Sheila Gates voted for the UK to leave the European Union in the 2016 referendum. But now she feels she was misled and wants the country to stay in the EU.
Writing for the New Statesman, she explains:
Sheila Gates is by no means the only person who voted Leave in 2016 to have subsequently expressed regret over their choice, and no wonder given that the plans for Brexit made by just two people and then kept secret.
My resulting “leave” vote was a personal protest against the unedifying behaviour of the majority of our prominent politicians. It seemed like the only way I could express my deep anger was to make it a close vote. I was totally convinced that the vote would be to stay in, and it was entirely a last minute decision to put my cross where it went – to come out.
As the result unfolded, I became more and more astounded and extremely fearful of what was to come…
With every passing day, I become more and more fearful of what we will leave for our children. I want to stay in the EU. I want politicians who are skilful, intelligent, responsible negotiators to achieve a place for us within the EU that maintains our sovereignty, keeps the pound and enables us to make our own laws. I want the wealth of our nation to be spread more widely and fairly across all the UK regions, and particularly used to support those areas that have been most neglected over recent years. I want no hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. I want somehow for austerity to end. I want the NHS and social care to be properly supported, and the teaching and medical professions to be respected once more. I’d like a long period, well past my demise, of stability in all walks of life, with more affordable housing and I would be prepared for more of my pension income to be taxed to achieve it.
I want another vote on the final Brexit deal.
That pattern of people regretting the decision made shows up in the polls, though the trend is – so far – a small and gradual one. It needs to go much further before politicians will feel pressure from it.
You can read accounts from other converts in the feed of the excellent @RemainerNow Twitter account and many also come up under the #FBPE hashtag. Resharing the comments of such converts is of course one way to help make that trend grow in size and political strength.