On Saturday, as part of the European Movement’s Day of Action, members of Oxford for Europe gathered once again on Cornmarket to gauge the opinions of local people, on how they felt that Brexit was going.
We asked people the following questions:
- Is Brexit good for the NHS?
- Is Brexit keeping up food supply and standards?
- Is Brexit protecting the environment?
- Is Brexit improving the life for you and your family?
- Is Brexit benefitting the UK?
- Is Brexit working?
We had lots of engagement and positive conversations. The resounding answer to all these questions was No, Brexit is not working: it is a disaster for this country and its future.
Of particular interest was the delivery driver who spoke about the shortages experienced by the supermarkets he delivers to, the careworkers who are struggling to cope with an increased workload as many colleagues from the EU have left the UK, of the European citizens who have to pay huge visa costs to live here, and who feel it is not worth it anymore, of the students who feel that their opportunities have been taken away from them, and of the business owners who are struggling to trade because of the barriers due to the UK leaving the single market.
There were a few who suggested that we should not be asking these questions yet, because perhaps we should not judge how it is going until we are ten years on. However, our purpose on Saturday was to demonstrate that the European voice is not going away. We are committed to lobby for a better deal, one which is closer to our European partners, one which enables trade without barriers, and travel without restriction. We see no benefit in replacing trade with our near neighbours for Australian deals that undermine our farmers, our standards and increase our carbon footprint.
We thank all those who stopped to talk to us on a cold morning in November, and in particular to those who believe, like us, that a closer deal with Europe is not only in our interests, but necessary to combat climate change, to manage the refugee crisis and to prosper in a more positive and cooperative relationship.
Ed: Elisabeth Price is a member of Oxford for Europe. This letter was also sent to the Oxford Times.