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To take Brexit personally?

352 replies

Fiep · 29/11/2019 09:46

I’m preparing to be flamed but I really want to hear views from all sides. Do try to be kind though.

I’m an EU citizen. I’ve lived in the UK for all my adult life and have spent most of that working with NHS patients. I’m a qualified professional and there is a skills shortage - we never manage to fill all our posts.

Most people can’t tell by my accent that I’m from the EU and instead assume I’m from another English-speaking country unless I tel them my name (which sounds foreign) or speak in another language.

Before the referendum I felt the UK was my home. It was the place I’d spent most of my life and I’ve always loved the British humour and quirky way of looking at things.

Nobody ever gave me grief about being foreign and I felt welcome and valued.

Shortly after the referendum, someone verbally abused me on a bus when they overheard me speaking in a European language on the phone. It really upset me. I’m privileged by most measures and I’m white, so I was not used to racist abuse. I now have a baby and struggle to talk to her in my language in public as I feel people are giving me judgemental looks when I’m out and about and speaking “foreign”, especially as I live in a rural place where the majority of shoppers at the big Tesco are White British and I see quite a few Union Jack / St George’s flag tattoos. This denies her the chance to grow up bilingual and I feel guilty about that. I do speak / read / sing to her at home but it’s not enough immersion in the language for it to make a difference.

On the other hand, most of my colleagues in health have always been immigrants too and I struggle to see how the NHS would run if it was just White British staffed.

AIBU to feel really angry about Brexit? To feel it’s just vitriol and wanting the country to be white? To take it personally and to let it affect me in that way? To look around the shops and feel that prejudice has been legitimised?

I’d actually be really keen to hear from Leavers as well as Remainers as I really can’t get my head around how anyone could have thought this was a good idea for something as woolly as “sovereignty” or whatever.

braces self for impact

OP posts:
Sistercharlie · 02/12/2019 09:00

Ha! Very good Entropy! Grin You know full well that my comment about North Korea was related to economic and political cooperation. It was nothing to do with the subject of racism, so please don't twist my words.

Racism is totally unacceptable wherever it takes place, so people are missing the point.

And how ridiculous to say that most countries in the EU fall behind the UK in their treatment of women, animals, racism and environmental standards! (Have you visited any Scandinavian countries?) The 27 Member States have strengths and weaknesses in each of those areas, just like we do! To try and cast the UK as a country superior to all of the others in its civility is ludicrous in the extreme. We excel in some areas, and fall down in others.

FreedomfromPE · 02/12/2019 09:07

I take Brexit very personally too. I live in a hugely probrexit / pro BNP area so I expected it to be awful and obviously we are looking to move for safety as it has rolled on and on with no political party showing any humanity. Brexit has just given so many people the feeling that the whole country is with them when they're shouting in my face.

KenDodd · 02/12/2019 09:08

My family had a number of reasons for voting the way they did. But put it this way - someone with first-hand knowledge pointed out to me that it was more difficult to leave the Soviet Union than the EU and that tells you everything you need to know about what a rotten institution it is.

It's not hard to leave the EU, it would be easy to leave the EU. What's hard, is leaving the EU without losing all the economic, political, social advantages of being in the EU, plus of course without risking the peace in NI. It's like saying it to hard to leave a gym because you don't get the advantages of gym membership anymore.

And as for posters saying the op just has confirmation bias, my (racist) mum has said that 'thank god, you can be 'honest ' now, you weren't allowed to say anything (racist) before' . She and lots of others in my family have definitely been liberated to say what they really think since the referendum.

Symptomless · 02/12/2019 09:20

For me it's more the knowledge that majority of the people in the uk, including some of my friends and colleagues, would rather that my family and I weren't here. It's not that I've experienced direct hostility but little comments of immigrants needing to go back to where they're from, they're not needed or wanted. "But I don't mean you, Symptomless, you can stay ".

EntropyRising · 02/12/2019 09:30

To try and cast the UK as a country superior to all of the others in its civility is ludicrous in the extreme.

