Ross (Leave): "Lost at least one friend because of my unashamed pride to vote 'Leave'"

Flandersnews quizzed four U.K. expats living in Belgium before the Brexit vote. One week after the referendum, we asked them to express their views again. Ross Grainger (Leave) is still not convinced that a Brexit will actually happen. The issue is dividing the country: "I have lost at least one friend in the process." Here's his analysis.

Although I am delighted with the result of the referendum, I think the first thing to say is that we have not yet left, and may never do so. It is still the case that a majority of MPs want to stay, and the results in Scotland (62% remain) and, to a lesser extent, Northern Ireland (55.8% remain) complicate things further.

About the pound

Those newspapers and television channels (notably the BBC) who were opposed to leaving are now, to their shame, doing their best to present the current economic situation as one of chaos and doom.

The morning after the result a BBC presenter actually said, “the pound has literally fallen off a cliff,” a statement as semantically nonsensical as it is untrue.

We have been through numerous economic and social difficulties in the past 100 years, and it’s worth pointing out that our currency might have been better able to handle a dramatic political shift if we hadn’t joined and then been forced out of the European Exchange Rate Mechanism in the early 1990s. Let’s not forget that that decision wiped £3bn off the value of sterling in one day in September 1992.

"I have lost at least one friend"

I mentioned in my video that this referendum was promised in bad faith by our dishonest Prime Minister. Unsurprisingly, it has produced a great deal of tension and ill feeling at every level of society: neighbour to neighbour, colleague to colleague, brother to sister. I have lost at least one friend because of my unashamed pride in voting leave.

"Leave campaign undermined"

As for David Cameron, I am pleased he has resigned. However, his decision to delay the election of a new Conservative party leader until October is designed to undermine the Leave campaign: if he had been in favour of leaving negotiations with the EU would already have begun; he hopes that by October momentum and support for Brexit will have waned as the economy suffers, making it harder for a pro-Leave Conservative (e.g., Alexander Johnson) to win.

"New Conservative leader ought to call a general election"

When the Conservative party leader is chosen, he or she ought to call a general election so that voters have a clear choice between those who will vote to invoke Article 50 of the EU Constitution and eventually revoke the 1972 European Communities Act (again, currently a majority in the House of Commons) and those who will not.

""Generational split is unfair" is a silly claim"

One of the silliest claims I’ve heard in the aftermath of the result is that the generational split (most pensioners voted to leave, most young people voted to stay) is somehow unfair.

On the contrary, I would say it’s quite significant that those old enough to remember what this country was like before it joined the EEC in 1973 should want to become an independent nation once more.

Ross Grainger came to Brussels in 2007 to improve his French and to work as an English teacher: "Both these goals went well, so I ended up staying for six years in total. I now work as a writer for a UK-based company. I live in Ixelles, near Flagey, which I really like. I’ve been lucky enough to play for a Belgian football club, which has given me a greater insight into this unique country and its people. I’ve also learnt a lot about the EU, which, naturally, I’m less fond of."

Click on the video below to watch Ross speaking before the referendum.