After nearly four years of trouble and strife we’re finally here, Brexit Day. Just two months ago it felt like this day would never happen. We’d be forever stuck in a perpetual groundhog day of endless debate about if, when and how we would leave the European Union.
Then the people spoke, we decided to ‘Get Brexit Done’ and done it will be today and now it all seems a bit of an anti-climax. As a leave voting Brexiteer I have such a range of feelings.
I’m proud of how the British people voted in December’s election which restored my faith in my country and democracy. It was wonderful to see how, unlike many other EU countries, our people refused to be bullied by the establishment and so when given a second chance made it so very clear what they wanted. It also reminds me of the strength of Britain’s first-past-the-post electoral system and how proper representative democracy with strong, majority governments can get things done.
I remain angry about the patronising arrogance of those that blatantly worked to thwart the will of the people. How they used underhand parliamentary tactics, the courts and large parts of the media to frustrate the referendum decision of 2016. Many who said they were working for a better deal were just lying as they simply wanted to keep us in the EU. The likes of Gina Miller, Alastair Campbell, John Major, Dominic Grieve, Philip Hammond, Jo Swinson, Hillary Benn and worst of all John Bercow should hang their heads in shame.
I’m sad about what the EU has turned into and that we had to leave. We never voted to be part of an undemocratic, bureaucratic federal state. I love Europe, its diverse cultures and along with it the freedom and stability that yes the EU has helped to create. It has though gone too far taking way too much sovereignty from nation states. It will be sad though to see the Union flag no longer flying alongside other countries outside the various EU buildings. The symbolism of not being part of that grouping that had such noble aims at the outset makes me feel sad for what could have been.
I’m excited about Britain’s future as an independent, free market trading nation. I never bought the narrative of the remoaner gloomsters and doomsters and all their talk of cliff-edges and how disastrous it would be to leave the EU. I am an optimist and have faith in Britain. I’m confident our economy as the fifth largest in the world will continue to prosper as we make the most of our country’s many unique talents. I, also believe, those across the channel will watch our success with envy and eventually other countries will want to join us. After all, it’s not the first time we’ve led the way in Europe.
So tonight at 11pm, I will raise a glass to celebrate the moment of our departure from the EU but with a wide range of emotions. I know there’s trade deals to be done and a bumpy road ahead but I feel sure it will be a journey worth making.