Phew, good thing I didn't, I would hate it if you were to think me ludicrous. Wink

I lived in Sweden for a while, so yes, I am familiar with Scandinavia. Incidentally, if you point to a small confederacy of EU nations that outperform the UK in the 'civility index', this goes absolutely no distance in disproving my previous point (and your example is not straightforwardly a good one in any case).

But, it is Monday morning and I've spent far too much time on this thread over the weekend so I'm signing off now.

Sistercharlie · 02/12/2019 10:04

Er Entropy you said " probably most" of the other 27 "member states fall behind the UK in most of the ways that we measure 'civility'". So was it surprising that I interpreted your post to mean the UK is ahead of them in these areas? I think not!

Bye and have a good week being "civil"! Smile

FishCanFly · 02/12/2019 10:51

i feel you, OP. It makes me extremely wary. I didn't get much of an abuse, except snide "why are you here" sometimes, and an unfortunate encounter with a teenage yob (we both shouted expletives at each other).
That said, I hope Corbyn wins. At least he won't shit on us.

mauvaisereputation · 02/12/2019 12:11

I'm a remainder, but I don't agree with the OP that "sovereignty" is a woolly concept. I mean, who is making the law of the land and what accountability there is for them are pretty important! And I think it's completely fair to feel that there isn't enough transparency or accountability in EU lawmaking. The EU parliament isn't a 'parliament' in the same way the British parliament is; it can basically only say yes or no to laws proposed by the commission. The commission has a lot of power with no oversight and little transparency. Also it's much, much harder to judicially review a decision made by an EU institution. Pragmatically, leaving is obviously a disaster economically but IMO there's a lot to dislike about the EU from a political/constitutional POV.

Sistercharlie · 02/12/2019 12:35
EntropyRising · 02/12/2019 19:10

@Sistercharlie - I'm afraid your website is wrong when it says just 13% of the UK's laws are derived from the EU.

It's a bit like trying to work out the dimensions of a mountain but without fractal geometry, all you can do is estimate - IIRC it's closer to a third.

Of course the regulatory framework of the UK is derived from the EU, so the vast majority of commercial enterprise in the UK will be shaped by the EU - of course, Lithuania (for example) has as much to say about it we do. Sounds great!

Sistercharlie · 02/12/2019 19:51

Ah Entropy your're back!

Voting in the Council of Ministers in proportionate to the size of the MS, so Germany, France, and the UK, get the most votes and get the most reps in the EP, but of course, as you say, the EU always does things by consensus , which is as it should be. So again, your interpretation is not quite right. But delighted you have browsed!

EntropyRising · 02/12/2019 20:38

If you wanted to design the most sclerotic, opaque parliamentary process possible, you'd certainly find inspiration in the EU. I'm bemused that anyone would think this is an acceptable way for the UK to organise its regulatory affairs.

EntropyRising · 02/12/2019 20:46

For you:

13% is likely to be too low, in reality, but 62% is much too high

ConfessionsOfTeenageDramaQueen · 03/12/2019 02:26

The Soviet Union collapsed, that's a ridiculous comparison.

@Songsofexperience It collapsed because Lithuania fought for and was eventually granted independence. After the first country managed to extricate itself from the Soviet Union the rest went like dominoes. No wonder the EU is terrified.

Sistercharlie · 03/12/2019 08:45

Entropy the summary from your own source:

In brief: Simply counting laws does not consider that some laws have more impact than others. Quoted figures have varied wildly from under 10% to 70%. It's possible to justify many of these, depending on which definition of 'UK law' you look at, but those at the higher end count EU rules that aren’t really laws in any meaningful sense.

Like it or not, the UK has benefited from this regulatory system because in very practical terms it makes trading between states EU easier anf therfore more efficient. We as consumers benefit from this in terms of price as do UK manufacturers.

Sistercharlie · 03/12/2019 08:50

Rushing to get out of the door this morning but what I am saying is we can argue the toss all you like about theory and statistics and how these regulatory system came in to being , but the facts are that these laws have a very real economic benefit to the UK in practice.

