I live in London with my foreign-born wife and dual-nationality children. You might assume that my wife’s well-being is what makes me such a staunch Remainer – or Revoker, as I’m hoping we’re going to start calling ourselves to get more people into the movement and to give it renewed focus.
Well, it’s partly that. But frankly if my wife is ever put in a position where she has to fight for her right to stay here, I’ll gladly up-sticks with her, even if she can provide all the necessary credentials for staying. So it’s a secondary reason.
The primary reason? Hard to say.
The other day, without meaning it as criticism, my sister said that she thinks I despise stupidity. And I think she’s right. Let’s be clear: I’m not saying I despise stupid people. It’s not my place to judge. But I despise important decisions that are based on stupidity or appeasing stupidity. And it’s hard to think of a better example of both than Brexit. (And by that I mean ruling out any mechanisms for a democratic reversal, such as the proposed amendment to the Article 50 Bill, and the hard, uncompromising, authoritarian flavour of Brexit that May is pursuing.)
Why is it so stupid?
Because we’re going to imperil our economy, vandalise our culture, put the environment, peace and security at risk, and damage our international reputation for no conceivable benefits. And the opportunity cost will be huge.
And I hate the argument that by being anti-Brexit I’m somehow anti-UK. Quite the opposite. Brexit could rip our country apart. And recognising that countries generally do better when they collaborate internationally is not the same as having no faith in your country. Ridiculous.
So there we are. I don’t really have any interesting circumstances that explain my position (except maybe four years at university in Scotland, which tempered my view of the English and any latent feelings of exceptionalism I might have had).
My story is one of a state of mind. It concerns me that there aren’t millions more like me – or us. Maybe there are but more of them need to start speaking up.
Because apathy and inaction are our biggest enemies.