simply because a lot of remain voters think we have no positive outlook on immigrants and we don't mix in a multi-cultural society. They also think we don't understand the positive impact on the economy migrants (EU and non-EU) have. But actually most leave voters do, immigrants pay far more in to the system than they take out in benefits, that's a long standing, well known fact. There are far more british people who falsely claim benefits compared to immigrants.

Unfortunately I will admit there are parts of society, some of which voted leave who don't understand these truths. Some through lack of education, some through lack of life experience with people of diverse backgrounds and some sadly who are racist. These are the people who already felt poor, cut-off and unheard. UKIP and other politicians preyed on those peoples fears and told them they could help fix their problems.

That is not however the majority of leave supporters, I truly believe that. Most leave supporters have had experiences like mine and we all have experienced nothing but positive things from working and living with immigrants, EU and non-EU.

If the EU could have done one thing with immigration then I wish it gave all EU member states the ability to put a temporary block or cap on EU migration. I say this for the simple fact that the UK and other countries don't have the housing, schools and hospitals to cope with the current UK (not british) population growth, we simply aren't building enough of anything. When you add over 300,000 immigrants to that population growth you start to see the strain it creates.

I think the UK can cope with immigration well above 200,000, when it has the infrastructure in place, until then a temporary reduction or block until the work is done would be a useful tool to have. Alternatively you could look at using builders from the EU countries who could then come and work on those very buildings that are needed.

Finally on immigration, I think Governments in all EU countries need to act more responsibly on where and how immigrants are placed in to communities. Dumping some of the poorest immigrants in the poorest parts of the UK next to communities who are experiencing crime, unemployment and disillusionment with life in general and their prospects, is a disaster waiting to happen, especially when some of those people are known racists.

UK employers, EU employers and landlords in and out of the EU also need to be challenged more on their blatant exploitation of immigrants.

Ok flame away!

donajimena Sun 26-Jun-16 19:24:41

I'm not going to flame you. I still wish we had remained but that is the most well written post about reasons I voted leave I have seen.
I hope you are right and I am wrong because its done now.

LittlePeterRabbitAndHisFly Sun 26-Jun-16 19:30:11

I also hope you are right and I am wrong.

I've never flamed one person for reasoned out arguments, but immigration to me was never a good enough reason as I predicted it wouldn't be changed anyway, as they're now saying it isn't.

However the rest of your arguments are sound and all things I considered, as well as other things.

But I still came to the conclusion we would be better off remaining. Although it upsets me when people say they didn't understand what the outcome would be, as they voted in a way that would directly affect me and my family without thinking, I'm happy when someone states real reasons for their votes.

Even if it isn't what I want.

Asprilla11 Sun 26-Jun-16 19:30:47

donajimena Thank you. I don't think either side will end up 100% right I think there will always be the chance the other way would have been better, but if this way works out for as much of society as possible then that would be enough for me.

tabulahrasa Sun 26-Jun-16 19:31:27

But how did voting leave resolve any of those other than the EU commissioners?

As there are no plans in place for now and for negotiating the exit, we have literally no idea what will happen about any of the other things.

LineyReborn Sun 26-Jun-16 19:33:51

Exactly. Where's the plan?

I voted Remain at least in part because there's No Bloody Plan. And that's foolish, dangerous and insulting for our young people.

Asprilla11 Sun 26-Jun-16 19:34:00

LittlePeterRabbitAndHisFly Thanks. I really hope both sides can but their differences to one side and really focus on moving forward, however I fear the anger and disappointment may take quite a while to subside.

hownottofuckup Sun 26-Jun-16 19:34:34

I won't flame you, I've been asking for someone to do exactly as you have done (as have others) so thank you.
I think seeing well reasoned points for voting Leave will help heal the rift, even if Remain voters don't necessarily agree it certainly goes some way (for me anyway) to making our current position seem less scary.
So once again, thank you for having the balls to post brew

LineyReborn Sun 26-Jun-16 19:35:50

I don't know about subsiding. I'd like to see some planning. And some leaders doing that.

TheBigBellOfBow Sun 26-Jun-16 19:36:21

Here's mine. I posted it on MN before the vote, and have copied and pasted it here:

These are my personal reasons, in defense of what I believe and my right to make my choice. I thought I would share on Mumsnet in case it helps anyone else.

My right to choose who to vote for

I am devastated by the death of Jo Cox. She sounds like she was the gold standard of politician and someone I would have voted for and supported passionately if I was in her constituency. Her murder was a terrible crime but it should not stop people exercising their right to vote for what they choose and believe in. I believe in my right to democracy (I am sure Jo Cox did too) and I will not be stopped from voting for something I believe in because a man with a gun did something terrible. I will NOT let her murderer decide the future of the country.