Sistercharlie · 03/12/2019 09:09

Confessions ofTeenagedramaqueen.

Repeating Jeremy Hunt's empty and dangerous rhetoric comparing the EU with the Soviet Union which threw dissidents in to the gulags? Shame on you! I suggest you read a history book and

this article.

Please think about what you are saying.

EntropyRising · 03/12/2019 10:23

Like it or not, the UK has benefited from this regulatory system because in very practical terms it makes trading between states EU easier anf therfore more efficient. We as consumers benefit from this in terms of price as do UK manufacturers.

How do you suppose other countries manage to maintain enormous, successful trade deals without outsourcing lawmaking to a superstate, submitting to freedom of movement, a supreme court, and so on? Are they not in regulatory alignment? Confused

And yes of course the EU regulation benefits UK companies. It benefits the huge incumbents, particularly the ones that are involved in complex supply chains across the continent e.g. Airbus. The EU is a gift to them in the form of a barrier to entry - competitors have to get to grips with the regulation so complex that it requires a dedicated parliament that employs nearly 30,000 people!

This number actually shocked me - did you know that there are 30,000 lobbyists registered with the EU? What are they all doing? Consider the US, where lobbying is considered one of the most, if not the single most, intractable obstacles to government reform - they have 12,000 lobbyists.

Doesn't this sound a lot like incumbents defending their advantage?

Of course on these threads you normally find remainers saying (sneering?) find me one piece of EU regulation that you think is bad and of course, because most people, remainers and leavers alike, aren't intimately involved in regulation, they can't articulate a specific answer - they just know that the solution is over-engineered.

Then people who actually have knowledge how of the EU regulatory regime confers advantage on behemoths explain a specific regulatory rule that does just this, and no one has anything to say about it.

Sistercharlie · 03/12/2019 13:57

Entropy no time to address every point (and don't wish to frankly as your post is so full of misstatements) but the assumption that lobbyists and the EU in general only work for, and benefit, huge behemoths, is a huge nonsense. The EU works with huge numbers of trade associations to ensure that the needs of small and medium-sized enterprises are reflected in policy.

The problem is that the globalised world is complex. For example, the many thousands or so of people who work for Airbus in the UK won't be particularly grateful for your comments! Without Airbus, the UK would likely have lost all of its aviation production entirely!

ConfessionsOfTeenageDramaQueen · 03/12/2019 20:48

Thanks for the faux concern @Sistercharlie I don't need to read a history book. My parents lived it and so did their friends, some of whom were in actual gulags.

Sistercharlie · 03/12/2019 21:15

In that case your comparison was even more ill thought out then ConfessionsofTeenageDramaQueen. And it wasn't faux cincern; it was outrage!

ConfessionsOfTeenageDramaQueen · 04/12/2019 04:53

@Sistercharlie It wasn't my comparison it was one of my family member's. One of the ones who actually grew up in the Soviet Union and is entirely qualified to make the comparison thanks.

Sistercharlie · 04/12/2019 06:04

Good morning Confessionsofteenagedramaqueen - please let me explain why the comparison is so wrong.

From 1950s onwards, countries wishing to leave the Soviet bloc, were stopped by Russian tanks.

They had no recourse to Article 50.

I am certain that many citizens of former Eastern bloc countries, other than your relation, would be outraged at the comparison too.

EntropyRising · 04/12/2019 08:54

Sistercharlie I'm amused at your suggestion that Airbus would be displeased at me pointing out their incumbent advantage - it's an economic term describing the actuality of their position within the EU, as both active lobbyists of the EU and recipients of considerable EU subsidies.

Sistercharlie · 04/12/2019 09:04

That isn't what I was saying Entropy. I was talking about British workers!

I know all about the Boeing v Airbus subsidies dispute and the WTO but the main point is that Airbus is a major employer in the UK - both directly and indirectly (with contracts). And it supports a lot of UK industry (factories that make specific parts). You somehow seem to be against this?

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