The Brexit Interviews | Sarah Stook
We were supposed to leave the European Union by 31st October 2019.
There was a countdown at CCHQ. Boris Johnson kept tweeting about it. Instead, we’re headed for a general election and it’s not looking like we’re going to leave until January 2020 at the earliest. Nobody predicted this. Back in June 2016, fresh off the vote, we all thought that it would be done with relative speed. Theresa May swore that we’d be gone by 29th March 2019, having pushed the Article 50 button exactly two years before.
Here we are.
To sense what people thought, I’ve interviewed right leaning voters on their views on the Brexit condition. This is by no means a perfect interview, as it was done on Twitter, but it shows what some are feeling at the moment.
- How did you/would you have voted in 2016?
- Have you changed your mind?
- On a scale of 1-10, how in favour of Brexit are you?
- Who do you blame for the current state of the negotiations?
- What do you think of the negotiations so far?
- Name three politicians you’d trust to deliver Brexit
- What is your ideal Brexit result?
Matthew Wood (@Matthew03Wood)
- Absolutely not! My views for the leave argument have strengthened
- I blame the lack of acceptance of the result from prominent figures such as Alistair Campbell and the People’s Vote Campaign. I also blame a remainer being put in charge.
- Mays negotiating as appalling and the sort I expected from someone who disagreed with the cause. The current PMs are ok. Obviously great to see a breakthrough on the backstop and future trading with the world. Not 100% behind the deal but it’s significantly better.
- Boris Johnson, Dominic Raab and Michael Gove
- No Deal
Jonis Liban (@Jonis_Liban97)
- Yes, in the sense that I think the debate has been taken over by extremes. One side saying let’s just revoke and ignore the public and the other side wanting to crash out of the Eu without a deal. I think those positions are wrong.
- The fixed term parliaments act and the inability of MP’s to agree on what they actually want.
- Exhausting, and worn out. I think both sides have done the best they can and people should be more in the spirit of compromise.
- Nick Boles, Rory Stewart and Stephen Kinnock.
Anna Ostrowski (@Pawoon_4_Pasta)
- I would have voted to remain. I was 16.
- It is very difficult for me. No I have not. Although I understand the cry for democracy and that we did vote to leave. I would respect this vote.
- I blame the opposition for not moving their position. They are still in no Brexit mode when we should come to an agreement on a deal.
- I feel that the government have done what they can to get a deal. I do not believe that the deal will ever be as good as the one we already have with the EU, but the negotiations have been fine. A deal was made.
- I’m not sure who could deliver Brexit. This Tory government is my best bet.
- My ideal Brexit result (Although my remainer side says no Brexit) would be to leave with a deal and to organize a pact NZCANUK pact that many have talked about. There is no certain plan for Brexit so I could not tell you what would work. The uncertainty worries me.
Ben Harris (@btharris93)
- I voted Leave
- 9 in favour of Brexit
- I blame Parliament for the delay
- The negotiations have been severely undermined by a certain section of MPs who simply refuse to accept the referendum result
- Not sure who I’d trust
- Boris’ deal passing
- Decided not to vote, as I live outside of EU and didn’t affect me.
- Westminster for tying the negotiators hand, forcing a no deal solution
- S***, see above
- Boris Johnson, Michael Fabricant and Liz Truss
- Leave without delay or without a deal
Aaminah Saleem (@thatwindsorgirl)
- Remain (was not old enough at the time)
- I would support Brexit now and do
- Chaotic to sum it up in short. The fact the delays have been occurring for so long is frustrating for those who voted for Leave and undermines the referendum result. Also the prolonged nature of negotiations has contributed to this toxicity surrounding our politics today, contributed to divides in society and has resulted in internal political instability. Lastly, it has taken focus away from domestic issues such as the NHS, the environment and education.
- Sajid Javid, Michael Fabricant and James Cleverly.
- Leave with a deal
Luke Stewart (@lkstewart_98)
- Was old enough to vote, voted leave
- Have not changed my mind
- Remainers in Parliament
- Successful, we have achieved the best deal we are going to get
- Boris Johnson, Jacob Rees Mogg, Steve Baker
- Canada style FTA
- Voted Remain
- I haven’t changed my mind, although I have a lower opinion of the EU than I used to and more respect for some of the arguments for Leave. I would still vote Remain if I could go back in time
- I’d say 3 out of 10, mainly because the referendum result should be implemented. I think leaving is basically a bad decision, though.
- I don’t accept there’s been any serious delay. The article 50 process was always going to be a minimum of two years long. Vote Leave themselves said article 50 shouldn’t be triggered immediately. So anyone who’s been following Brexit should understand that leaving will be a slow process. Three years is in no way excessive.
