The dream of a wonderful Brexit

Much has been written about the negative feeling which drove Brexit, but it easy to forget that there is a positive and indeed a romantic aspect too. We fondly cherish the wartime image of Britain carrying the torch of liberty, standing alone against the dark forces which were engulfing the continent.

Beyond that, Britain still retains a dim but influential memory of its empire, of the great and global power we once were. The pens I used as a child at school were inscribed “empire made”, and it was an empire on which the sun never set. Europe, where was that? You might learn a little French if you were lucky but certainly not German, and in any case everyone should speak English.

In those days, just after the war, all Germans were regarded with suspicion and it was not until I was older and travelled to Germany that I realised they were normal human beings. The crucial experience for me came in my early twenties, when I took part in an international workcamp. For the first time, among young people from all over Europe, I realised what it meant to be British.

But for many who voted Leave, the opposite holds true: you can only be truly British by keeping the other nationalities at arm’s length. Why is that? Perhaps because sadly, there are millions of older Britons who have never had the opportunity to go abroad, unlike the modern generation. Why go abroad anyway, when Britain is the only country that matters, and Brexit will restore all our past glories?

Of course, there is nothing wrong with taking a pride in past glories. I confess to a personal love of steam railways, which persisted in Britain longer than elsewhere. In fact, I really wish we could go back to that world of leisurely travel and steam haulage, it must be the Brexiter in me.

Like Martin Luther King, Brexiters have a dream. To free Britons from enslavement to a bullying EU, and enjoy our rightful freedom and independence again. Our negotiators may be botching the job, but the vision of a wonderful Brexit has persisted, tenacious and seductive. A little battered and tarnished perhaps, but hard to give up. Those sunlit uplands that beckon in the distance, that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, if only we can get it right.

All dreams come to an end, and as I’ve argued before, Brexit is an idea whose time has passed. The question is, will the country wake up in time? Rising prices, departing NHS staff, loss of our European rights and our standing in the world, yet still we slumber on. A succession of eloquent voices have tried to rouse us: Clarke, Blair, Cable, Major. But Brexit operates silently, like a thief in the night, and no leader has yet emerged who can ring the alarm bells loud enough.

* John King is a retired doctor and Remain campaigner.

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40 Comments

  • Peter Martin 15th Mar '18 - 2:42pm

    The dream of a united Europe is a fine ideal. But the PTB in the EU have well and truly made a mess of it with their imposed neoliberal/ortholiberal austerity economic policies. It’s not the euro, per se, that is the problem. It is the rules of the so-called Stability and Growth Pact which accompanies it.

    There’s no reason, for example, for having such limits as 3% GDP Government deficits. The EU is unique in this respect. The EU has created its own “fantasy land” which is neither stable nor can expect any sustained growth.

    We’ve all been let down badly by those who imposed those rules. They’ve created highly asymmetric migration levels and also created a balance of payments problem for the UK. Both those factors contributed to the Brexit vote.

  • Lorenzo Cherin 15th Mar '18 - 4:01pm

    John the alarm bells sound when there is an extreme incident, an attack, a burglary.

    When the world is faced with extremes, it and those here in it, meet it with an opposite extreme.

    Sadly, and thus electorally, Liberals do also. Always the cry for being radical, and against the centre.

    It is interesting only the centre ground is producing those pro EU at all, or anti Brexit.

    But, to be moderate when all are extreme, is really , very radical.

    We could be that but are not. Because since Tim , we are pushing one side against the other. Corbyn is too, but wrapped in fudge. He pushes for a Brexit that is anti capitalist, anti business.

    We could push for a compromise. And we could advance it as something far more exciting. A common ground. That would not satisfy the Brexiteary brigade or the Remoaning minnies, but it would keep us united , and together, as a nation and a continent.

    But it starts with working together..

  • “there are millions of older Britons who have never had the opportunity to go abroad, unlike the modern generation”

    I am astounded by what John King has written. The idea that those born in the 1920’s like by parents never went aboard is absurd. Of course very few would have like my father have spent months “touring” Scandinavia and Germany and getting odd jobs along the way in the early 1950s. However in the 1970’s lots of my schools friends were going abroad on holiday. My mother in her 50’s and 60’s travelled Europe extensively as she could afford it then. She wasn’t unusual, many of her generation were doing it. If those born in the 1920’s travelled aboard how much more true will it be for those born in the 1930’s and 1940’s.