Sovereignty and Democracy

This is my major problem with the EU and my number one reason for wanting to leave. I believe in our democracy – the one we have had for hundreds of years – where each of us has one vote for our local member of parliament who represents us there. If we don’t like what they do, then we can vote for someone else at the next election. Parliament makes our laws. It is simple, but effective. The European Union system is firstly too complicated; there are too many parts and too many people being appointed to make decisions, and too few opportunities to object or to change things. I feel no connection to this organisation – firstly because my MEP represents so many thousands of peoples I have virtually no say and secondly because I don’t feel my MEP has much of a say either. The more people you are trying to represent and the less say you have, then the less each person is represented. Whilst in this country, we have political parties, the EU has groups which can include a large range of opinions so you never really know who you are voting for.

The countries of mainland Europe have a completely different culture to us. Norman Tebbit explains the EU like this:
“They [The EU] all took the view the law defined what they were permitted to do. What was not permitted, they regarded as forbidden. For them freedom of speech was granted by law, but limited to what had been granted.
To us here in Britain all speech is free – unless there is a law to limit it. Alarmingly, our legislation in recent years has been implementing that European, Napoleonic view of society.
Bit by bit I came to see that our structure of government, largely built on the limitations placed on the Monarch by Magna Carta, was simply not understood by our fellow Europeans from the mainland, nor was it compatible with the continental approach. We are free to do as we will – provided only that there is no law to prohibit it.”
So there are fundamental differences between us- we are free to do anything unless there is a law to prevent it, in Europe you cannot do anything unless there is a law allowing you to do it.

I believe that this country can stand by itself. I believe in our democracy and our people. The UK doesn’t need to be one of the most powerful countries in the world. I don’t care if we have a say at the big table or not. I care about the people of this country and our rights as the people of this country to choose our own laws and decide our own fate. I believe in our ability to govern ourselves and I do not believe that leaving the EU means we will no longer have any rights as workers or women. We can still make sure products are safe and the welfare conditions of our animals will continue at their same high standard. If the government tries to change any of that, we get to vote for them every five years.


The more locally I/ we can trade the better in my opinion. I believe in local business and as such I’d rather trade with, and would rather businesses in this country trade with, local businesses or at least ones in Britain. All the arguments for buying locally can be extended to buying within the UK.
I am in support of local trade because I want the local economy to be sustainable and I want to support local jobs and businesses. By buying locally, the money I spend is more likely to stay in the local economy and support the local area creating jobs and communities around them. Buying locally is better for the environment as the products have had to travel less distances to get to me. Smaller, more distinctive businesses are more likely to be local – I would rather have uniqueness than buy a generic product that I could have bought anywhere and the local businesses have knowledge of the local area and can produce products and services that are locally relevant.
Yes, I understand that buying locally can cost more. However, I think the extra money is worth it. I believe people and communities are more important than companies being able to make as much money as possible. I do not believe that a race to the bottom on prices is the way that we should want the world to go either.


I think that companies should try and source their workforce from the local community if possible. If they cannot do this, then why should their labour force be limited to people from the EU. What if there is someone from India or Mexico who is more qualified for the job than someone from Germany – wouldn’t it be better to employ them? At the moment, because there are such large numbers coming to the UK from the EU (or more accurately, because there is a perception that there are large numbers coming from the EU) the Government is trying to limit immigration and the only way they can do this is by stopping people from coming to work here from the rest of the world. I think this is wrong. I also wonder if it is damaging.
Worst of all, because there are such large numbers coming to the UK from the EU (or more accurately, because there is a perception that there are large numbers coming from the EU), I think this is making the country less likely to accept refugees who really need somewhere to go and who I wish we could help. They are the ones who need to be here.


Should we vote to leave the EU, we won’t suddenly stop sharing information with other countries or them with us. We will still tell France if we hear about a terrorist plot in their countries and I am sure that they would do the same for us. Also, terrorists don’t care if we are in the EU or not.

Racism and Personalities

Wanting to leave the UK does not make me a racist, despite what Facebook post and media stories tell you about everyone voting leave. Voting to leave does not mean I support Nigel Farage (I hate and despise him and his racist posters) or Michael Gove (who I also hate for reasons not connected to this debate). I do not want Boris Johnson or David Cameron to be the Prime Minister and that is not what I am voting for (or against) – this vote is purely a vote on whether or not we should leave or remain in the EU. I am not deciding my vote based on what anyone else thinks – not friends, families, those in the media or those with vested interests – although I have listened to everyone’s views. I have read everything I can from both sides of the argument and made up my mind on what is important to me.


The European Union has a stated aim of “Ever Closer Union”. I think they recently voted for all people in Europe to have a European Tax Identification Number, and I believe this is so tax can be unified across Europe. Germany has also just put forward a white paper calling for a European Army. We came very, very close to joining the Euro fairly recently and, although it is off the cards for now, I am not convinced it is forever, after all as they said before being able to trade using a single currency would help our ‘economy’. The EU is forever changing because it is integrating all the countries. It may sound like scaremongering and I might be worried unnecessarily, but I do not want to be a part of the United States of Europe. I do not trust any government to give us another referendum on the hazy term of “major transfer of power” – there is nothing to stop a major change to happen through the back door by lots and lots of minor changes which we don’t get to vote upon. And, even if we got another referendum, the further integrated we become the harder and more damaging it will be to leave.

