Let me take you back to 2016. My innocent fifteen-year-old self was anticipating the European Football Championships, blissfully unaware of the horror that would happen on June 24 when 52 percent of the United Kingdom voted in favor to leave the European Union (EU).
The referendum came about after David Cameron, the Prime Minister at the time, was placed under pressure by his own Members of Parliament and the growing United Kingdom Independence Party. Cameron announced that the referendum was official and it would be formally included in the Conservative Party’s manifesto.
The vote was split that down the middle of the country, thus presenting the question: do we remain in the EU or do we leave? My own family was also torn on what to do in with the split, but they mainly wanted to remain within it.
After the vote happened, people were polled in an attempt to find trends or voting patterns. Studies suggested that older people were more likely to vote to leave, while younger people were more likely to vote to remain.
According to Thomas Sampson, an economist at the London School of Economics, “older and less-educated voters were more likely to vote to ‘leave.'”
The irony though is that a good percentage of those who voted to “leave” will be dead before they are even able to enjoy the full benefits of the new referendum known as Brexit.
Around the time of the election, there were calls for the voting age to be lowered to 16 or for students who were in year 11 (equivalent to an American’s junior year in high school) to be permitted to vote. This opinion was mainly held by “remainers,” as they felt that this would be their best chance to win the vote.
Unfortunately, this did not happen and everyone in the 15-17 age range, including myself, carried no say in what was probably the biggest vote of our lives. The vote impacted my entire life and would never occur again.
The Conservatives winning the general election before Christmas meant that it was only a matter of time before Brexit would become a reality.
On Jan. 31 , 2020 at 11 p.m., Greenwich Mean Time, the nightmare became true. In the last session of European Parliament that the U.K. would be a part of, British politician Nigel Farage, gave a derogatory farewell speech directed towards the EU. He then proceeded to wave mini Union Jack flags, going against parliament policy — I found it highly embarrassing as they are representing my country.
But let us rewind back to the campaigns before the election, in which the hallmark of the “leave” campaign was their big red bus driving around the UK. The side of the bus read, “we send the EU £350 million a week, let’s fund our Nation Health Services (NHS) instead. Vote leave.”
“Remain” voters believe this to be untrue and that current Prime Minister Boris Johnson did it intentionally to sway voters, but in fact the true number is around £350 million a year.
Now, in my opinion, this is false propaganda. This means that the people who voted to “leave” based off of this bus, including my own grandmother, were misinformed and lied to.
However, if we take this bus’s statements to be true and we are sending the EU £350 million a week, then we should now have £750 million being put back into the NHS, as we left the EU two weeks ago. You would think that with all of this money Mr. Johnson would be rejoicing and announcing his plans of how he is improving the NHS in less than a month.
I will give Johnson the benefit of the doubt, but if nothing is announced in the next few weeks, then I can imagine that the “remainers” will definitely be letting Johnson know how they feel about him.