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Axel Antoni @antoni_UK
, 21 tweets, 5 min read Read on Twitter
1/ #Brexit & #PeoplesVoteMarch - have we wasted 926 days debating the wrong things?
2/ over the last 2 1/2 years I have spoken to many Leave voters across the UK while campaigning for EU #citizensrights. Global Britain, free trade deals, sovereignty , Canada+++, and migration, were mentioned at first but once dug deeper the concerns changed quickly.
3/▪️ Migrants depress wages
▪️Migrants take our jobs
▪️Migrants cause housing crisis
▪️Migrants claim our benefits
▪️'Vast sums' of money to EU
▪️Migrants crowd schools & our children's education suffers
▪️London doesn't listen to our concerns here they only do what the EU says.
4/ Many Leave voters claimed not to be racist. And I fulheartedly believe them. What they are expressing is a real concern about their lives outside the 'London bubble': lack of opportunities, certainty, social security and control.
5/ The biggest misunderstanding of the referendum is about what the electorate actually wanted. Brexit was an expression of the real ask: change - any change that delivers more personal certainty, social security & cohesion, better opportunities & control over their own destiny.
6/ It is no surprise that the strongest Leave votes were recorded in places in England furthest away from London while in the devolved nations, which provide more local control, the Leave vote was much lower.
7/ The claim that increased sovereignty means taking back control was a strong lure for Leave voters let down by consecutive London Govt's not only since austerity but for over 40 years who crave more control over their situation.
8/ The desperation for change was evident even way before the referendum. Corbyn's rise to the Labour leadership was driven by the same desire: change, any change.
9/ So instead of using the last 926 days to analyse and discuss what change people want we wasted time talking Global Britain, Free Trade Deals, food shortages, ferry disruptions - in short the economy. Something many Leave voters don't care about. It won't change their lives.
10/ I would expect focus on the economy over people from the Tories but Labour under Corbyn has missed a major opportunity here. The change English Leave voters want so desperately, a rebalancing of the economy, is core Labour territory.
11/ Rebalancing the economy needs money, a lot of it. Germany over the last 20 years has invested over €2tn in infrastructure - about £70bn per year into reindustrialising the East after the collapse of communism. And it is far from done but living standards are rising fast.
12/ But Labour under Corbyn has put very little forward to address the geographically unbalanced economy but instead focussed on socialist national pet ideas like renationalisation of public services.
13/ National projects of renationalisation will be of little help to people in Norfolk, Cornwall or the North East. Brexit will remain the only real change Leave voters can pin their hopes on to improve their situation.
14/ Back to the #PeoplesVote and where it is going wrong and why it is so important to get it right. And most importantly what is needed to get it right.
15/ A binary #PeoplesVote with Remain and any form of #Brexit whatever the outcome, leave or remain, will not deliver on what the electorate wants: meaningful change that will improve their lives.
16/ For remain in a #PeoplesVote to succeed this option needs to be linked with meaningful change attached. This cannot be delivered by the Tories. Nor will it be delivered by the LibDems, the 'no change' remain party (which explains poor polling when people carve change).
17/ the meaningful change required to bring a remain vote that brings the country back together has to come from Labour. But for that Labour has to admit first that between 1997 & 2010 it was as guilty of neglecting outer London as the Tories.
18/ It is high time for Labour to put a plan together that will geographically rebalance the country. The question Labour should ask how the UK wants to pay for this.
19/ Tax increases to rebalance the economy will be unavoidable (as in Germany in 1990 to rebuild the East). The question Labour must ask the electorate is how much of a tax increase. A lot with a Brexit, which will draw money out of the country or less while remaining in the EU?
20/ now is the time for @UKLabour to ditch socialist pipe dreams of renationalisation with little benefit to the people and refocus on their core voters in the regions far away from London and how to help them in the long term.
21/ Unless the #PeoplesVote is linked to a real change manifesto Brexit will remain the only option for voters wanting change, any change. Even if remain wins, the divide will stay and even harden. 926 days wasted, 82 days left to sort this out. The clock is ticking /end
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