Little reflective thread. My friend @HaseltonMarlies has been making these poignant, bleak photos of everyday scenes in the UK before it leaves the EU in her #LastMonthsBeforeBrexit series. I've been thinking of where we are now... 1/
I was devastated on 24 June 2016, although I worried Leave might win. In the course of the day I wrote "the UK voted to wreck itself economically to get rid of foreigners". Goodness did I get a lot of grief about that. Lots of people unfriended me, and I unfriended lots others 2/
Including that well-educated (Oxford educated!) white British guy who was joking about that he and others should organize a "leaver's party". Slowly, my anger towards Brexiters has decreased in the a bit over 2 years that followed. However, my anger towards the UK has not. 3/
I felt a deep sense of betrayal when we were used as negotiating cards and then as human shields to protect the interests of @BritishInEurope. I was shocked and dismayed that Leave didn't start a conversation with relevant stakeholders from all layers of society ... 4/
About what kind of Brexit the UK might want or what kind would not be hugely damaging. Instead it's just been about infighting and keeping the eurosceptics at bay, while the Labour opposition has been desperate to keep their UKIP-leaning voters happy 5/
One UKIP-py voter apparently is worth several disappointed Remainers. It's all about constituencies. But there was something else. I obviously benefited from the EU through free movement but did not know much about it but after Brexit I started reading up on it. 6/
Then I realised what a wonderful project the EU is. It's not just about big companies being able to move more easily, but also about ordinary people being able to move anywhere they want in the EU if they can find a job without being at the mercy of their employers and visas 7/
And reading the full text of the Treaty of Rome (1957) brought me to tears which is weird as treaty texts are hardly soppy texts. But I felt right there the ambition and scope of the project of the EU, which is peace and prosperity for the people of Europe 8/
Seeing the Tories now fight among each other, threaten no deal, and try to keep their extreme elements in check while also blaming the EU and not even properly negotiating with them I am thinking (sorry #FBPE crowd!) does the UK even deserve to be part of this project?
The UK is not a team player. They've never digested the crumbling of their empire. They wanted to join the EEC, asking three times to be let in, NOT as is so commonly believed because the UK were economically worse off than EEC 10/
But because they were missing out on the political power France and Germany got from being team players in the EEC. They didn't want to be left behind so they joined. Read it here in this long piece I wrote (still reasonably up to date) 11/ blog.usejournal.com/brexit-a-detai…
I know the EU is not perfect, just like nothing on Earth is perfect. But as a vision it is damn powerful. I do hope it survives the tribulations it has now. For that to happen, it needs unity and people who can see the bigger picture. 12/
Conservative MEPs were whipped to vote in favour of anti-semite, anti-refugee Orban. Think about that. Orban wants to make it illegal for a lawyer to provide a refugee with legal aid, with imposition of jail terms. Some people say this is about Brexit 13/
independent.co.uk/news/uk/politi…
Don't worry, they say, we don't *really* endorse a man who really thinks being Hungarian is being “white, heterosexual, Christian or at least non-Muslim”.
Oh no, we're not anti-gay or racist, or Islamophobic. We just want to have some support for our Brexit negotiations 14/
As long as we have this leadership the UK does not deserve to be in the EU. The UK does not have the generous team-player spirit to fulfill its vision.
And it certainly does not deserve to be in the EU with all its opt-outs and special concessions. 15/
I wonder how my fellow EU citizens who left the UK due to Brexit (with no deal a scenario for many of us!) would vote in a potential referendum on the UK's re-entry. My guess is many of us would vote No. At least with the Tories in power.
/ends

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More from @Helenreflects

Sep 21, 2018
Damn right @BritishInEurope - It's just not right to put the lives of 5+ million people on the negotiation table, to be haggled over like chattel, together with aviation, borders and trade. We, @The3Million too, deserve respect. 1/
They should've done this from the beginning, ringfenced our rights from the beginning. Just take people off the negotiating table from the start.
Negotiating over people's lives is something you do in wartime, not in a peacetime (albeit tricky) negotiation. 2/
I for one don't believe in the warm words of the UK.
See things like this: independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-n…
Note Windrush generation people are BRITISH citizens who are now being refused the passports that by rights are theirs.
We the 3 million aren't even British citizens. 3/
Read 8 tweets
Sep 21, 2018
Thread on the backstop and why it may be more feasible than thought before.
With Chequers dead, it's clear now UK must choose between
-No deal (economic suicide)
-Remain in EU (tories would sooner drop dead)
-Backstop (special arrangement for N Ireland)
-Stay in SM/CU 1/
I'd love to have Remain or Stay in SM and CU. But let's look a bit more closely at the backstop option. A timely reminder that the Cabinet has AGREED to the backstop. It is necessary for the Good Friday Agreement 2/
bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politi…
The backstop is not, as the DUP wants us to believe, a first step towards Northern Irish unification. Rather it's a N Ireland specific solution to keep N Ireland in SM and CU until a better solution is found. See here for explainer video: 3/
Read 8 tweets
Sep 18, 2018
You know what is so very depressing about the MAC report about immigration and its impact? The wide disparity between their recommendations and the evidence they find about freedom of movement. It's pure ideology. 1/
Read here for the report gov.uk/government/pub…
And see here an illuminating thread by @The3Million that summarizes some main points. 2/
Just some highlights:
*over their lifetime EU citizens contribute £78,000 more than they receive benefits and cost in the provision of public services
*by contrast non-EU workers contribute £28,000
*EU citizens don't weigh on the NHS, schools, housing and don't depress wages 3/
Read 24 tweets
Sep 17, 2018
Katie Hopkins filing for insolvency after being sued for libel. If the whole case demonstrates one thing, it's that the bar for a "journalist" to be noteworthy is stunningly low if you write offensive, politically incorrect things. 1/
Let's review the glaring lack of originality in her tweets.
Ginger babies are like babies, but "that much harder to love".
Telling fat people how to dress: "skinny jeans are only for skinny people" it got 780 likes, but just sounds like that bitchy girl in high school 2/
I mean, for real? I'm reminded of a scene in that Steve Martin movie Roxanne, where the big nosed protagonist invites a heckler to come up with more creative ways to insult him 3/
Read 9 tweets
Sep 16, 2018
Some quick thoughts on why @UKLabour should support a people's vote. This article is not a big headline but still pretty significant as it gives insight into how Brexiters are thinking. No matter what deal is struck, they can always unpick after 1/

theguardian.com/politics/2018/…
So let's recap:
* A deal that is as good as EU membership does not exist. It isn't there. It isn't happening. The government's own projections indicate that even full EEA membership will come with substantial loss of GDP. 2/
* A deal significantly worse than EU membership *might* be in the cards. Now perhaps Labour wants to go through with that because any person likely to defect to UKIP is apparently much more valuable to keep than a disappointed Remain voter. 3/
Read 6 tweets
Sep 14, 2018
Brexit seems to be the solution to all our economic woes (short thread)

E.g., Hannan thinks that Brexit will be great because house prices will crash by 1/3. That will be great for first-time buyers, right?
Problem is last time house prices crashed (2008) home ownership in younger people did not increase. It decreased by quite a bit as can be seen in this graph. 2/
That's because housing prices are connected to lots of other things in the economy, such as job prospects, lending criteria. It's not that people in 2008 were like "Hey look, all those houses around us have become cheaper. Now we can finally buy!" 3/
Read 25 tweets

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