Why at 17 I campaigned to Leave the European Union


Many who meet me instantly assume I campaigned to remain when I speak to them about my involvement in the European Union referendum; when in fact I actively campaigned to Leave the European Union.

Let’s get something completely straight: Leave voters are not selfish, racist, xenophobic, bigoted or stupid. They voted for our democracy, they voted for our sovereignty, they voted for our fisherman, they voted for our farmers, they voted for our steel industry, they voted for our NHS, they voted to make our own laws, they voted for borders, they voted for our rights, they voted for freedom of speech and they voted for a Greater Britain!

However, there is an assumption that all Leave voters are over 50 and, by voting Leave, took away the younger generations future. In fact, all 17,410,742 people who voted Leave restored democracy and voted to return to a sovereign nation; the younger generation should be extremely thankful.

Sovereignty and democracy was personally my main reason why I campaigned to Leave the European Union. For me, politicians should firstly be electable and therefore accountable to the electorate and secondly we must have a mechanism to remove them if we wish. In the European Union it is an out-of-sight, unaccountable, pan-European bureaucratic elite which has the final say and they do not consider Britain’s best interests. The European Parliament is no safeguard. It is a sham democracy: our MEPs are not allowed to generate or re-visit existing legislation. They can only vote on decisions made by unelected Commissioners and, even then, their vote can be ignored. Our elected Westminster politicians are impotent. They pretend to have the power to influence in European matters, but actually they have none.

The tentacles of the EU stretch into almost every area of our national life. The EU has complete control over British financial services, fishing, farming, energy and trade. It dictates UK business, employment legislation and immigration rules. It seeks greater control over our law enforcement services, our foreign affairs and tax policy. There is significant momentum behind plans for a EU-wide army and police force. The EU ‘shares’ responsibility with us for many other policy areas including; animal welfare; consumer protection; public health; space programmes; social policy; humanitarian aid and vocational training, to mention but a few.

Back in 1972, we were told we were joining a ‘common market.’ What we actually joined was a supranational political union. We have lost our rights of self-government in the stealth creation of a United States of Europe, which has its own flag, national anthem, parliament, central bank, court of justice, a vast civil service, and fledgling military and police forces.

After years of campaigning and months of touring the country spreading the Vote Leave slogan of “Take Back Control” my dream has become a reality. In the early hours of June 24th after 27+ hours of being awake I broke down into tears after hearing that 17,410,742 British People had taken the decision to defy the Westminster establishment and embraced my vision of an independent self-governing nation. Each and every single one off those voters had seen straight through the project fear and vast scaremongering used by the other side that had chosen to clinch the positive message the Leave side had and had made June 24th Independence Day.


  1. I don’t doubt that the majority of leave voters are not racist, xenophobic or bigots but I am willing to bet that most racists, xenophobes and bigots votes to leave. The assertions you have said about the infiltration of UK everyday life may be true, after all the British government sells to the EU and as a trading partner had to fit to the EU legislation to so. But you also have to accept that in order to continue to trade with the EU we will have to continue to dance to the EUs tune. But this time we will have to pay tariffs and have no say in how those rules are made. This coupled with the market losses to international organisations who moved here or operate from here put the UK in a very perilous position. Something highlighted in the market down turn and the loss of the value of the pound.

    • The sophisticated racists and xenophobes voted remain. Just Google ‘EU trade deals Wikipedia’, but ignore yellow and orange. No free trade after 60 years of the EU. Britain is forbidden by EU law from trading freely with most of South America, most of Africa and fully 95 percent of Asia. No free trade with New Zealand, Canada, Australia, the United States, Brazil, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nigeria, West Africa. A cosy racist or xenophobic club for real racists and xenophobes! We don’t free trade with Canada because the Romanian government vetoed it!

    • The knee-jerk reaction that the original Common Market was had an ideology based upon ensuring the protection of nation states against the racism and xenophobia that had spread through Europe fuelled by a certain Austrian genetleman with a funny moustache who sought to dominate the whole of Europe and eventually the world as one race. In the end the EU had turned from preventing that to doing precisely that by stealth…. read Animal Farm.

  2. Dear Mitchell, you seem to be suffering from accute symptoms of Little Britain syndrome. Not least the notion that the EU is “them” and we are “us”. Britain has more than fair representation in all aspects of the running of the European Union. Seats and members in the parliament, judges in the judiciary, commissioners in the commission and bureaucrats in the myriad bureaucracies. In fact the EU works in a very similar manner to Westminster and yet don’t seem to view Westminster as a threat to your rights, liberties and self-determination. Why is that I wonder? Little Britain syndrome probably.

