Why, if you live in France, did you vote for Brexit?


(James Higginson) #1

This question comes up a lot on SF and I think it deserves a dedicated topic.

If you voted for Brexit and live in France, please can you explain your reasoning in a short paragraph?

This is not an opportunity to berate anyone for their choice, it’s a genuine question and I would like to see a reasoned and polite debate please.

I'm Not Being Racist..... but
(Katherine Hartig) #2

Didn’t vote because I couldn’t :rage: But if I could have, it would have been to remain.
Very good question James…and I’m also curious to see the responses.

(Karen DebaxLatour) #3

I think both brits in France and the UK could be better off with Brexit. The UK and France will be forced to sign a bi lateral agreement to protect their citizens with over 200k French in London it is France’s second city. The current European laws are cumbersome and we are put in a pot with all others seeking documentation. Including those from Eastern Europe who the French are not as keen on as they are us. This leads to huge delays. It is quicker to document non Europeans according to my local people.

I didn’t like the way Europe was forcing us to follow a closer relationship in a system where the leads are UN elected and UN accountable. Where we pay millions to move parliament around and maps appear to have unlimited expenses.
A system that adds layers of beauacracy and cost as well as preventing us forming our own trade deals with our friends such as the commonwealth and developing economies such as China and Brazil.
The human rights laws not allowing us to deport Abu hamza etc felt to me as if you had an unwelcome guest in your house and the state wouldn’t let you evict them! Just too much big brother!

(David Martin) #4

Thank you for being honest. :slight_smile:

(Glen Margaret Griffin) #5

Just who is going to force France to sign a bilateral agreement?

(anon88888878) #6

Just for clarification @Karen_DebaxLatour London is not France’s second​ city based on the French population living there - it comes in around 5th or 6th.

A few questions - to better help me understand…

  1. Which current European laws are cumbersome and how do they affect YOU on a daily basis?

  2. How do European ‘layers of bureaucracy’ affect YOU on a daily basis?

  3. Specifically, what trade deals has the UK been prevented from making?

  4. How does ‘Big Brother’ affect YOU on a daily basis? Any examples would help.

I seriously can’t answer those questions so would be grateful for any clarification.

(Timothy Cole) #7

I have always found it odd that expats living in the EU who voted to leave do not expect or see why things should change after Brexit becomes reality. Surely if you’re unhappy being part of the EU then you would sell up and either move back to the UK or to another non-EU country?

(anon71231711) #8

My view as I’ve said before on here is that I saw this as something to be decided by the people who currently live and/or intend to live in the UK in the future. I don’t feel that people who have chosen to leave should dictate to those people what their future (not our future) holds. So on that basis:

So I think these are valid question to ask anyone who lives in the UK but not to ask anyone who lives abroad. (Though from KL’s use of “we” and “us” I guess she does?) I know a lot of people are going to say “but we have family there”, “but we still pay tax there” etc but do they really know what it’s like to live there? Plus, I don’t see how you can not have divided loyalties, for instance my priority is a healthy euro in preference to a healthy pound, how can it not be if you run a business in euros.

Britain is a tiny island. It has a different set of issues from mainland Europe. It never joined the Euro. It never joined Schengen. It was never fully committed to the EU. I don’t think most of the people in the UK even began to understand that the EU is not only about trade, it’s also about social issues and “the bigger picture”.It was an uneasy relationships and uneasy relationships are often best ended rather than allowed to drag on. I naively hoped (I say hoped rather than thought because I wasn’t at all sure) the UK had plans and if released from the EU it would be ready to pick up the ball and run with it. How wrong can you be. (For the record, I didn’t vote. I very much wanted the UK to remain but I believed the views of those in the UK should have priority over my feelings.)

(Nigel Billington) #9

It is a great question that I have been asking my friends who live here and who voted for Brexit.

I saw Nigel Lawson at a summer show last year and I wanted to ask him the same question but I avoided the confrontation. For those that don’t remember he was Chancellor of the Exchequer under Thatcher, was Chairman of one of the Brexit groups, and who lives full time in the Gers. He also regularly pops back to London to sign into the Lords to get his £300 daily allowance.

The hypocrisy is mind blowing.

(anon88888878) #10

Absolutely Anna - no argument there just an observation. I don’t feel that people who have chosen to leave should be able to affect the lives of people living in other countries. Their vote will undoubtedly affect me but my vote had no bearing on them at all.

My questions are not easy to answer are they? Which laws, what bureaucracy, which trade deals and what ‘Big Brother’ ? To me they seem like mantras repeated ad infinitum - almost urban myths, as no one seems to be able to be specific.

(Keith Pine) #11

Utter nonsense!

(David Martin) #13

Ah, yes. But it does give us an insight into the thought processes involved.

(Angela Mackay) #14

Although I voted remain (husband voted to leave) if asked to vote now I would be voting leave. I really believe that the U.K. has done the rest of the EU a favour, in a way we are the sacrificial lamb and as a result there will be changes within the EU for the better. Many years ago I voted to be in the then common market as I thought it was the way forward and having been brought up in a France from an early age felt more integrated. At no point have I wanted to be part of a federal Europe where there would potentially be common taxation, cultures and laws. I have always been quite jittery about borders not being controlled and in the wake of the immigrant crisis and recent events of terrorism in UK and mainland Europe my fears have been compounded. Britain will survive and prosper outside of the EU and pray that we will reach mutually amicable terms. I’m one of the fortunate people who lives half the year in France and half in Britain so see things from both perspectives.

Mysterious removal of posts
(Patrick Hay) #15

I had no vote so didn’t have to make a decision, but if I were still living in UK I think I would have voted to leave the EU.

