Sunday, 19 June 2016

Why I will Vote Leave

Willie Drennan

I have been a Eurosceptic since birth: actually it probably all began in the womb with an inherent inner consciousness on a quest for freedom. This spiritual quest for freedom translates in my logical mind to a desire for true democracy, where government is transparent and can be held accountable. I like the direction the United Kingdom has been taking with various forms of devolved government for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. This allows for accountability at regional and local levels.

 The European Union has been heading in the opposite direction for a long time with its unelected commissioners, deals with corporate lobbyists and the European Court of Justice that seems to be a complete law unto its self. It is heading towards the formation of a superstate that is already being referred to as the United States of Europe. Nobody has been able to convince me that the UK has not been rapidly losing its sovereignty, and will soon lose any semblance of being an independent nation if it votes to Remain.

I have listened to the debates on economy, jobs, and trade. I completely fail to understand why a sovereign UK would be worse off: especially in the long term. What I do understand is that the British taxpayer sends vast amounts of money to Brussels, much of which gets eaten up by hungry Eurocrats and their servants. They do kindly send some of our money back to us, but with conditions on how we can use it.  No one, as yet, has been able to explain to me why we would be worse off if we stopped sending all that money to Brussels.

 There is also no reason to believe the EU countries would suddenly stop trading with us if we left the EU. An important issue here is that we would have two years after Brexit to re-negotiate our working relationship with the EU. Besides, there is a whole big wide world out there that’s not under the control of Brussels.

Our fishing and farming industries are currently in receipt of massive EU grants, but that money actually comes from the UK taxpayer. Our UK government will make certain that these crucial industries survive and prosper: they will start by cutting back on excessive bureaucracy and hopefully will retrieve British fishing grounds, previously surrendered to the EU. I love fish and this in itself is good enough reason to vote Leave.

I have listened to the arguments from senior management of the Arts industry. They seem to all love the EU and claim that the arts community is solidly behind Remain. Well, I’m a professional  performing artist and there are many like me who disagree. The Arts are essential for the health of any society and there is absolutely no reason to suspect that a sovereign British government, accountable to the people, would not continue to support and promote it.

I have listened to the concerns over environment, human rights and workers rights. Again why would our own politicians, that we elect, not enthusiastically work to protect the above? It’s our environment: our land, air and water. Why would we not insist that our elected representatives protect it? And why would we allow a government that we can get rid of at election time to interfere with our basic human rights?

In debating with others the issue of immigration rarely gets into the conversation. It really is very, very simple. We need a certain level of immigration to sustain all aspects of economy, and I would add for the betterment of our society. We just need to have a sustainable management plan so that we can control numbers and prioritise immigrants with skills best placed to benefit our economy. We also need to address and correct the EU’s exploitation of the poor, with its strategy of cheap labour for purposes of increasing profit margins for the rich.

 Sometimes the immigration issue gets mixed up with the refugee crisis. We need to play our part in assisting unfortunate refugees from war-torn regions such as Syria. The constant migrant mayhem in Europe is seriously disadvantaging those in genuine need. We can only deal effectively with this issue once we are free of the EU and its calamitous wide open borders policy.

Maybe I’m overlooking something but I think I’ve covered the major issues. The Remain campaigners have been trying to frighten voters with claims of poverty, war, break-up of the United Kingdom and a hard border crossing between Ireland and Northern Ireland. I’m sorry but I just not buy any of this.

The referendum campaign has been robust and often verging on ugly. There have been a considerable amount of fanciful projection and elaborate twisting of facts and figures on both sides. It has been particularly hard to swallow the fact that the heads of our government and their cronies in high places have basically been threatening us to vote their way. They have been seriously abusing their power. There have been claims of war, recession and poverty should we vote for Brexit. The most outrageous of all, for me, have been the repeated claims of a hard border in Ireland, followed by renewed sectarian conflict. This is completely irresponsible and sheer rubbish. There will be no need at all for border posts or custom posts following Brexit.  Actually I firmly believe Brexit would consolidate and further strengthen the excellent relationship between UK and Ireland. It is only the few who have a privileged place at the EU trough who need be concerned.  There would also be great potential, one hundred years after the Easter Rising, for Ireland to follow the path of Brexit and regain the lost independence that has been surrendered to Brussels.

Emotion and fear of losing has come to the fore towards the end of the referendum campaign and it’s getting personal. It has become difficult to have a rational debate on social media without someone implying that those committed to Brexit are isolationists, Little Englanders, nationalists, racist bigots, Europe haters and haters of foreigners. Well, I don’t think that is the case at all for the vast majority. For myself, I am neither English nor a nationalist. I actually love Europe and have always been intrigued by its diversity of culture, music, food and drink. This diversity of the distinct European nations is actually being eroded by the EU: through a combination of American-style commercialisation (shopping malls in Berlin, Boston, Montreal and Madrid tend to be identical), mass immigration and further homogenisation of culture as a result of political integration and central law making.

