Brexit: Letter from a Remainer


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My Letter to the New European
First of all; we know this Country has had enough of experts. In these matters, I am definitely not a European law or history specialist. There are people better placed to argue these points, however, we do seem to live in an era where facts are now redundant, and people's feelings now 'Trump' facts, logic and reason.

With this in mind, I would now like to put forward my emotions towards Brexit in a purely non-factual way. Let's do what the Brexiteer's do best, and leave the facts to one side, for once.

My history, in the eyes of UKIP, should put me firmly in their camp. I joined the Royal Navy in 2002 as a Communications Specialist. In 2009, after good appraisal reports, I went to work for the Royal Norwegian Navy as a Communications and Warfare Instructor. During this period, I was offered a temporary contract to work on behalf of Norway as an LTCDR, as a Chief Communications Officer & as a Battlewatch Captain Assistant. I was deployed to the Gulf of Aden for nine months. On return to the shores of the United Kingdom, I started working for a University, within the field of Information Security and Communications.

UKIP, and the like, seem to have claimed Military personnel as one of their own, complete with cringe-worthy scenes in the European Parliament of a certain MP wearing the Royal Marine beret (Which, for an ex-Sailor, makes me want to shout 'Pirate-rig' loudly at the television). However, from my perspective, this is a sort of emotional intelligence I do not understand. My time in the Military meant I understood the importance of working together towards a common goal. We had our internal jokes about the British Army & the Royal Air Force (Like we do in Europe; every country has an 'Englishman, Welshman and a Scot' variation), but we always had a firm underlining respect for each other.

I had a lot more in common with a Polish, German, French, or an Estonian Radio specialist than I had with the average Brit. I was proud of my Country, my Uniform, my Task Force, and proud of our alliances. They were never in conflict. This is exactly the same mindset I have regarding our membership of the European Union. I am proud to be British, and proud to be European. I have never regarded myself as a 'Little Englander', always a 'British European'. To have that identity removed is quite distressing.

My time in the Military taught me that in working together with our European counterparts, we are stronger. Each with our strengths and weaknesses, aiming to come together for a strong, common cause. To defend and represent our collective Nation's interests and goals for a better tomorrow. The same applies to any organisation. An Aircraft Carrier, on its own, is defenceless against a mine attack. A Minehunter is defenceless against air attack without an Air Defence Frigate. Only in working together, in a strong, diverse Task Force, could we meet our collective mission's challenges.

Global warming, intelligence exchange, protectionism, extreme nationalistic ideals, and refugee situations are just a few problems that will only be sorted by us working together, hand in hand. This can only happen if we have a seat at the table, and our voice is heard. Clear, concise, informed communications are always key in order to achieve any successful outcome.

There is a lot of talk about sovereignty. When you are an Officer, you are responsible for making decisions on behalf of the many. In order to do this, you discussed everything with specialists in your own unit, with other Ships, and other Commands. This was vital to make sure you are informed of the realities of the situation. You had to make sure that people are on-side, and communicating freely to make sure your mission was a success. No matter how many times someone shouted "We will be travelling at 30 knots", this wouldn't happen if you forgot to ask the Engineer if we had any fuel.

Which brings me to my final point. I understand that this country will be submitting Article 50. I understand that we are heading towards Brexit. The key point, however, is that we should not reduce our influence to make the world a better place, that we work as much as possible with our EU partners, and that we listen to our industrial experts and our legal services. We need to get a deal that not only is in Britain's, and Europe's, interest - but one that actually is achievable in reality.

An Officer that doesn't listen to his or her subject matter experts & friends is doomed to fail. The same applies to our Prime Minister. Leaders lead by taking in the advice from experts. You never set a course, then work out the logistics later.‌

I hope our own leaders take note.

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Comments (2)
Well articulated as normal Kieren. As a Brexiteer, I have to say I do completely understand and respect your views on Brexit. I made my decision as logically as I could, based on my interpretations of what little facts were available, and not buying into the propaganda that was released from both sides.

However, I cannot help but agree with you that the way in which Brexit is conducted must be in the best interests of all, and I don't see this as a dagger to the heart of international co-operation.

There are still many mutual interests between Britain and Europe, and I feel that there will be many things that will continue as they are currently, such as intelligence sharing, protectionism and other international interests.

I look forward to reading more of your blogs in the future mate, and wish you well!

Scotty - Co-Founder Team Divs!!
Scott Pearson · January 26, 2017
Dear Kieren,

I think we met briefly one afternoon, when you paid a visit to the Clinical School Computing Service, where I used to work.

Your emotional response to Brexit is pretty similar to mine. I have never had a problem seeing myself as a British European, just as I have no problem with being an English Briton or a Yorkshire Englishman.

My commitment to the European ideal was cemented in 2003, when my employer shed 80+ jobs and I was one of them. Thanks to freedom of movement, I was able to land a great freelance job on a huge IT project based in Eindhoven. I worked in a multinational team towards a common cause, just as you have done. And although I was an economic migrant, I experienced nothing but kindness and warmth from the Dutch people that I met. I so wish that this country would treat its economic migrants in the hospitable manner that I was treated by the Dutch.
Mark Thornton · January 26, 2017