    If like John and Vince you don’t understand what really motivated people to vote Leave you will never be able to convince them that staying in the EU is a better option. But then I don’t think there is any support within the party for looking at these issues and trying to get the EU to address them. I suggested some reforms of the EU we could ask for in my article – https://www.libdemvoice.org/what-more-do-we-need-to-try-to-do-to-persuade-the-british-people-to-vote-to-stay-in-the-eu-56713.html. I even wrote an amendment to the Spring Conference Brexit motion and posted it on the Members’ forum, but I didn’t find 9 other members to support it.

  • I do think we tend to over rationalise things. I’m more inclined to believe that Brexit is more down to human nature. Remainer or Leaver we all tend to do it.

    Rule No 1. If something is wrong, someone or some thing has to be to blame.

    After the best part of ten years of austerity there were a lot of people in the UK with a lot wrong in their lives. Up pops the EU referendum. Those people over there, in their swanky buildings, having a great time and forcing immigration on us. They must be to blame. Get rid of them and all will be fine.

    I’m not deriding Leave voters. Walk a mile etc. But if we are going to convince them that Brexit is a mistake then we have to acknowledge their struggle and convince them that it is not all the fault of the EU. Some of it might be and we need to undertake to tackle that. Simpy saying that the EU will be roughly the same in ten years time is not going to change anything.

  • Sean Hyland 15th Mar '18 - 5:09pm

    Pride in past glories is OK as long as we recognise the negative aspects and acknowledge, like the steam railway their time has been and gone.

    People voted for many reasons on both sides of the argument in what was frankly a poor campaign by both teams.

    The euro currency is a fine idea but too little thought was given to the practical aspects of its introduction and in particular the negative aspects. The difficult political decisions were acknowledged but pushed further down the road for resolution and the rules of operation failed to account for the diverse economies involved. In the end the rush to meet the deadline for introduction resulted in fudging the rules for the initiators to ensure they could comply. The rush to expand encouraged comprises and fraud. In the end the lack of formal structures meant it could not initially respond when the crisis came.

    The need to protect the Euro project means a greater move to a US of E and the degree of political control that requires. The negatives and cost out way the benefits for some and that is why some,including myself,voted leave. I remain a liberal at heart and conviction.

    I still enjoy steam railways but purely as a leisure activity. Long may they continue in that regard.

  • William Fowler 15th Mar '18 - 5:17pm

    For individuals a good Brexit will be:

    Freedom to work for up to six months in a tax year without visa, no access to welfare.
    Freedom to retire to any EU country as long as self sufficient and without access to welfare (health care a matter of reciprocal arrangements or have to pay a contribution for it), starting from age 60. No language tests needed.
    Easy visas for people who marry with minimal fees and right to other partners citizenship after three years without residence or language requirements.
    Easy visas for jobs paying over 35k a year.
    No visas needed for students.

    Works both ways, of course, for EU citizens coming to Uk.

    No mention of this kind of stuff, might make some noise for the Liberals if they promoted it.

  • Richard O'Neill 15th Mar '18 - 8:18pm

    It is a view that’s suddenly being spoken of a lot, this idea of the Brexit vote being a nostalgic pro-empire thing. I’m not totally convinced by it.

    Partly that is due to time. In the 1980s and 90s this might have been true, but today a person of 75 was born in 1943 and was therefore young in the 1960s and 70s rather than the wartime, empire era. Many of these people are like my parents who actually voted to remain in the Common Market in 1975 but voted to come out this time. if there is nostalgia at play it seems to be more more directed to this period rather than the 1940s.

    The Brexit vote has a distinct anti-globalisation streak to it. If anything in imperial terms many are closer to the “little Englanders” who opposed imperial expansion at the time of the Boer War.

  • Yeovil Yokel 15th Mar '18 - 9:36pm

    The ‘Brexitair’ aeroplane at the head of the article is a Boeing 747, a 1960’s design which is rapidly being replaced by more sophisticated types (including European Airbus’) – seems apt, really.

