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Brexit is an absolute shitstorm isn't it .
Back in 2016 I voted leave for what I thought at the time were valid concerns . Mainly over CAP , CFP and the effect on the NHS of the EU possibly implementing TTIP .
Then following the vote your education gets seriously expanded and you learn all manner of new factors such as JIT production lines and WTO rules and tariffs and suchlike and suddenly you think , jesus christ maybe I should have voted remain .
Hardly any of us knew enough about how the EU worked and how the UK would interact with the rest of the world , whether inside or outside the EU , to make a sensible decision over whether to leave or remain back in 2016 .
Before the referendum we should have been given the full facts , regardless of how extensive they may have been and I would lay the blame for the lack of facts firmly at the feet of the Remain camp .
I don't think they actually entertained the slightest thought that they may lose . They ignored the fact that for 3 decades politicians and journalists have painted the EU and immigration (FOM) as the "bogeyman" to blame for all our woes .
"Can't get a job ??
It's not the government's fault , it's all those nasty EU regulations stifling business and that nasty EU freedom of movement allowing all those Eastern Europeans into the UK to work ."
"Can't get a council house ??
It's nothing to do with the government not building enough social housing to replace those lost by right to buy it's down to those bloody immigrants coming here via the EU and taking them all ."
"Can't get a doctor's appointment ??
It's nothing to do with the government's chronic underfunding of the NHS it's those self same EU immigrants and eastern European workers filling up our doctors waiting rooms ."
"Wages low ??
Nothing to do with the government's economic policy , definitely nothing to do with Austerity , it's all down to those Eastern Europeans being happy to work for less money than us lot ."
"Food prices too high ??
That's down to those stupid EU rules meaning that we have to get rid of half of it before it even gets to the shelves because the bananas are too bendy , the apples are the wrong colour or our leeks are too long ."
Vote leave knew what they were doing well in advance , Remain were bloody clueless , relying on the usual stale old establishment figures to front it all , completely oblivious to the mood of the voters or the state of the country .
I was born and bred in Barnsley and now live and work in Sheffield . I entered my teenage years just as the Miners strike began in the 80's . I saw first hand how entire communities and families ( parts of my own included ) were thrown on the scrap heap .
And yes before anybody comments , attempts were made in the following years to redevelope the local economies but this mainly involved replacing skilled highly paid jobs with minimum wage retail jobs and zero hour contracts .
These people that I grew up with needed someone to blame and the cowardly politicians , rather  than admit that they had caused this , chose to push the blame towards the EU and immigration .
They then decided to deregulate the financial sector to help boost the economy leading to a financial free for all and eventually the bank crash . And who ends up paying for this ?
The bankers ? , the politicians ? Nope , the same poor bastards they shagged over to begin with .
These old run down industrial heartlands have now become a breeding ground for the anti EU , anti immigration rhetoric thrown around on TV and in the media by Conservative and UKIP politicians and sadly a few Labour ones as well .
Now I'm not gonna pretend that the EU is perfect because it's not , far from it , hence the reasons why I voted Leave back in 2016 .
But given the amount of potential damage that  could be done to the UK by the ill thought out plans of the Tories and the Ukippers you've got to ask yourself whether it's worth the risk .
As much as I may dislike parts of the EU the alternative offered by May or even worse the ERG lot is by far a 100 times worse than staying in . Better the devil you know and all that stuff .
I would happily accept a compromise version of Leave similar to Norway or Labours proposal or this Common Market 2.0 proposal . However it really does appear that a lot of leavers have now morphed into No-deal fanatics
And a lot of remainers are now hard core Peoples Vote / FBPE and are equally as tunnel visioned as the No-dealers when it comes to compromise .
Far too many people can now only see this issue from the position of either black or white , they no longer seem capable of seeing all the shades of grey between .
So what happens next ???
God only knows at the moment but my gut feeling is that we will all need to compromise one way or another and accept the softest of soft Brexits . Anything else will rip the UK apart .
Of more importance is what happens AFTER we decide if we are leaving or remaining .
If we remain we cannot go back to the status quo as it were before the vote . People are dying because of austerity for God's sake .
