To my European friends (both British and continental).

I voted out, and I want you to understand why:

1. I simply don’t consider it to be a legitimate form of governance, in being neither representative of, nor accountable to, any useful definition of a collective ‘us’. I respect that you may feel differently.

2. The noble  ideal of increasing harmony and wellbeing between european nations reached its high water mark pre-Maastricht, and that since then it has been working in reverse. I will not condone what has been done to an entire generation of young people in Greece, Portugal, Spain and Italy. Life chances ruined by the Euro with endless 40% youth employment.


In what universe was I going to tacitly support an institution I didn’t believe in, carrying out actions that I abhor?

Actually, that’s not quite true. I was quite content with what modest renegotiation Cameron pulled off, and would have been happy for Remain to have won on a narrow margin. I may even have supported it. However, throughout the renegotiation I said the one thing I wanted more than anything, was that whatever we got back should apply to all. An end to ever-closer-union, i.e. the ability for a recent accession state to say no to the Euro if that is their wish, or, the ability for an existing Euro nation to withdraw if it was bad for their society. We needed a EUrope that understood the difference between a Single Market and political union, with the tools to enforce that difference. This resulted in a third reason:

3. At the end of the renegotiation, when all was looking positive, Belgium with the support of others, demanded that the concessions secured by Cameron must apply only to Britain. **

I looked at millions in Southern Europe being broken on the wheel of the Euro, and I looked at callous indifference of Belgium and Co in demanding what they did. The project mattered more to them than the people. Not in my name.
I made my choice:

a) understanding that EU citizens resident in the UK would not be kicked out.

b) in the belief and hope that we will end up in the EEA/EFTA, with freedom of movement.

If someone has made their life here (friend, acquaintance, or otherwise), of course I want nothing other than that they should continue to do so. I offer my apologies to EU citizens for the colour of the debate, it was ugly and a matter of deep regret.

Already Der Spiegel reports that Germany is looking at an “economic Schengen”, finally bringing the possibility that the Euro can be fixed for Euro nations (and not at the expense of non-Euro nations). Why did it take leaving? I offer no apology for my decision.
Love. JBT



the words “ever closer union do not apply to the United Kingdom”. This clearly meets the manifesto commitment, however in a sop to Europe’s federalists like Belgium early drafts suggesting this exemption might apply more broadly – for example to countries like Poland and Hungary who have no intention of joining the Euro any time soon – were removed. This is a blow to Mr Cameron’s calls for the EU to accept the need for a looser, more flexible ‘live and let live’ Europe.

the Belgian government had been appeased over its concerns about the rejection of “ever closer union”. The UK would get a special opt-out – while every other EU country was still expected to move towards deeper integration.

Charles Michel, the Belgian prime minister, is one of the strongest critics of Mr Cameron’s demand for Britain to be excluded from the EU treaty mantra of “ever closer union”. Mr Michel once told Mr Cameron in a private meeting: “If you want to go, just go. We will not let you ruin Europe by staying.”

A compromise largely favourable to Britain was found for French concerns about differential treatment for London banks outside the euro zone as well as to Belgian grumbles about Britain setting a precedent for states to snub EU integration.

13 responses to “To my European friends (both British and continental).

  1. Pingback: To my European friends (both British and continental). | Jedibeeftrix's Blog

  2. As italian and as british supporter, i fully understand and share your reasons and i’ve been in favor of Leave from the beginning, although with worries about the difficulties of the negotiation phase and, moreover, fears generated by the insane fantasies of the SNP in Scotland. I’m convinced that, despite media terrorism, EU citizens who came to the UK to work (including an absurd load of italians, as i verified in my visit in London in early June) will not be treated unfairly. I wish the UK the very best and i hope the EU bureaucrats will be reasonable at the negotiation table.
    And i wish we could have our own Referendum. But considering we are stuck with the third unelected government since 2011, it is fantasy to think of such a democratic exercise here.

    Just please, PLEASE find a way to slap the SNP down and bring them to reason.

      • In a way, i suppose. If Renzi has his way, Europe wins, since, let’s be frank about it, he is the third prime minister in a row that is stuffed down our throats by EU command. Monti, Letta and now Renzi are the EU’s puppets. The incoming referendum is about the change to 40-some passages of the Constitution and the new electoral law which gives a huge bonus in Parliament to the winning party, and more power for the prime minister. Nothing is really directly related to the EU, other than the fact that Renzi says he’ll step down if his proposal is rejected.

  3. What has surprised me all through out is how Remain had no case. Not one positive to sell. No tangible benefit to the EU. I was staggered by their ignorance of their beloved EU. I was equally staggered by how many adults don’t appear to know how the world works, history, and the reality for many of their fellow countrymen. How many who moan about government could vote for more government is a wonder. Strangely I have become somewhat fonder of our near neighbours across the sea. Voting out was as much for them as us.

    Hope you are well young Jedibeeftrix.

    • I suppose it was difficult to argue [for] the eu when the inevitable follow up is [what] eu are you for? No-one can credibly say the status quo, and getting into how the eu might have looked in the future would be dangerous ground.

      Definitely, my vote out was for the nations of europe.

      All well here, X, this sub-40 (just) whippersnapper hopes you are likewise well.

      • Life’s a struggle. But it has been all the time I have “known” you, if you get my drift.

        Just had a fly by on Think Defence. Some of the pro-EU comments are staggering. Where do all the old regulars hang out now?

      • “Just had a fly by on Think Defence. Some of the pro-EU comments are staggering. ”

        It is a shame really, it was a fantastic site, but it fell of my weekly reading list quite some time ago, is everyone still convinced the British Government is somehow going to magically fix Afghanistan and Iraq any day now….

  4. It was a good site. I think what spoiled it TD was far too interested in letting a certain clique have they way. I didn’t really care about the Sandbox. What interested me was Britain in the wider soon to be multi-polar world. It is hard being a neoclassical realist at times……..

      • What made me “laugh” about Afghanistan was 10 times as many are dying every year here from heroin (a tip of a very broad pyramid of suffering) than have died from terrorism over the last decade or so. It is always amusing watching those great military minds of TD telling me the poppy fields were off the table for what amounted a load of b*llocks. I must confess that I did play them a little over there, well a lot really, but they never quite got what I was doing.

  5. Jed,

    I was also Leave, for much the same reasons as you set out above.. and the vast majority of those of my cohort who I discussed it with, out in our corner of East Anglia, felt exactly the same.

    I am certainly no little Englander, but I voted with my conscience and it is utterly clear.

    Churchill saw a USE, but with us outwith, I suspect what the EU has become would depress him deeply (Black Dog?). My old Dad told me he voted for a Common Market, not this dog’s dinner. I saw Heath’s admission that he knew exactly what he was doing on Rick Nobinson’s In or Out programmes and was frankly appalled at his duplicity.

    I have Swedish friends who support what we have done by Brexing, but my own Aussie kith and kin are horrified; however, they see the argument in economic terms. These are interesting times. It was a damn close run thing, but I believe this country did the right thing and am sure we will do our best to grasp the new opportunities (already) being presented to us.


    btw, had to love the Kiwi offer of a negotiating team 🙂

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