  • Katharine Pindar 15th Mar '18 - 11:59pm

    This is a very narrow idea of Brexiteers, John King, which I think would only actually apply to a minority. There were many different reasons for voting to leave. My 90-year-old friend Joan who died late last year wouldn’t have recognised the picture you paint. Brought up in Workington, a small Cumbrian town, she was taught German at school, presumably during the war since she was 12 in 1939, and acquired a German pen-friend. After the war they exchanged visits, continued writing, fell in love, were married, and Joan lived with her husband in Germany and Austria all his life and brought up their four children in Bavaria. Late in life, widowed, Joan returned to the flat they had kept in Cockermouth, and was welcomed back by her sister and brother who still lived in Workington with their families. I wouldn’t be surprised if many of those of Joan’s family voted Brexit – her brother certainly is likely to have done – since there was a Leave majority in Cumbria, a county of many elderly people but few immigrants. I know some who did vote leave, and they are nothing like your caricature.

  • Peter Martin 16th Mar '18 - 7:57am

    @ Katharine,

    Thanks for recognising that at least some of us Leavers aren’t a resemblance of the picture John King paints.

    @ John King,

    Your description of Leavers would probably have been more accurate if you’d been describing the 1975 referendum. Things have moved on a lot since then. Britons started holidaying overseas in large numbers in 60’s so you’d have to be very old indeed to be amongst the ” millions of older Britons who have never had the opportunity to go abroad”.

    The 1975 referendum produced a result which was in favour of the then EEC by 67:33
    Every current voter who was old enough to have also voted then is now in a demographic which is overwhelmingly for Leave. So how is it that young and progressive twenty somethings of 1975 turned into reactionary old fogies in 2016?

    Maybe they/we are just disappointed that things haven’t turned out like we were promised? For my part I’d say I’m very much pro-Europe. It’s the neoliberal/ordoliberal EU I have a problem with.

  • Catherine Jane Crosland 16th Mar '18 - 8:32am

    Katharine, thank you for pointing out that John’s view of Leave voters is unfair. Hadn’t seen you on here for a while, and hope you’re ok 🙂
    Were you at Conference, and what did you think of Vince’s speech? I wasn’t actually at Conference, and just read the text of the speech in Lib Dem voice – and when I did so I felt very glad I had not been able to attend Conference this year, as I would really have felt forced to walk out. Vince insulted a whole generation – even those among the older generation who voted Remain – by implying that their votes were less valid, and less worthy of being respected, than those of young people. That argument is so unpleasant, and so dangerous.

  • Arnold Kiel 16th Mar '18 - 8:51am

    John King writes about “many” and “millions of older Britons”, not all leavers. Rejecting this with an anecdotal sample of size one (“My 90-year-old friend Joan…”) is statistically as invalid as it is wrong to accuse John of a general statement (“The idea that those born in the 1920’s like by parents never went aboard is absurd.”).

    As leave has failed to produce a single tangible (meaning practically life-improving for more than a few fanatics) argument for leaving, while continually ignoring the mounting and overwhelming evidence of profound economic damage, John should be forgiven for searching other, irrational, but still likeable, motives. There are also less likeable ones.

    Not all old people are feeling imperial nostalgia, but all who do voted leave. I believe this motive alone swayed the vote. It is therefore, sadly, a determinant of UK 21st century history, and rightly highlighted as one of several irrational and indefensible reasons for the Brexit calamity which is a victory of the past over the future inflicted by people from the past on the people of the future.

  • Peter Martin 16th Mar '18 - 9:21am

    @ Arnold Kiel,

    Look, we are talking about the over 60s Many of whom were much more influenced by the anti-establishment youth movements of the 1960s than so called Imperial British Glory. India became an Independent State long before we were born. Countries that were formerly part of the British Empire were, one after another, handed their independence quite willingly. The big problem I remember was the situation in Rhodesia – later Zimabwe.

    We were young and progressive at the time of the 1975 EEC referendum and voted to stay in – overwehelmingly.

    You’ll grasp at all kinds of odd theories to explain the demise of the EU. Apart from the obvious. Neoliberalism/Ordoliberalism is killing it.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/german-conservatives-are-destroying-europe-with-austerity-says-economist-thomas-piketty-10368040.html

  • Catherine Jane Crosland 16th Mar '18 - 9:52am

    Peter Martin, good point. Many people now in their 60s and 70s were, and are, much more radical and progressive, and more likely to be active campaigners for progressive causes, than many young people today.

