Every day, there are stories in the media about how Brexit is destroying real people’s lives. Whether it’s another family broken by Brexit division, people losing their jobs because the business they worked for is downsizing due to Brexit problems, or business owners reporting how their businesses are being wrecked by Brexit.
People with empathy read these stories, and regardless of their choice in the referendum, feel for them and wish they could do something to help.
I’m one of those empathetic people myself, watching the stories coming in, every day more astounded that there is anyone at all left who will, in 2022, say that Brexit is good for our country.
At the sharp end
This week though, I found myself at the sharp end. I’m looking at redundancy at the end of this week, caused by Brexit.
I’m a lorry driver for a small logistics firm. I’ve had a couple of pay rises this year, from my boss who was desperate to keep hold of the drivers he has. But he couldn’t attract more, meaning he lost business and had to sell trucks that were sitting there, driverless, after tens of thousands of EU drivers left the country and couldn’t return, even if they wanted to. They aren’t classed as ‘skilled workers’ according to Priti Patel’s immigration laws.
It’s a small company, my boss couldn’t absorb my wage rises, so he had to pass them on to our customers. In turn, those companies can’t absorb these extra costs, so pass them on to all of us at the tills. This is happening to logistics all around the country and because almost everything is delivered with trucks, it’s a big part of the UK’s inflation. Caused directly by Brexit.
It’s known that Russia funded the leave campaign in various ways and now we know why. Putin wanted Europe to be weaker, so he could attack us. And it’s worked.
It’s also had a direct impact on fuel prices which have been the final straw for the small company I work for. These two reasons combined, both caused by Brexit, are the reasons I’m now redundant from a job that I love and that I’ve worked at for almost a decade.
So I’m looking for another job.
National Rejoin March
But at the same time, I’m leading a team of volunteers to create the National Rejoin March, a big protest in London to tell our politicians (who still somehow pretend all of this isn’t happening) that we will not put up with this.
I was in the army and signed a line declaring I would die for Queen and Country when I was 18. Now I’m 42 and I still feel like I have a sense of duty to my country. The National Rejoin March, at the start of the Rejoin campaign, is how I’ll fulfil it.
Now we have seen with our own eyes what life is like outside the EU family and can compare it directly to life inside. It’s so obviously worse in every way, that the only thing the Brexiteers have left to be positive about is that empathetic people are still upset. Sometimes so much so that our own mental health has been affected by it all. How disgraceful and nasty, that people can think this is a positive thing. I certainly didn’t join the army to protect people like that.
After the National Rejoin March in London, on Saturday 10 September, we’ll organise simultaneous regional protests and go from there. We’ll never stop and our numbers grow all the time, even before the first protest has happened.
I want ‘Rejoin’ to become as mainstream as ‘Brexit’ became and as quickly as possible. But we need politicians, who always say how they went into politics to help people, to actually do that – rather than help themselves.
They ignore us and the Rejoin campaign at their peril, because as our numbers grow, their votes will shrink, unless they stop ignoring reality and back us. Stop this madness and help us take our country back where we belong. And this time, once we’ve rejoined, let’s take our EU elections seriously and send UK MEPs who want to help our people, rather than just try to wreck everything, for non-existent, often bigoted reasons.
For anyone who, like me, has been affected by Brexit, or has empathy for those who have, join us in London on Saturday 10 September.
We want our star back!