, 16 tweets, 4 min read Read on Twitter
Why did I support and vote for Brexit?



#Brexit #BrexitVote
I supported Leave for a variety of reasons. I didn't think the UK fit well into the EU. Didn't think our membership was sustainable. Believed it blighted our political debate. Thought consistent public scepticism & apathy to EU elections was part of this. These issues remain.
I thought EU membership brought out the worst in our politicians. They used it as a convenient scapegoat. They pretended to dislike policies implemented via the EU & used this to abdicate responsibility & avoid accountability.
I questioned the democratic credentials of the EU's institutions and the process of its lawmaking, which was aggravated by a combination of the way UK politicians interacted with the EU & British public apathy towards membership & Euro elections.
I concluded that the UK was politically & culturally not a good permanent fit in the EU. I thought that deeper integration would lead to further divergence & the UK would be pushed further to margins. I decided we'd be better off with a new, close partnership from outside.
I, of course, did not think that the process of getting to that would be so terribly managed, nor that this would turn into a culture war, nor that the toxicity of it would be hugely amplified by events. So it's all been easier said than done, to say the least.
We are leaving an international organisation to form a new partnership with it form the outside. This did not need to be the end of days. The UK, Europe and the world is going to face far bigger challenges than this in the future. It's kind of ridiculous.
I don't believe my principles & instincts were extreme or unreasonable. But I built on them with arguments to support a case for Leave. Many of these turned out to be wrong. I was NEVER knowingly dishonest. But I did make faulty arguments & claims that were wrong.
However, I still believe there are reasonable considerations here that need to be addressed by people who believe in stopping Brexit or re-accession in the future otherwise the UK will not obtain sustainable EU membership by consent.
If Ii'd have voted Remain it would've be based on the transactional, the benefits of the Single Market & clout in trade. Membership as a cynical foreign policy strategy. To break up the Franco-German dominance of Europe.

The Sir Humphrey option:

As it was I had a vision of the UK leading an alternative to the EU, as a leading member of EFTA and in the EEA. C;ose to the EU, leading an economic bloc with clout and influence - comfortable in its own skin.

That's what I thought. I dreamed a dream, I guess.
When that died I argued for a comprehensive Association Agreement - it looks like we may yet take that route.
If/when Brexit happens a re-accession campaign cannot look like the dire Remain or PV campaign. It can’t be based on negativity & doomsday warnings. It will have to be honest & possibly even be based on arguing to go ‘all in’. It will take a long time & faces challenges
In the meantime we must rebuild Britain, form a sustainable and mutually beneficial relationship with the EU, and move on from this travesty.

I'm sure a re-accession campaign will begin, so maybe our European question will remain for years to come.
Brexit has been a mess because of the lack of a plan and an intellectual foundation. I thought I could be part of something that helped build that but failed.
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