- I think the negotiations have been fine. The difficulty lies in the public’s response to the negotiations, and particularly the awkward truth that we have a land border with the EU in Northern Ireland.
- Nicky Morgan, Rory Stewart and Nick Boles. My point being that they all voted Remain but were genuinely committed to delivering a Brexit deal and now none of them are MPs anymore. This illustrates quite how extreme this debate has become.
- After the referendum I hoped that public opinion would quickly turn against the reality of Brexit. If we’d had two thirds of voters saying they now preferred Remain, that would in my opinion have justified another referendum, where I would have hoped to reverse the decision. But it quickly became clear voters weren’t going to change their minds that quickly or in such numbers. Therefore I have long been resigned to leaving, but in a way that does as little damage to the economy as possible. I’d have liked to have seen the Norway/EFTA models explored more seriously, but I’d accept any deal on the spectrum up to Canada. I would never accept No Deal unless it was clear the EU weren’t negotiating, and we already know that’s not the case, because they’ve agreed two separate deals with us.
Carl Rydings (@carlrydings)
- I voted to leave in 2016 and but for a long time I’ve wanted us to leave the EU and was very happy when my party made a referendum a manifesto commitment.
- No, I still believe it’s the best thing for our country.
- MPs from all parties who voted to have a referendum in the first place, said they would respect the result, voted to trigger Article 50 and have spent the last three and half years trying to delay, water down or in some cases stop Brexit at every opportunity.
- Under Theresa May (who let’s not forget backed remain in the referendum) I think the negotiations were laughable, Oliver Robbins and Number 10 sidelined DExEU and was trying to keep us as close to the EU as possible. Under Boris, I think he’s tried his best and has got concessions on the backstop issue which most (including the EU) said couldn’t be done, the Withdrawal Agreement has its issues but I think it’s time to just get on with it.
- Boris Johnson, Nigel Farage, Jacob Rees-Mogg.
- An agreement that allows for a free trade deal between the UK and the EU but keeps us out of the Single Market and the Customs Union is my preferred option when it comes to a deal. If not then no deal, although not the preferred way, is always an option.
L J Hudson (@l_j_hudson)
- I would have voted to leave.
- No, if anything I’ve become more resolute in my belief that we must leave.
- Remain MPs in parliament.
- Negotiations under May were farcical; Olly Robbins was pulling the strings. Boris hasn’t done a bad job given the limited amount of time he’s had but it’s far from perfect.
- Steve Baker, Kate Hoey, Sir Bill Cash.
- We leave all EU institutions, no “special relationship” or favouritism shown to EU (as opposed to other countries) in future negotiations. Preferably still have an FTA with the EU
Sam Conran (@sam_conran)
- I voted remain
- Yes! (I was a Labour member at the time though, I’m now a Tory, so my views on most things have changed)
- Opposition parties that voted for the Benn Act and have voted down the government’s proposed timetable, as well as all those who voted down the proposed October GE.
- I think the government has done remarkably well, given that the EU said on many occasions that the previously negotiated WA was not open for negotiation. This government has defied the odds and agreed on a much better deal for the UK.
- Michael Gove, Boris Johnson, Jacob Rees-Mogg
- That we leave ASAP with the deal negotiated by the current government. The deal isn’t perfect, but it’s better than May’s, better than those that opposition parties would negotiate, and better than no deal.
Michael Crichton (@realmichaelpc)
- Jeremy Corbyn (primarily) with the SNP, Lib Dems, and Bercow also being unhelpful
- Could have gone better but also could have been worse. Definitely improved since Boris took office.
- Boris Johnson, Jacob Rees-Mogg, and Dominic Raab
- No deal (leave on WTO terms)
Jake Scott (@j_scott_95)
- I voted to leave
- Not in the slightest
- Theresa May clearly didn’t believe in Brexit as a concept, and though she did try, she tried too hard to please everyone, which resulted in a vacuous deal that felt more like an attempt to sell the EU’s vision of Brexit than her own. But also, there should have been a clear goal of what we wanted – the “red lines” simply stated what we didn’t want. Now, the ERG and DUP are emboldened because they think they are the kingmakers, the Remainers feel like they can force a second vote, Labour don’t even know where they stand so let’s not talk about them, and the leadership is devoid of any intellectual direction. However, the main culprit is the EU – they approached this whole process with spite and indignation, and didn’t attempt to make the process easy for anyone, including their own member states.
- Talk and pretence. No one really believes No Deal is a viable option, and even Johnson’s rhetoric has failed to materialise in any meaningful outcome.
- Hardly anyone, but I suppose Raab, Redwood, and I’ll take some intellectual license and name a dead one too; Tony Benn.
- No Deal