Equally if we leave we cannot allow the Tories to turn the UK into a low wage , low regulation tax haven complete with chlorinated chicken to feed the masses .
We need vision and we need change .
The Conservatives cannot give us this and neither can the Lib Dems .
The Greens and the TIG lot aren't big enough and will most probably be gone after the next election .
The only party with a credible vision for what comes after Brexit is Labour or more precisely Labour with the manifesto put forward in 2017 .
Whatever your own feelings are about Corbyn , Labour's manifesto would have been totally different if Watson , Cooper or Ummuna were leader .
All 3 may be very accomplished at arguing at the despatch box but their political vision and ideas would have been no different to those of the last couple of decades , just dollops more of the same beige turgid guff.
We need a new , radical vision for post Brexit regardless of whether we leave or remain . We have to deal with the reasons and the conditions that led to Brexit and Leave winning the vote .
As I've already mentioned I live and work in Sheffield . I've been self employed for the last 15 years , building up 3 businesses in that time . One sold on , one failed and one still going .
The one that failed was quite recent , August just gone and very nearly cost us everything . After selling our first business and moth-balling our second internet based one in 2017 we started our third business .
Our original business was quite profitable but we had to sell due to my rheumatoid arthritis , it's quite difficult to do intricate watch repairs when your fingers won't work properly .
Our new business was an American BBQ restaurant , completely different to our previous horological based ones but something we had a keen interest in and extensive knowledge of .
The food was out of this world , the branding was totally on point , our reviews were all 5* and we were featured in all our local newspapers and even invited onto BBC radio Sheffield to do an hour long cooking show !!
Everything should have been plain sailing .
However we found exactly the opposite . It didn't matter how good we were or how delicious our food was .
The conditions needed for a new business to succeed are sadly lacking at present .
The high street is on the bones of its arse . The recession and upheaval that followed the global bank crisis and the last 8 years of Tory austerity coupled up with an inability to focus on anything except Brexit is slowly bleeding us dry
Far too many of us lack the levels of disposable income available to spend that we had 10 - 15 years previously . Shrinking wages and higher personal debt are leaving most of us with a daily struggle to cope .
The business failing left us facing insolvency and one step away from having to seek a referral for our local food bank . We only avoided the referral due to friends and family subsidising our food shopping for the first few weeks till the insolvency was sorted .
Before the business failed I had had quite a comfortable standard of living , nice house , nice cars , Carribean holidays and designer clothes . I had been quite well insulated from the worst of austerity .
These last 6 months have given me a crash course in what far too many people have had to  experience over the past few years under Tory austerity and given me a far better understanding of the factors that drove Brexit .
Facing the indignity of needing charity from friends/family or a food bank to feed my family and facing homelessness due to the insolvency has opened my eyes wide to the daily struggles many people go through .
We were lucky that 1) we had the family network to fall back on , 2) that despite owing over £50k our creditors accepted our offer at the creditors meeting and we kept hold of our home and 3) that we had the means  and qualifications to find new jobs quickly.
I've flip flopped between leave and remain since the vote in 2016 . Trying to weigh up in my head all the pro's and con's of each choice .
To be honest it's not a choice that we should ever have been forced to make
It's polarised the country into 2 camps . It's taken all the attention away from the absolutely dreadful effects of austerity and 30+ years of Neoliberal policy . It's helped to legitimise people like Nigel Farrage , Gerard Batten and Tommy Robinson
Regardless of whether we end up staying or leaving we cannot ignore the issues that led to Brexit in the first place .
We need serious reinvestment and redevelopment of the old industrial North .
We need to fight inequality and redistribute much of the wealth from the few to the many .
We need new regulation and controls on the financial sector and a move away from our economies reliance on the city towards a new green economy that helps create new jobs in other areas in UK rather than just London
We need loads more social housing , investment in the NHS , police and fire services and loads more money for councils and local amenities .
We need wages to grow and better job prospects not just low paid zero hours rubbish that leaves working families struggling in poverty
We need to eradicate poverty , homelessness and food bank use .
We need an end to this pathetically useless Brexit fixation .
We need a Labour government implementing that 2017 manifesto and we need it as quickly as possible before too many more people die needlessly from this Tory governments cruel inhumane policies
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