After growing up in England, traveling Europe, being lucky enough to spend time in most of the world’s continents, and now living in America, I have been met with hundreds of questions about my culture. However, the topic on everyone’s lips when asking me about my British roots has recently been consistent…and that is ‘Brexit.’
“What does Brexit mean?” “What did you vote?” “Your government looks like its struggling right now.” Unfortunately, that’s true.
First, I will address the answers to the questions above. ‘Brexit’ is the word used for Great Britain leaving the European Union, of which it has been a member since 1973 – and I will happily tell you I voted to remain in the EU when the 2016 referendum occurred. Sadly, I was a part of the 48% minority vote and Britain opted to leave the union. My reasons for remaining were simple. Being only 18 years of age and generally not a follower of politics I can’t pretend I completely knew what I was talking about. My vote was swayed by the simplest form of PR there is: word-of-mouth. I came to believe a country supported by an entire continent would be more successful and supported than by itself. The majority of Britain believed it was stronger alone: “We don’t need help from other countries” was a popular opinion. From the mouths of other 18-year-olds, I heard, “it would be funny to watch Parliament struggle.”
But now, three years later, we still haven’t left the EU, and a three-month deal extension has been granted. Despite having the referendum, Members of Parliament have taken their individual opinions and used them to defy the will of the democracy. To be clear, it is my opinion that for any democracy to work, the losing side must accept the result of a referendum or future elections will fail to have meaning. Yet, Parliament fails to represent the vote of the Britons.
Although I voted to remain, as I wish more people had, I now support the leave campaign. I support the wish of a democracy.
Prime Minister (PM) Boris Johnson understands the result of a democratic vote must be respected. For that reason, I support him. His examples of supporting a democracy are evident on Twitter and through his reaching out to the public through city visits. He uses the hashtag #GetBrexitDone for his party’s political movement in supporting Britain.
Her Majesty’s opposition are led by Jeremy Corbyn of the Labour Party, unfortunately the weakest leader in the last 50 years. Yet, he still tries to gain favour with the electorate and his ambitions to become PM outweigh the best interests of the country. Unlike Johnson, he reaches a smaller Twitter audience due to his lack of hashtags and his campaign involves tearing competitor parties down instead of building his up.
So, to the last question I am met with – “would you rather stay in America, or go home?” – I ask you, after reading, what do you think?
Holly Horsfall is a senior at Samford University finishing her degree in journalism and mass communication. She grew up in England but came to America for an athletic scholarship. Connect with her on Twitter @HollyHorsfall or via LinkedIn.