  • William Fowler 16th Mar '18 - 9:55am

    It’s odd that with the German’s big stick that the Greeks neither wanted to leave the Euro nor the EU, having been forced to rebalance their economy in a way that would make the whole Labour front bench simultaneously explode from inner rage if imposed on the UK, will be interesting to see their growth rates, having cleaned out all the dead wood and corruption in their economy, compared to the UK’s which had a much softer landing at the cost of a ruined currency and doubled debt burden, both of which will eat into the fabric of the country for decades to come.

  • Arnold Kiel 16th Mar '18 - 9:56am

    Peter Martin,

    nostalgia does not require personal experience. Just look at the average age of neonazis. The topic is the demise of the UK, Europe’s champion of “Neoliberalism/Ordoliberalism”, and which will be forced to double down on this outside the EU.

  • Catherine Jane Crosland 16th Mar '18 - 10:06am

    Students in the 1960s and 1970s cared passionately about ending Apartheid in South Africa, and about banning nuclear weapons. If today’s students are more concerned about the EU, then which was the truly progressive generation?

  • Rita Giannini 16th Mar '18 - 11:01am

    I don’t understand how you can talk about EU’s neoliberalism/ordoliberalism (what is that when it is at home?) when the EU has brought in a series of fundamental rights which include equal pay, anti-discrimination legislation, paid holidays for all, parental leave, limit to the number of hours worked. And the Euro might not have been a success for the pound, but it certainly has been for countries like Italy, which I well remember were plagued by spiraling inflation and interest rates well into double digits; the certainty and stability the euro brought are now taken for granted, but they really helped in 2008. After over 30 years in UK I am convinced the reason English people voted to leave is because they have no idea what the EU does, since they have been fed lies for the best part of those 30 years, and if they are told the truth they do no not want to hear it, since it makes them realise they are not superior to anybody. It is the last of their illusion, to be the best: well, sorry, they are not. Churchill is dead, the war ended 70 years ago, the Germans have a highly functioning democracy and even the Italians and the Spanish are growing at a faster pace than them. Oh, and the Common law is not the best legal system in the world.

  • Rita Giannini 16th Mar '18 - 11:15am

    PS: if you don’t believe in a social Europe, read this:
    http://www.epc.eu/pub_details.php?cat_id=4&pub_id=8397

  • Peter Martin 16th Mar '18 - 11:17am

    @ Rita,

    Anyone who’s interested in the EU and its economic system should try to acquaint themselves with the underlying philosophy.

    Ordoliberalism is the German variant of neoliberalism. It’s possibly even worse but that is debatable. It’s ordoliberalism which has dictated that austerity economics has to be imposed as an economic cure-all. It doesn’t work. Neither in theory nor in practice. There’s no point legislating for good working conditions if austerity economics leads to a highly depressed economy.

    https://www.ft.com/content/e257ed96-6b2c-11e4-be68-00144feabdc0

  • Peter Martin 16th Mar '18 - 11:43am

    @Rita,

    Well I’ve read it and my opinion is unchanged. It’s just a lot of waffle – not to put too fine a point on it. It won’t change anything.

    National Governments in the EU, apart from in the UK, have lost their ability to implement fiscal policy to stimulate their economies. The ECB, which controls monetary policy, has done quite a good job since 2012 to keep the wheels going. The recent relatively better figures we’ve seen are a direct result of ECB policies. They’ve implemented a program of QE which has led to an improvement in the economies of countries like Spain and Italy but probably not enough to convince voters to ditch the populist parties.

    The German Govt hates these unconventional measures. And they are indeed starting to cause inflationary pressures in Germany, and lead to an ever increasing German trade surplus, so their days are very much numbered. Spain and Italy ideally need different monetary policies from Germany but this isn’t possible with a single currency. A different fiscal policy would be possible but this isn’t allowable under the terms of the Stability and Growth Pact.

  • Andrew Melmoth 16th Mar '18 - 12:16pm

    – Peter Martin
    What problem has been solved by giving the hard right of the Tory party the power to reshape the UK for decades to come?

  • Peter Martin 16th Mar '18 - 12:27pm

    @ Andrew Melmoth,

    Why do you think that? The next election is due by 2022. It’s important for both the Labour and Lib Dem parties to do well. Whatever anti Tory coalition is needed, if there is a need, should be strongly considered.

