The Mancunion

Britain's biggest student newspaper

The fight for the European Union is not over

We should continue to argue for remaining, despite a date being confirmed for the triggering of Article 50


Theresa May recently announced that Article 50 will be triggered by the end of March 2017. Us Pro-Europeans reacted by comforting ourselves with some Valencian seafood paella and a hefty glass of Bordeaux wine, whilst desperately searching through our family tree to find an Irish or German relative, in the small hope we can gain access to an EU passport.

For those still in favour of staying in the European Union, the last three-and-a-bit months have felt like an exceedingly long nightmare, from which we will, eventually, awake to find that Brexit had never happened. We can no longer sit in denial; it is becomingly clear that ‘Brexit’ does in fact, mean ‘Brexit’, and that Theresa May and her terrifyingly inadequate cabinet are serious about invoking Article 50 soon.

However, in spite of this, I believe that pro-Europeans throughout the United Kingdom (almost fifty per cent of the electorate) must continue to resist Brexit, no matter how futile the fight may seem: keep attending anti-Brexit rallies, lobby MPs until they are sick of the sight of you, talk, write, paint, and sing about it. In my opinion, Brexit isn’t Brexit until the very second that Article 50 is triggered.

First and foremost, there were clear problems with the conduct of this referendum. There is evidence to suggest that the Leave campaign depended strongly on deceiving their voters—one such example being the lack of a plan for the aftermath of the vote. Perhaps the most significant example of this was the ‘£350 million a week for the NHS’: a claim that the Leave campaign has now officially retracted. The slogan and the big red bus that it was presented upon was an attractive vote winner, and is a clear example of the deception that occurred during the run-up to the referendum.

Many Leave voters have expressed regret in their decision, and have admitted to feeling deceived by the Leave campaign. 53 per cent of Welsh Brexit supporters are now in favour of remaining a part of the European Union. Unfortunately, it could easily be argued that much of the very real anger felt towards immigrants should have been directed at UK governments, past and present. In any case, Theresa May cannot possibly justify making this momentous economic and political decision whilst so many regret their decision, and nearly half of the population did not want it to happen in the first place.

As well as this, Theresa May should not deceive herself into thinking that she can trigger Article 50 without the consent of Parliament–as required by constitutional Parliamentary Sovereignty. The lawsuits filed against the government over Brexit are a good indicator of the serious legal case against the governments’ triggering of Article 50 without Parliament’s consent. It is for these reasons, amongst many more, that Pro-Europeans must keep going in the struggle against Brexit. The European Union is well-and-truly worth fighting for.

The NHS has no chance of survival without the support of the EU. When you resist Brexit, you are not only resisting in defence of those many doctors and nurses who come from all over the European Union, but you are also resisting in defence of yourself—providing that your health relies on the NHS. Furthermore, the United Kingdom’s universities are in danger of losing 15 per cent of university staff as a result of leaving the European Union. Therefore, we must fight for British academia and scientific research, if not for ourselves then for future generations to come.

Our country benefits vastly from multiculturalism. It is not just about cheap and easy access to Brie-de-Meaux—although that is vital to food snobs up and down the country. It is, more generally, about the open and ready access to so many other cultures that our membership of the European Union gives us. Economically, Brexit would be disastrous for the country. Although this is what many choose to focus on, we should also be concerned about the cultural decline which we will inevitably suffer as a result of leaving the EU. The rise in hate crimes and racism after the referendum result indicate that exposure to such variety of culture is vital to a functioning and harmonious society.

Therefore, although in light of Theresa May’s announcement regarding Article 50 it may seem fruitless to keep resisting our departure from the European Union, it is too-important an issue to just watch the country belly-flop into a detrimental and rushed triggering of Article 50. Do not be afraid of questioning ‘democracy’ by questioning this referendum, and do not be afraid to keep fighting this uphill battle. I believe that it is not over until the fat lady sings; in this case, Theresa May.


  • John Marchant

    Oh stop whinging. If you really want to be in the EU then take the opportunity afforded you now. Move to the EU country of your choice and settle and establish yourselves there.

    In 2 years or whenever we leave you will have the time to take residency and then its pretty much guaranteed you can stay.

    Its simple really, or is this just Remoaners or Remainiacs having a whinge who will never actually get off their arse and do it. Oh i forgot its Manchester, of course it is.

