Get Over It: a response to John Rentoul Chief Political Commentator at The Independent and Stephen Kinnock MP

Brexiters who tell remainers to "get over it" are people who think losing the referendum is like losing at football or having your favourite celebrity voted out of a reality TV programme. Brexit is an economic catastrophe in waiting (how big a catastrophe depends on some decisions within our control and many without our control, but there will be a great deal more red tape and a relative, if not an absolute, reduction in real UK living standards). More significantly – at least to those directly impacted like my own family – Brexit represents an assault on the rights and freedoms and lives of millions of people in the UK and the rest of Europe.

True democracy has checks and balances. It is not a system whereby a majority of those who vote can impose any whim – no matter how damaging – on the rest of the population. I rather doubt that that Messrs Rentoul and Kinnock would be quite so sanguine over a majority vote to (say) permanently banish all MPs and journalists from anywhere south of Watford Gap – unless they applied for special papers.

If the vote had gone other way: 52% remain 48% leave, I should have been relieved but still deeply dismayed that 48% despised other Europeans to an extent that they were prepared to reduce their own living standards in order to prevent those foreigners coming here. (Let us not kid ourselves, cries of “we want back control and sovereignty” were just a more politically correct version of “send them back!”.) Moreover, Farage and his ilk would have never “got over it” (as he made perfectly clear before the vote) if it had gone the other way and he – and his fellow travellers in the Conservative party – would have carried on stirring up hate and division and fighting to leave.

There are approximately three million EU citizens here in the UK and approximately two million British citizens living and working in the EU – with families and loved ones – who are absolutely terrified as to what the future holds. We will use any legal and democratic means to thwart the plans of the Brexiters. If (and you may scoff but it has happened often enough before in history) they begin rounding up families (who came here legally) and interning them and forcibly deporting them, I personally would support civil disobedience to protect the deportees. In fact, I should argue that civil disobedience was a moral duty.

We are never going to “get over this”. We are going to keep fighting for our values of internationalism and tolerance - and for whatever rights we can salvage from the mess of Brexit – as long as we draw breath.


  1. When I voted 'in', in 1970-whenever, I thought that was it. Turns out that some people couldn't 'get over it' and have been whining on for decades. Their problem is - as they see it - that their democracy (which delivers their hearts' desire) is the only one which is acceptable. They had the right to bleat on for decades, but deny that right to those of us who would rather be in the EU. The trouble for Brexiteers is that 'globalisation' is not a pick-and-mix. What to keep and what to reject? And in keeping or rejecting, what are the unintended consequences?

  2. I am a police officer who has worked in the community for years , i do not see or ever have seen any hatred or massive dislike of any immigrants you obviously have I therefore ask myslelf why have you been targeted you may not be the brightest of the bunch but i dont believe your that stupid as not to see why? I can see ny your many emotional messages your dislike for Britain is obvious I understand living in a country like your family did has its affects but let me let you into a little secret! we are fit and able to make our own decisions no and we will will remain the Fair Play nation in this turbulent world NO one is going to be deported! If you have this love with the EU its corrupt officials etc go and live there i am sure they will welcome such a patriotic and educated personthey deserve u and quite honestly you would be happier there I think you alone have stirred up more vitriolic hatred tha and remainers or brexiteers could ever do I voted remain but i see now maybe we can manage I hope so.

    1. Of course people will be deported - just as non-EU foreigners who don't have the right papers are now. There is no way, even if the Government decide that current EU citizens living here can stay, that the required papers can be issued to three million people in time; and at some stage the Government will have to start enforcing the new regime.

      And I don't hate Britain - or at least didn't until the vote - but I do hate the 52% of my fellow countrymen who have inflicted this nonsense on themselves and upon those of us who cherish our freedom to trade and work and live and study across 28 countries and worry not about the nationality of those "in control" but about what they actually do with that "control".

    2. "If you love the EU so much, why don't you go and live there?" So bored of hearing this. I do live within the EU - for now - but if I wanted do in future (by moving to another EU country, that very well may not be possible.


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