A Mother in France marches for a Peoples Vote

 

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On Saturday 23rd March 2019, I got up at 3am to get the 7am flight from Toulouse to London to participate in the march for a People’s Vote.  You could say “why”, you could say “would they have noticed if there was just one less person?”

Sometimes you have to stand up and be counted!

It’s true, it might not have made a difference, but sometimes you have to stand up and be counted.  What if the other one million marchers (closer to two million by police estimations) had thought, “it’s a long way, they won’t miss me…” too?

I feel passionately against Brexit and don’t my friends on Facebook know it!  This was my chance to make a stand in person, plus I was marching for 110 people who couldn’t be there and had entrusted me with their names faithfully written on my T shirt. I couldn’t let them down.

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What does living in France have to do with Brexit?

Some people were shocked to hear I’d travelled from France to attend the march.  Not many people really understand just how devastating Brexit will be for all of the British citizens living in the EU.  People like us, who have exercised their treaty rights to free movement and packed up their entire lives to settle in an EU country.

I’ve had people say “but it doesn’t affect you, you’re not even living in the UK”.  Well, what do you think will happen to well over a million Brits living in the EU? There are many rights that are afforded to us as EU citizens, that will no longer apply if Brexit goes ahead such as:

  • Free movement
  • Health cover
  • Low cost higher Education
  • Pensions
  • Residency rights
  • Rights to work

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IF Brexit comes to pass, we will become third country nationals (TCNs) i.e., non EU citizens and will be subject to stricter residency laws.  This is not just the EU being difficult because of Brexit, this is simply what is already law to other non-EU nationals being applied to British nationals living in the EU.  After all, you can’t leave the Health Club and expect to continue having all the benefits! Except, I don’t want to leave the club and I’m not alone!

I know for many people the worry and stress of all this uncertainty has caused serious mental health issues.  It’s been hanging over our heads for well over two years now and we are all sick of it! Enough!

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A Referendum vote based on lies

All these rights stand to be stolen from us if this illegal Brexit fiasco comes to pass.  I say illegal because the leave campaign was fought through illegal means, spending more money than it was legally allowed, using lies to sway the vote, and using illegally bought Internet data to manipulate opinions. But also, it must be criminal to strip millions of people of the rights they are entitled to as EU citizens.  Many UK residents really don’t have a clue just how much they stand to lose if Brexit goes ahead.

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Better in than out

We all have so much to lose not only financially, but also the peace the EU has created. I know the EU is not perfect, but the UK did and still could play an enormous role in helping to improve it, but only from within.  Why do Brexit supporters view the EU as the enemy?  They seem to think that the EU’s main agenda is to make things difficult for the British! The EU is about European countries working together to make the world a better place for everyone.  Safety in numbers, together we’re stronger, love thy neighbour and all that.  It’s not them and us it’s just WE.  How can we ever hope for peace in the world if we don’t work together?

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People coming together for one purpose.

What struck me more than anything about the people vote march was that all these people were not your typical activists.  There were the very old, the very young and everything in between.  Most of them, like me, had never attended a protest march before.  There was not a trace of angry extremists shouting aggressively to make a point.  We were a massive swath of individuals from all walks of life who had travelled from across the country, Europe and the world, there for all sorts of different reasons but brought together for one common purpose. Show our disapproval of the madness that is Brexit.

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We are the people!

It gave me hope. If you listen to how many of the papers portray the people, you can be forgiven for thinking that Britain has become a very racist, inward looking country full of bigots and small-minded people.  But no, we may not be shouting our opinions and spitting in the faces of those who oppose us, but true British virtues of consideration, inclusiveness and humour are alive and kicking and we will not take this Brexit humiliation lying down.

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In the referendum 52% of those who had a vote voted for change.  Change that was sold to them as Brexit.  Brexit cannot bring about the change they wanted. In fact, Brexit will make all of our lives even harder than they already are.  Nobody wants this mess.  Our politicians are the laughing stock of the world and yet at the march the true Brits turned out in their millions to show what we want in a very British way.

We marched with decorum, we marched with humour, we marched with dignity and mutual consideration, we marched with smiles and hope in our hearts that together we can show this government and the entire world that this is what being British is all about and we don’t want Brexit.  We ARE the people and WE HAVE SPOKEN loud and clear.

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#REVOKEA50 #NOBREXIT #PEOPLESVOTE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About Nikki McArthur

I'm a busy British mother of 5, living the dream in rural South West France since 2004. Writing books and a blog on family life in France.
This entry was posted in Brexit, Life in France, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to A Mother in France marches for a Peoples Vote

  1. Anne Marie McRoberts says:

    Well done Nicki. I am so grateful to all my friends who marched. I was with them In spirit but can’t do all the standing about and walking sadly.

  2. Nicola Steers says:

    Thank you Nikki for attending the march and as you say standing up to be counted. You did it for all of us on your t-shirt! And thank you for this well written piece – simply and eloquently put. It would be nice to think that some leave voters would read it – let’s hope they do and maybe think about what you have said and the fact that they can change their minds. It was great to see the other side of what it means to be British i.e.. the humour, dignity, consideration, inclusiveness and hope for a better future, not this madness called Brexit! xxx

  3. Alan Weetch says:

    Another powerfully put slice of the tumultuous times we find ourselves in. The political nightmare rolls on with devastating costs in anxiety all around . Has anyone ever seen people in such peaceful number as one with each other? No me neither.

  4. Mandy Petherick says:

    Fantastic Nikki, powerful as ever. It was a pleasure to be marching with you.

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