    You don’t have a problem with an unelected bureaucrat in Westminster telling you what to do but you do with an EU one, even if he is a British EU bureaucrat. On your tour of Britain peddling your naive propoganda I bet you came upon situations where you couldn’t do what you as wished due to the meddling of a Westminster bureaucrat. Probably someone from the Health and safety executive. You have no issue with him telling you what you need to wear on your head, should you visit a building site but you’ll fight to the death before you’ll the EU tell you that you are legally entitled to a minimum of 28 days paid holiday.

    You, just as with so many other, naive, ignorant and just plain stupid people, draw arbitrary lines in the sand and say that beyond this, I will not go. “No more immigration” some of you shout, “kick out the immigrants” etc. which only works if you draw an arbitrary line in the sand to decide when “immigration” actually began. The Poles? The Asians? The Afro-caribians? The Jews? The Christians? The Norman? The Anglo-saxons? When was Little Britain created? So it goes with your sovereignty issues. It’s a nonsense which is really just a screen for what is really going on on your head. I have idea what that is by the way. But almost all your arguments against the EU work with equal success against Westminster.

    Why is one arbitrarily good and the other bad? One acceptable but the other not? I’d say it’s because you probably don’t really understand democracy and how it works and you’ve developed a romanticised view of Britain and British democracy because it’s just so much easier to blame other people for your problems.

    Did the EU destroy UK manufactoring? No, it was a combination of the UK government and market forces. Did the EU destroy the fabric of UK society? No it was the UK government who came to believe that there was no such thing as society. Did the EU create and force immigration upon us? No, we welcomed immigrants because they were vital and necessary to maintain and grow aspects of our economy.

    Did the EU ever force us into anything? No, because we are the EU. We negotiated, we discussed, we voted, we signed treaties. We did it all with our eyes and ears open, as part of a complex natonal and international democratic process. To pretend otherwise is a cowardly exercise in denial of our own actions, responsabilities and culpabilities.

  3. An equal opportunity to vote was granted to all. However, according to much of what I have seen on the news and read in the many articles of late, the remain campaigners would have preferred to deny most of the leave campaigner a democratic right to vote.

    Largely, according to the remain camp those leave voters who dared to exercise their democratic right to vote were either to white, to old, (or at least 50 plus), to ignorant, stupid, naive, racist etc etc ad nauseum.

    No one, irrespective of colour, creed, religion etc etc etc would have been or was excluded from the referendum. Yet in a hard fought democratic referendum campaign the Brexit vote won by an approximate 1.3 million margin. The losers of the vote have wailed, demonstrated, threatened legal action, unfairly labeled millions of people in the very same democratic society in which those demonstrators would have hoped to deny the 17 plus million people their voice.

    Is that the democracy being offered to Great Britain whereby you have the right to challenge a democratic vote yet you wish to deny over 17 million people that vote in the first place? This referendum result is alien to a lot of people fed on a diet of “nanny state” garbage but it is democracy in action. Like it or lump it. It is the Great Britain we live in, whereby everyone (not just the chosen few) have an equal say in their country’s affairs by means of the ballot box.

    The EU trades with the rest of the world and it trades with the EU. Great Britain chose to be one of “rest of the world”, that’s all. Great Britain has not said we are building a wall around this island and “thou shalt not pass” it has merely said, we are going to try and stand on our own two feet (much like we have for thousands of years) and make our way in this world as part of a global society. Unlike the USA, we are not bound by a common flag, language or history. If the EU was formed to prevent war within Europe then what is NATO all about?

    Is Great Britain a pioneer or a maverick state? Yes, if you dismiss the 167 sovereign states around the world who currently enjoy trade with each other and the EU, without any apparent meltdown.

  4. My son aged 21 voted leave so did my 28yr old daughter there not old & yes of course I voted leave and proud of it & I’m under 50…. ??????

  5. The author in choosing to relate to his age misses out the most relevant fact. In 1975 the vote to remain in the EU was 67% to 33%. Fuelled by probably the best every very catchy political anthem “We’ve Got To Get In To Get On” the then Common Market, like today, enjoyed massively disproportionately support from the young which we can assume to be as high as 70% or even 75%.

    However, instead of looking at todays youth vote people should be looking instead at the figures for the 59+ age group where 60% voted to leave for they are the only people who voted in both referenda….. 70/30 to be in in 1975 and 40/60 to leave in 2016.

    That represents a massive 30% swing which is more likely 1/3rd of those who voted in both referenda. There is no question that the youth in 1975 shared the same starry-eyed ideals and outlook as the youth of today but for them the reality eclipsed the myth and experience of reality and walking the walk of life made them understand the political reality rather than just what they were told and sold.

    I would recommend that any young person today would be well advised to find an over 59er and ask then four questions: why they voted the way they did in 1975, why they voted the way they did in 2016, what happened in between and why they changed.

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