    • You would find it that easy to leave your family and friends?

    • badger

      I would have said the same to the Brexcrementers before the referendum. Don’t bother voting if you don’t want to be a part of the EU, just hop off and live in a non-EU country.

      The current position is that it will be much harder for people to leave this sinking backwater of self-loathing to live in the progressive EU thanks to regressive thinking of people like you and your island nation isolationism.

      You even drag yourself deeper into your sad introspection by having a go at Manchester. Next it’ll be an individual town or village, maybe a street and then it’ll be your neighbour. Doesn’t end well does it?

  • Jennifer M

    What a complete disgrace this article is.

    • badger

      It was an opinion poll. Advisory. Non-binding. You’re now part of a big internal fight between the Tories. That’s a pretty grubby place to be. Not really what you voted for as one by one the promises of the Leave crowd crumble and behind the façade you see a falling pound, xenophobia, no more money for the NHS, rising prices, job insecurity. Bravo.

  • DeepBlueScience

    Great article! Brexit looked like a bad enough idea back on June 23rd, but with all we know now it seems a lot worse. There is no majority support for hard Brexit, neither within Parliament nor in the population as a whole. If the choice is between a hard Brexit and no Brexit at all than we have a duty to fight against Brexit until we have stopped it and secured a better future for our country.

  • afortiorama

    Thanks for the good article! We need indeed to keep on fighting this result.

  • leidner

    I will tell you my perspective as someone who grew up and has always loved the UK (and finally fulfilled my dream of living here). I’m a big believer in Europe, perhaps because I grew up alongside of it. Being born at the German-French border, France was just another country where you needed a password to go to, despite it being in walking distance (well, 7 minutes by car). Eventually, the border guards would wave you by most of the time, then the barrier at the boarder was always left open. Soon after, there was no guard and a bit after that, the little hut where they spent their day was demolished. What was left was a sign “welcome to France” and on the other side “Welcome to Germany”. Going to France originally meant you had to remember to take the “other wallet” (with Francs, we had German Mark), and then the final step was uniting also the currency, so there was not wallet you needed to remember to do your shopping abroad (almost inclined to put it in quotes, but as you know France still is a very sovereign country). I can go to any European country and live there without visa, within the Schengen zone I don’t need to show a passport, we’ve gone a long way with the Bologna system to standardise university exchanges (when I did a year abroad, I still needed to get my Dean of the Faculty to sign off on each course so my home uni would recognise it) — and now it’s all easy thanks to the ECTS points. This year, outrageous roaming charges were banned by the EC. But all of this is mere convenience; the most important part of it all is we have peace in Europe, and the European Union has played a significant part in it (although it has been rough for sure to agree on anything with so many members). I also see it as an experiment – it’s like the community of earthlings, small version. If it will work, then I can have hope that eventually _all_ humans can figure out how to live together peacefully on this planet. Our problems are mostly global (climate change, organized crime, global security).

    • Great comment and sentiment. I agree fully. As a Scottish guy who spent a year on Erasmus in Barcelona and now living in Spain I could not agree more. We need to come together now more than ever and make sure that the peace has a realistic chance to take root.

  • Vive la Resistance!

  • Steve Coffey

    And let it be remembered, and underlined, that in this very close result: (1) British citizens resident for too long outside the UK (including hundreds of thousands in the EU), and who had not recently used their electoral rights, were not allowed to express an opinion; and (2) with the exception of Northern Ireland, voters were not required to take any form of photo ID to the polling stations, meaning that any one single person could have asked disinterested friends or family members for their polling slips and voted more than once ….

  • Sylvia May

    Great article! Just what I was looking for. I notice that as usual, the brexiters can’t find anything intelligent to say, but rather rely on hurling insults. But this article gives me the inspiration to carry on the fight until – and if – the portly soprano finally expires.

  • Hilary Burrage

    Thank you. Posted on this #NoBrexit FB group, which acts as a ‘library’ of such articles and opinions:
    Do join us to share more ideas, if you wish…
    And Yes, it is ‘IF’ Brexit progresses, not ‘WHEN’.

  • John Smith

    I’m feeling sexy and free, like glitter is raining on me!

  • John Smith

    This argument is stated with about as much integrity as Amanda Knox’s defence case