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I don’t agree with your opinion

This week, the UK voted to leave the European Union. Many of my friends are very vocal about their displeasure at this result – and I agree with them – I voted remain and I think that leaving the EU is a bad thing for the UK, as well as for myself and my family.

But that doesn’t mean that I don’t want to hear from people who voted out. A friend of mine told me today that he had been biting his tongue about the hate-filled comments about 52% of the electorate being idiots.

And why should he bite his tongue? I don’t agree with his opinion on Europe, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to hear it. I want to know why he voted out, and I want to know what he feels the future holds now. I want to know what Brexit means for him and his family, and why he feels the result is right.

For me, Brexit spells uncertainty in terms of my work contract. It means that family members have the threat of unemployment looming over them, and it means that our pipe dream of one day moving our little family to the South of France has to go on hold. But it also means, that I live in a democratic society, where my view is different from that of the majority. And I accept that.

I don’t want another referendum, unless we are offered very different terms by Europe that make a further referendum the right thing to do. But, I still want to hear why other people want a second referendum, and why they feel that it is right and democratic to do so. I want to hear why others feel that people who are now stating that they made the wrong decision, should be allowed to vote again.

I want to hear why my friends living in France feel that people who voted out disregarded their interests to such an extent, that they can no longer associate with them. And I want to hear how this decision affects them and their family, and I want to know how we can help.

I want to hear people’s opinions. In the press, on Facebook, on Twitter and in person. I want to have a sensible, adult debate about political issues. I want to disagree. Politely and with civility – in a very British way.

So don’t bite your tongue, don’t be afraid to disagree with me. And if I don’t share your opinion, don’t take it as a personal criticism. We may well disagree on Brexit, but we probably disagree on football too – I think it stinks, do you?

If you voted out because you are xenophobic, racist or bigoted, you are not the sort of person I would have associated with anyway. But I know none of my friends voted out for that reason, so let’s talk. Tell me why we have a brighter future, reassure me that this is the best thing for all of us. And remind me that it’s okay to disagree – in a beautiful country where democracy and freedom of expression are important. I want to hear your opinion - on Brexit and why we should keep talking



  1. Barry Morton
    June 25, 2016 / 6:20 pm

    Natalie, I did vote out. I don’t regret it for one minute, that doesn’t mean to say I am as nervous as everyone for what the future holds.
    This is why:
    For too long the hands of politicians have been tied. Tied by the eu & tied by the bankers and business leaders. The politicians were in fear of them. The very people that caused austerity in the first place were running amok, effectively calling the shots.
    However, I see people a lot worse off than me regularly, being hit by austerity in alarming fashion, those people are the very ones who can least take it.
    The government knew this (Ian Duncan Smith resigned because of it) but they were powerless, hands tied by the bankers and for every idea to alleviate those who needed it, the eu would stop it.
    The eu will say that they put money into those poor areas through various schemes, but at a price. A price which ultimately we had to pay.
    The only people who could turn this around were the people themselves.
    I voted out for those people who need our help. Hopefully, we can now direct the finances of our economy to those that need it most.
    You will notice I haven’t mentioned immigration.
    Because it did not affect my decision to vote out in any way whatsoever.
    Hope that all makes sense.

    • June 26, 2016 / 9:04 pm

      Thank you for your comment Barry, I really appreciate you taking the time to explain your position. My dad voted out for similar reasons – he feels that Brussels is corrupt and we need to step away from it. I totally understand the sentiment of what you’re saying even though I don’t agree with it, and it is refreshing to read such a well informed view on why we should leave – and in particular, one that doesn’t involve immigration. I agree that the EU isn’t perfect, but I’m concerned that we don’t have anything better in place and we are leaping blindly out. I do hope that you are right though, and that we all have a brighter future, especially those that need our help.

  2. June 25, 2016 / 8:45 pm

    I hope it everything works out for the best, but I do think that the government really need to consider how to go about this, there’s already a lot of back tracking on some of the promises from the Leave campaigners and that doesn’t give me much hope! x

  3. June 26, 2016 / 5:04 am

    I voted to remain and I am worried about what this means for my children. I have heard a few people say they regret voting out because they thought it would mean they would get a doctors appointment the same day, but now they have been told that was a mistake! I think it’s wrong the leave campaign are not standing by what they had plastered over buses. X

  4. June 26, 2016 / 6:10 am

    This is such a good post – so calm and measured. I would be interested to hear the rational reasons of people who voted out too – not of the ones who ‘made a mistake’ or who voted based on racism and a belief that it would stop all immigration. I’m sure there must be some rational, sensible reasons. I am, however, still gobsmacked by the results and still worried about what the future holds.

  5. June 26, 2016 / 3:47 pm

    Hi Natalie, unfortunately I’ve been out of the country too long to be allowed to vote, which is a little crazy considering what a big impact the UK leaving the EU may have on my family.

    I never understand why people actually fall out over a difference of opinion, we are all entitled to have our say. I must admit to being slightly shocked at the result, but I think what has shocked me even more is the apparent lack of thought that went into some people’s vote. I feel like the government played the People of the UK like puppets, the true results of the game are yet to be seen.

    Now we must ride the waves and see what the future holds!


  6. June 26, 2016 / 6:55 pm

    I totally agree with this, D and I actually voted the opposite of each other. I voted remain btw. We had a very long and interesting discussion with each other about it before we got the results. We both knew it would be close but we actually thought we would be remain.
    If you are able to have a sensible grown up chat about why you voted who you voted for then I am willing to listen. Its the people that read stuff in the media that believe it 100% and vote for that reason only, that I dont want to hear from. They can only accept that their vote is the right vote and are not willing to have a adult conversation.

  7. June 29, 2016 / 2:48 pm

    Well written. We are hearing more of the voices of the people who voted remain. I wonder how true that would have been if the result was different. I agree it would be good to hear how the people, who voted out, see the future. Without the name calling. ( I think football stinks too)

  8. June 30, 2016 / 11:16 am

    I completely agree with your sentiments here. I genuinely encouraged people on Facebook to explain their reasons for voting ‘out’. I’m just interested. I wanted to understand and to regain some hope. Unfortunately no-one was prepared to. I guess the backlash others have thrown at them hasn’t helped 🙁

  9. June 30, 2016 / 10:15 pm

    It’s difficult when the UK is so divided over the result and now politicians have absolutely no plan for Brexit! I am just holding out for Scotland staying in the EU in some shape or another. If we have to separate from the rest of the UK to stay part of the EU, then I would prefer that route to staying in the UK and be in this mess. I just do not trust our government in any shape or form! x

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