For the preservation of a rich, diverse traditional European culture there needs to be a vote for Brexit. There also needs to be a Brexit to allow the UK to share and trade more easily with the wider world. I have travelled and worked in several countries in Europe and beyond. I have found welcoming, friendly people everywhere and as a direct result I have a strong empathy for foreigners who have moved here: who have worked hard and integrated into the fabric of our country.  They too need to be protected and that can only be done by leaving the EU and developing our own sustainable immigration management strategy.

It is definitely a dodgy business making a stand for Brexit as it is going against those who currently control the running of our country.  People can get upset and very personal with anyone who chooses to interfere with the status quo and this is when the accusations and attempts at pigeon-holing all Brexit voters kicks in. I have felt this personally on social media but they can’t  pigeon-hole  me. I am an independently-minded free-thinker who votes at elections for those politicians who disagree with me the least.  For me, this referendum is not about Left and Right but about being right versus far-wrong. In Northern Ireland it’s not about Orange versus Green: it’s about all us collectively being able to determine our destiny versus subservience to a massive almighty political power.

 I am not a member of any political party but surprisingly there are members from a diverge range of parties who agree with me on the necessity of Brexit. They also all agree with me that this will be the most important political vote of our lifetime.

Here is a list of parties to date that have members who agree with me: UKIP, Labour, Conservatives, Lib Dems, Greens, SNP (yes, SNP) Communist Party, Workers Party, People Before Profit, DUP, UUP, TUV and PUP. In fact the only parties to date that don’t seem to have anybody agreeing with me publicly are Plaid Cymru, Sinn Fein, SDLP and the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland.  So, please do stop trying to pigeon-hole me and the vast majority of Brexit voters. We are from a diverse range of political viewpoints.

The media too have played a role in promoting the notion of a stereotypical Brexiter and the handling of the horrendous murder of, Labour MP and Remain supporter, Jo Cox has been shameful. Jo Cox was clearly a beautiful being and a bright shining light in the dark corridors of power. Her murder has been an agonising tragedy: not just for her family, friends and colleagues, but for the entire country. Her murderer has serious mental health issues and he is thought to have held some Far-Right views, but there is nothing that suggests his motive was related to the referendum. No one knows if he had any views on the subject. But for politicians and elements of our national media to take the out-pouring of grief and twist it into sympathy for the Remain campaign is beyond despicable.  The views of the Far-Right are not the views of the vast majority of Leave voters.

Nearly done with this but I did forget a couple of small issues. Remainers project that we will all be safer and stronger staying in the EU. The leading politicians, bankers and corporate leaders might well be, but the common people won’t be if we can’t have control over our own defences and financial security. I think it is more than just a conspiracy theory that an EU Army is in the pipeline and that would be a frightening development. All armies need somebody to fight with. Who might that be?  Russia maybe?  Oh dear!  But then that would create a massive amount of new jobs for soldiers, doctors, nurses, undertakers and weapons makers. It would make the super-rich even richer.

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership is also definitely in the works: and unstoppable if we stay inside the EU.  The TTIP would solidify the dominance of global corporations and bankers over our economy and laws.  TTIP and the formation of the United States of Europe are essential developments for the survival of the EU project. Otherwise the EU will continue in steady economic decline: there will be further chaos and turmoil requiring bale-outs that we will continue to contribute to if we stay in.

 Why would we want to give away all our democratic rights? Why would we want to stay on board that sinking ship? On June 23rd I will be voting for an exciting new voyage of discovery out into the world: for a renewed freedom and independence. There will be turbulent seas to cross for sure but historically that has never prevented our people from being innovative, pioneering and progressive.

 Or, we could just lie down: hand over all powers and decision making to a distant authoritarian superstate, leaving the next generation to deal with it.   But they might not be given the opportunity to change anything.  We have a big responsibility to get it right on June 23rd.


  1. All perfectly reasonable in tone I have to say, but each argument you set out states a situation I tend to agree with, then completely somersaults reason in your consequent deduction. And what on earth is 'sovereignty' in the modern interconnected world?

  2. So what does the term ‘sovereignty’ actually mean? For me it means the freedom of an independent nation to have full control over all of its laws and its borders. It is the ability of the elected government of a nation to deliver democracy as commonly understood. It also the ability of the people to have fair, transparent governance and the ability to hold their politicians to account: in other words to have the ability to vote them out of office.

    In 'the modern interconnected world' it should be an absolute essential to provide clarity and confidence for partner nations.