“The Brexit vote was called three years ago. There was a split in the Conservative party. One group wanted to leave the European Union. They said it represented big government and said as an island it would be better to govern ourselves. I appreciate that argument. I also believe one of the positives for staying is the economy. We have very low tariffs to trade easily with each other and can get things quickly. England doesn’t have many natural resources and doesn’t produce a lot. With a border that gets harder and more expensive. David Cameron decided to put a vote to the people. There was a lot of shock in London when it passed and the next week there was a weird silence in the air. They said we would leave with trade arrangements in place. It has been three years and now it looks like we are going to crash out without those agreements. There will be loads of checks on the border. This threatens the peace process in Ireland. They don’t want a border between Ireland and Northern Ireland because with a border comes war.
Brexit has torn families apart. There are people on the far left and far right who don’t like the EU and want to leave. The people in the middle don’t want to go. The metropolitan areas, Scotland and Northern Ireland voted to stay in the EU. People with internationalists outlooks. It is so easy to travel to Europe. I lived in Paris for two years. What if you had borders and had to use passports traveling between the states in the U.S.? There would be difficulties trading goods from state to state.
The people who live in the more rural areas voted for Brexit. They feel the pound in their pocket is weaker and their jobs have been taken. They feel downtrodden and not listened to. It is easy to point the finger at Europeans who come here and do the jobs that no one else wants to do. The problem is things developed and didn’t take everyone with it. Brexit was a symbol of the little man taking back control. I get that, but fears are being exploited. People have become so split and entrenched and aren’t listening to each other anymore. If we voted again today, I think it would be close. There are some big issues in our country and Brexit is taking the attention from them. Our sign speaks out about that.
We started holding the sign in March because we were supposed to leave the EU then. We are here for an hour every day. We were tired of apathy and I had to do something instead of being depressed. It feels like a watershed movement for the West and that we are taking a step back. There are so many stereotypes used against each other and driving us apart. A divided Europe is good for some people. I worry that things are going on under the table with people who have the power.
Brexit comes down to simple things. On the stay side, people like connecting to other people and some want to stay together. We want to talk with each other and live and trade together. Those on the leave side want to protect our island and work within our country.
I am an actor and write some of my shows. That is why I have an hour to come here every day. I have always been creative. We all have that spark and tried to draw or sing as children. Some of us are encouraged and others stop and feel like we aren’t good enough. We all need our creative spark to shine.”