What concerns me, apart from the unnecessary layer of bureaucracy, is that power in the EU seems to be wielded by a small group of people with an almost religious fervour for, and an intense faith in the concept of a single European state. The structure and institutions of EU government should be constrained by proper democratic checks and balances, so that the voices of the large numbers of EU citizens who find it alarming to be dictated to by people they did not elect and do not necessarily trust, should be properly heard and listened to. Unfortunately the EU Parliament, where the power should reside, is very much a token talking shop with no real authority to hold the executive to account.

Yes, I know that, in theory, the Commission can be sacked by the Parliament, but that would only result in a new Commission being appointed - different faces with exactly the same ambitions and exactly the same obedience to the faith.

I find it alarming, too, that some national leaders, for instance Frau Merkel and her close allies, can apparently make up EU policy on the hoof or in private meetings, and then dictate it to their Brussels Commission appointees so that it soon becomes EU law by decree rather than by a more transparent and democratically open process. The EU parliament, which is supposed to be the democratic assembly of the peoples’ representatives has no say in these directives, and precious little power to stop, revise, or repeal any EU legislation.

It seems to me, too, that much EU legislation is clearly the result of persistent unrestrained lobbying by rich and powerful single issue groups, such as those representing agriculture, energy, construction, engineering and transport industries. Their success in getting the regulations that suit the largest operators, rather than small or medium size businesses, suggests that corruption is rife among the bureaucracy.

Before anyone tells me that it is only in Britain that such scepticism exists, perhaps I can point out that even in France around 49% of voters expressed a sceptical view of the EU by voting in the first round of the presidential election for candidates who were openly critical of it. Even the eventual winner, M. Macron, spoke of major reforms that he believed were necessary in the Brussels set-up. I think we all know in our hearts that any suggestion of reform of the EU’s institutions, if intended to lead to a fairer and more transparent democratic system, will swiftly be buried by those who hold the power.

So though I had no vote, I would have wanted a cast-iron promise of major reform. Since none was promised, and since it was made clear to Mr. Cameron that no reform was possible, and even in spite of the Remainers’ insistence that they could and would obtain reform from within the EU, I believe that if I were a UK resident I would be on the side of the Leavers.

As a resident of France though not a French citizen I have no vote here, either, so not only do I feel detached from French politics, but I also feel free to up sticks and find somewhere else should I become disenchanted with life within the EU. I hope that will never be necessary.

(Mark Alsop) #16

I have completely the same views as the above poster and likewise I could not vote either. Although, I would have (under protest) voted remain. I really don’t like the EU institution as they really don’t represent anybody apart from themselves.

Under an ideal situation, Macron will push through reforms and convince the UK to stay. If that mad idiot May gets in, I can’t see that happening.

(David Martin) #17

That is the sort of extreme negativity that should have formed the backbone of the leave supporters campaign. It’s a pity that they didn’t opt for that route instead of going for the outright lies and false promises that they relied on so heavily. What is missing completely in the above are any of the positives that membership of the EU provides and there are so many of those. For a start economic growth is pretty important; a quick glance at a graph of the UK’s economic position in the years up to and after membership shows a strong correlation. In fact that graph looked so good some senior leave voters used it as an example of how strong Britain was in World trade terms. Luckily somebody pointed out to them that what it really showed was the difference that being a member of the EU actually made so the embarrassment was limited. Britain will need strong trade links after Brexit, I hope it finds them as most countries are already locked into their own trade arrangements and will find it hard to start increasing trade with anyone outside their own blocks. Trade is only one of the benefits and any expats who voted leave may see the error of their ways sooner than later as it is they who are going to be affected by lower exchange rates, import duties, reciprocal healthcare and possibly restrictions in the movement of finances. Then there are the little things like human rights, fair working conditions and wages, shared resources for scientific research and law and order, not to mention the Northern Ireland Peace Agreement which is reliant on the European Convention of Human Rights.
In the run up to the referendum one politician stated that the EU wasn’t perfect but, for Britain, being a member was much better than being on the outside. He was torn to shreds in the right wing press and accused of being luke warm and indecisive. Another made a compelling case for remaining, pointing out that, for the good of the country, there was no choice. She is now hoping to lead the country out of the EU, has stated quite clearly that Brexit means Brexit and that no deal is better than a bad deal. I wonder who will be leading the UK after tomorrow, the realist who sees it as it is or the one who will not let something like her beliefs and principles stand in the way of her political success?
It’s good to see the leave voters opening up and sharing their reasons for voting that way but nothing I’ve read so far has made me think that they made the right dexpcision.

(anon88888878) #18

David - great post and couldn’t agree more!

I think it’s quite telling that I still don’t have ANY examples given in answer to my questions about which laws, what bureaucracy, which trade deals and what ‘Big Brother’ is it that the Leavers are so wound up about? All I see is the same old endless, repetitive rhetoric.

(James Higginson) #19

Perhaps people are reluctant to reply to you as you can be quite assertive on occasion? :wink:

(David Martin) #20

Who? Simon? :slight_smile:

(Patrick Hay) #21

If the question had been “Why might you have voted Remain?”, I could have provided some positive reasons why I think the EU has been of benefit in many ways to members and citizens. That wasn’t the question - and you’ll notice I confined my answer to criticism of the structure of the EU’s institutions, which even its most fervent supporters in Brussels occasionally admit could be more transparent and more in touch with the people of Europe.

On balance - benefits weighed against dangers and disadvantages - I concluded that for Britain the long-term danger of being drawn deeper into a poorly designed political union which has the potential, if not radically reformed, to become an unpopular and highly resented dictatorship, would have put me in the Leave camp.

The ultimate result of a deficit of democracy is revolution. The EU must reform its governing structure or it will breed a mass of discontent that could overthrow it - possibly with unpleasant consequences for much of the world.