On Thursday, I will vote to leave.

ExcuseMyEyebrows Sun 26-Jun-16 19:37:50

Absolutely no flaming from me either.
Very eloquently put OP, thank you.

Asprilla11 Sun 26-Jun-16 19:38:02

LineyReborn & tabulahrasa

There is no plan because it's never happened before. Should the Government have had some plans in place and talks behind the scenes, damn right they should! Unfortunately the Government didn't think Leave would win so didn't plan.

Leave voters can't be expected to have a plan, that's the Government's job.

Asprilla11 Sun 26-Jun-16 19:42:55

hownottofucku Thank you. Please don't think leave voters don't respect the remain voters decision because we do, we are also aware there were leave voters who who voted for vile reasons but I honestly believe they were not the majority.

tabulahrasa Sun 26-Jun-16 19:43:43

"Leave voters can't be expected to have a plan, that's the Government's job."

No, it's the job of the people campaigning to leave to make it clear what they are campaigning for and the job of voters to know what they're voting for.

Whether the country is going to try and negotiate a trade deal with free migration and adherence to EU laws while paying more than we were as a member or whether we're going to remove ourselves from the single market should have been absolutely fundamental information.

Because all the things leave voters say they were voting for are completely linked to which of those happens.

ExcuseMyEyebrows Sun 26-Jun-16 19:46:48

And thank you TheBigBell. I especially agree with what you say about trade and buying locally. I would like to see another 'back Britain' campaign and support for local businesses, especially manufacturing.

slightlyglitterbrained Sun 26-Jun-16 19:47:54

Thank you Asprilla. I may not agree with all your reasons - I voted Remain - but I really value such a clear, well argued set of reasons for your choice.

I don't think that leaving was the best way to resolve these problems personally, but we are where we are and in order to move on and make the best of things, I think both Remainers & Leavers need to get past the soundbites and really understand each others positions. I'd like to hear from other Leavers as well to help build up a better picture.

Ironically, now that the big media campaigns are over, we might actually have a better chance to do that. I hope so.

Boogers Sun 26-Jun-16 19:53:52

Asprilla Thank you. I have tried to engage in debate with leavers only to be met with 'because we want to take our country back', 'you don't know what it was like before we joined the EU' and 'make Britain great again'. Yours is an articulate, well reasoned argument and I genuinely say thank you for putting your side of the argument without it descending into fisticuffs. smile

I agree with you that leave voters shouldn't be expected to have a plan, but leave campaigners should, especially Johnson, the heir apparent. Tomorrow will be an interesting day when the cabinet meets and the armies join, on both sides of the debate and all sides of the political spectrum.

hownottofuckup Sun 26-Jun-16 19:57:45

Thanks BigBell that's really interesting (and again makes me feel more positive and hopeful!)

LineyReborn Sun 26-Jun-16 19:59:38

It's your opponents' job to do your planning for you?

Ok. Right.

Meggymoodle Sun 26-Jun-16 20:03:07

Thank you OP and Bigbell - it's good to see this. This is absolutely not a goady question, but how do you actually see it working in practical terms?

I was so cross with my neighbour yesterday who told me she regretted her decision to vote leave - I don't want to hear that, I want to hear positives about how this is going to work. I absolutely accept the democratic process, I don't agree with a "petition" - we are where we are and we have to go forward, I would just like to know how.

Asprilla11 Sun 26-Jun-16 20:07:48

slightlyglitterbrained & Boogers

You're both welcome. Like I said if I thought the EU would reform in to a more fair and more cost effective organisation, then I would have voted remain.

Sadly I don't think they will, simply because it's not in their best interests to, even if it made it fairer for everyone.

I am not anti europe though (as well as many other leave voters) so if the EU falls apart, which may have happened even if we stayed, I hope eventually there is a new EU organisation, perhaps headed by the UK which would ensure it was fairer.

tabulahrasa Sun 26-Jun-16 20:11:15

"It's your opponents' job to do your planning for you?"

Apparently so and you can make an informed vote without any information about what that plan might be...

Yes all dead sensible hmm

Asprilla11 Sun 26-Jun-16 20:12:27


It all hinges on how quick we exit and how good the terms are we negotiate. At the same time we need to have talks with all interested EU members on new trade deals and we also need to be talking to non-EU countries about expanded and new trade deals.

Unfortunately that is reliant on who the Government is and who they send to negotiate.

Oblomov16 Sun 26-Jun-16 20:18:08

Very well written.
I was very torn. I didn't want to leave, but I didn't want to stay. What a mess.

Asprilla11 Sun 26-Jun-16 20:18:15

"It's your opponents' job to do your planning for you?"

Apparently so and you can make an informed vote without any information about what that plan might be...

"Yes all dead sensible"

I'm sorry but I don't understand what you're getting at? Before leave voters voted we knew it would involve leaving the EU after negotiating our exit terms. We knew that could take 2 years, we knew new trade deals would then need to be sought and agreed. We knew the Government have to carry this out. The plan for carrying it out is not ours to provide, it's the Government's.

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