  • A post on the LSE blog by Ben Clements compares the voting patterns of the 1975 and 2016 referendums. Of course, 2016’s over-sixties voters (born before 1956) were 1975’s eighteen-plus voters. In 1975 60% of younger people voted remain but their elders were even more enthusiastic: the highest remain vote was amongst the over-sixties. Also, Conservatives supporters were the most likely to vote remain.
    So, in 1975, older voters, born before 1915, who would remember the Empire in its pomp, were very pro-Europe, as were Conservatives who, one might think, would be most nostalgic for Empire.
    As a teenager in the 1960s, I remember the dismantling of empire as one country after another gained independence: our black-and-white TVs regularly showed the Union Flag being lowered for the last time as a member of the royal family looked on.
    I was a young Liberal activist in 1975 and campaigned for remain, sharing cross-party platforms in my area. Subsequently, as the years went by and the European project evolved, I was mugged by reality. I imagine many of my contemporaries had similar experience: it wasn’t what we thought we’d signed up to. Hence the leave vote in 2016.
    Now Lib Dems like Vince Cable and John King are perfectly entitled to criticise those who voted leave. Fair enough, but at least they should have the decency to argue the case on its merits rather than dismissing us as a bunch of aging, nostalgic, racists.
    By the way John, at my school they taught German and French (and Latin). Leavers are not a bunch of narrow minded thickos
    Clement’s post is at
    http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/brexit/2017/07/31/the-referendums-of-1975-and-2016-illustrate-the-continuity-and-change-in-british-euroscepticism/

  • Arnold Kiel 16th Mar '18 - 1:29pm

    Mike Jay,

    again, nobody said “Leavers are (….) a bunch of narrow minded thickos”. But too many of them are, and you are falling into the same trap by suggesting that none of them are.

    It is indeed astonishing that people who should remember Britain’s critical condition after the empire and before EU membership, as well as the enormous wealth-boost during EU membership, manage to totally disregard the possibility of a causal connection between the two.

  • Peter Watson 16th Mar '18 - 2:35pm

    @Arnold Kiel “you are falling into the same trap by suggesting that none of them are.”
    I don’t think Mike Jay did anything of the sort.
    Raising the issue of the demographics of those who voted in the EU referendum and using it to tar everyone on the Brexit side of the debate with the same brush is, to our shame, pretty much exclusive to the Remain camp.
    Given that the starting pistol for the referendum was fired almost 3 years ago (following a long time to prepare) and the vote was lost almost two years ago, it is so bitterly disappointing that Remain campaigners are still relying on the same two pillars of that failed campaign: fear of the consequences of Brexit and ridicule of those who support it. I voted Remain instinctively, it felt (and continues to feel) “right”, but I despaired (and continue to despair) at the lack of a positive message about membership of the EU.
    If concrete examples of the damage of Brexit can be highlighted then the “Project Fear” approach might be more justified now than it was before the Referendum, but if the aim is to win over those who voted for Brexit, then the antagonistic language used by Vince Cable this week and other Lib Dems for a long time seems counter-productive.

  • @Arnold Kiel
    “again, nobody said “Leavers are (….) a bunch of narrow minded thickos”. But too many of them are”

    It frankly doesn’t matter if (a few), (too many), or (all) are thickos.
    Or are you saying that democracy should be franchised only to those citizens with a ‘government approved’ level of I.Q?

    I really don’t understand the point of these repetitive articles questioning voter motivation, or their educational attainment, or their age. The validity of a democratic result has absolutely no bearing on voter motivation, whether real or imagined.

    For example: If you could show that 33.5 million UK voters had gone into the polling booth, closed their eyes, and casually stabbed a finger onto the ballot paper, and then put a cross in the closest box to their random finger choice, the vote result 17.4 (leave) to 16.1 (remain), would still be *Valid*!
    So even though you might be able to show that their ‘motivations’, were crude, mindless, Neanderthal, drunken, imbecilic, wilfully-anti-establishment, random ‘pot luck’ choices, is totally irrelevant, and doesn’t in any way, invalidate the result.

    We are one year and 13 days, away from the date of our notice to quit, and all of this *more intellectual than thou* posturing is not going to change that date of exit from the EU.

  • Peter Martin 16th Mar '18 - 3:49pm

    @ Arnold Kiel,

    Often when I’m trying to explain macroeconomics to people like yourself, the thought crosses my mind that Ordoliberals/Neoliberals are “a bunch of narrow minded thickos”. How can any even partially intelligent person possibly think that the cure for excessive economic austerity is yet more excessive economic austerity?

    I normally refrain from saying that, but as you’ve mentioned those words….

