Brexit is flawed and Liberal Democrats oppose Brexit on principle
UK nationals, would that it were UK citizens, at least not second class citizens, can be found throughout the world. The numbers run into millions.
Since the UK joined the European Community, then known as the EEC, many of us have responded to the call to work in the EU, often with the quite explicit aim of sharing UK experience and knowledge with others in the European community.
In various ways we have represented our country and have often found ourselves in situations where we have to explain UK viewpoints which are not our own.
Very many of us were denied a vote on Breixt; the very people who had responded to the call to settle and work across the European community were denied a vote on the single issue that most affected them. This is outrageous.
There can be no parity between the opinion of those who are unaffected by a decision and others for whom the decision weighs heavily on their lives, yet we have been ignored. Liberalism not only takes into account the numbers involved but also how much minorities who bear the brunt of decisions are affected. The example of gay rights illustrates the point: it matters little if a majority who have no interest in same sex marriage would reject it, for what matter most are the views of those who are directly affected.
In this way Brexit and the way it is being implemented is profoundly illiberal and an abrogation of the basis of Liberal Democracy. Lately we heat of wealthy Brexiters who opine that significant economic hardship, loss of freedoms and welfare and a loss of jobs is an acceptable price. It is always other who have to pay.
Liberal Democrats in Luxembourg demand the right to be represented, truly to be citizens, with citizens’ rights. The Brexit vote was close enough for the disenfranchised, and the most directly affected, to have made the difference. It is now obvious that the campaign was riddled with flaws, malpractice and abuse of democratic process. The referendum needs to be rerun or else annulled. Any further vote should be for all UK citizens of voting age wherever they may be.
Representation should go further: the value that France places on its overseas communities, the value that it places on the representation of French identity, civilisation and culture in the international community is reflected in the provision of parliamentary députés in their assembly and the European Parliament. We argue that the UK do the same.
Internal machinations within the Conservative and Labour Parties are denying people practical opposition to Brexit. In fact the most potent opposition to Brexit is reality. Brexiters too often dismisses reality as an irritating inconvenience.
In Luxembourg, we believe the political opposition to Brexit is also blurred and restrained by an effort to cautiously tiptoe around political boundaries.
We as Liberal Democrats are here to give a voice to political opposition to Brexit.