'I want a People's Vote - but I know my Leave-voting family members aren't bad people'

'I want a People's Vote - but I know my Leave-voting family members aren't bad people'

Friday, December 21, 2018

Student and For our Future's Sake supporter Kira Lewis writes about how her family overcome their Brexit differences for Christmas. For our Future's Sake is a youth organisation campaigning for a second referendum. These are Kira's views and not talkRADIO's.

If you were to poll the British public on the one issue people that they most dread coming up over turkey and gravy - it would be obvious. Once the Brussel Sprouts come out, it’s all about Brexit.

There’s no more divisive, or-all consuming, issue in British politics. It touches everything, and affects everyone. You can’t get away from it. Everyone feels passionately about it - even those who are passionately ambivalent. There are flashpoints everywhere, from the Queen’s Christmas address and where your booze came from, to people’s holiday plans - you never know what will set off the Brexit bomb.

YouGov data shows that Under-25s were more than twice as likely to vote Remain (71%) than Leave (29%), and I’m one of those young people. I’m part of a group called For our Future’s Sake, campaigning for a People’s Vote on the Brexit Deal. I’ve been on television, sharing my views about why I think this Brexit deal will be bad for young people, students and the United Kingdom. It’s hard to avoid the topic when the relatives are round for Christmas.

I’m from Taunton, Somerset, and 53% of people in my constituency voted to leave, included my dad and granddad. My mum and nana both voted to remain.

Extremely frustratingly, I was too young to vote in 2016. My nana voted on my behalf, whereas my mum was convinced by a businessman in a local question time event. Both my dad and grandad believed voting for Brexit would mean increasing the UK’s sovereignty and lowering our immigration.

Coming from a household where all work manual jobs, it’s not hard to see the impact Brexit will have on us. But the hope for a decent future - or at least a shot at one - is what unites everyone in how they voted. Ultimately, I know that the views that my family hold are genuinely-held opinions. None of us believe that the others are bad people, just that we have different views on how to sort out this country’s immense problems.

We all believe that Taunton - and other deprived parts of the United Kingdom - have been forgotten, or ignored. That the economy isn’t working for lots of people; there are too few high-quality, secure jobs. We strongly believe that politicians have let this country down.

Ultimately, we all know that the 2016 referendum was a seminal moment in the UK’s history - and that there can be no more ‘business as usual’.

I’ve got my views on what should happen next - but those can wait till Boxing Day.