  • Peter Martin 16th Mar '18 - 4:14pm

    @ Mike Jay,

    Thanks for the link to the LSE article. It was fascinating. Us anti-establishment youngsters of 1975 were far less pro-Europe than the older generation who really were, then, very much as John King describes them now. They were unlikely to have been anywhere near as widely travelled and they were raised on a school history that would have had a sub-text that European powers were always considered a danger to the Empire.

    It’s a pity that John King didn’t do his homework and find this article for himself before shooting from the hip!

  • Arnold Kiel 16th Mar '18 - 6:43pm

    Peter Martin,

    what you call austerity is in fact a slow reduction of the speed of debt increase. I reserve the term austerity for surplusses and debt payback. It is the cure for a disease called perpetual excessive consumption. Luckily, your Government, as the Eurozone, understand this.

  • Katharine Pindar 16th Mar '18 - 6:59pm

    Rita G., thank you for reminding us of some EU achievements, and for the link to the European Policy Centre piece which told us of the European Pillar of Social Rights. It’s good to know that the EU is continuing its quest for a better Europe for its citizens, while the British Government lets its citizens languish with a frozen standard of living for most people and drastically declining services.

    Catherine Jane, thank you for the friendly welcome back, and reminding me of those great campaigns of the 70s and 80s, Anti-Apartheid and anti-Nuclear weapons among them. But alas, I felt my experience of the useful Southport Conference was rounded off by an excellent coherent speech from Vince!

  • Round and round in their echo chamber go the seven percenters.

  • Catherine Jane Crosland 16th Mar '18 - 7:30pm

    Katharine, thank you. I have to admit I’m puzzled by why you thought Vince’s speech was alright, but objected to John’s article. I disagree with John’s article too, but Vince’s speech seemed to me far worse.

  • Peter Martin 16th Mar '18 - 7:48pm

    @ Arnold Kiel,

    If you can grasp that the UK’s govt’s deficit is everyone else’s surplus (including our overseas trading partners) then you’ve pretty much cracked it. You can then easily understand what’s going on. A surplus is just another words for savings. So if the residents of the UK don’t want to save their money by buying Premium bonds or NS certs, or put their money is a commercial bank who then buy Govt bonds, and overseas central banks don’t want to buy pound based Govt securities then the Govt won’t run a deficit.

    They won’t be able to because they’ll be no Capital money coming in. The current account will have to balance too. It’s that simple. Being able to run a deficit is just a sign that others want to save their money in pounds. It’s when we can’t run a deficit that we should start to worry. Its exactly the same for the USA with dollars. There’s no need to prevent, or try to prevent, anyone parking their money with us.

  • Peter Martin 16th Mar '18 - 8:03pm

    @Arnold,

    (Cont)

    So austerity, in a UK and US context, is someone in Government worrying unnecessarily that the deficit is too high, or surplus is too low, and therefore tax increases and/or spending cuts need to be made. This should only happen to cool an overheating economy and so bring inflation under better control.

    It’s not quite the same in the eurozone because of the nature of the common currency but the independent nature of national governments who use the euro. However it is obvious to everyone, apart from die hard German conservatives, that economic austerity is more the disease than the cure in the EZ.

  • @ Arnold Kiel

    I quoted John King, “there are millions of older Britons who have never had the opportunity to go abroad, unlike the modern generation”.

    I suggested this was wrong because in the 1970 those born in the 1920 and 1930’s started to take holidays abroad in large numbers. I further suggested than once they were in their 50’s and 60’s they had the money to go aboard and so millions of them did. Peter Martin also suggests that from the 1960’s lots of Britons went on holiday abroad.

    You and John King have made a statement and have nothing to justify that statement, while Peter Martin and I have made statements to question your statement.

    I have looked for some figures, according to the ONS there were about 11.5 million pensioners in the UK in 2015. According to the Daily Mail based on a survey of 1000 done for Sainsbury Travel Insurance carried out I think in 2008 21% of those aged 65 and over haven’t been abroad (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/article-611295/Up-15-cent-Brits-abroad.html). This makes 2.43 million. I accept more than two million but definitely not “many” of the 17.4 million who voted Leave. It isn’t even a majority of the 64% of over 65’s who voted Leave.

  • Peter Martin 16th Mar '18 - 9:14pm

    @ MichaelBG,

    “This makes 2.43 million.”

    Right. But we can’t assume they all voted leave.

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