As a German I am sometimes not sure what to think and feel about the British attitude towards the European Union and if I am happy that the ‘cherry pickers’ are on their way out or if I should fight to keep this unique part of Europe on board of the European project. But de facto it is easy to see that the British Government has no mandate for what they are currently doing. Not only the European project is suffering, but so is democracy and millions of fellow Europeans too, and this needs to end.

Democracy means the people decide

The referendum of 2016 was an advisory question asking if the people of Britain want to leave the EU. It was a snapshot of public opinion at that time. But there were no concrete plans for how to really ‘Brexit’. No one really expected a vote in favour of leaving.

Meanwhile the negotiations are showing that it will be a hard time for the UK outside the single market and customs Union. The Irish border question is still not solved and Scotland and Wales are rebelling openly.

Most people didn’t realise what the outcome would be and are now waking up to reality. Polls show that the public opinion has changed and the last general election stripped the Conservative Governments of an absolute majority. Why is this Government carrying on as if nothing has happened?

What people said with this vote was actually no to ‘hard Brexit’.

Europeans living in UK had no vote

We connected our lives and our destiny. We have common families. Why were the people affected the most not allowed to vote? The Germans living for many years in Britain and the Britons living as my neighbours for long time next to me? Who made this absurd rules for the last, non binding, referendum?

And who decided that a simple majority in an advisory referendum would be enough to ruin the lives of so many?

We need another vote – a fair one for all

Let people decide in a fair vote, including Europeans living in the UK, and Britons living in other European countries. Give them a choice on the terms of Brexit based on facts, and ask for a decent majority to make the vote count. There are other options than only ‘hard Brexit’ available – like the way Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland did it.

This is real democracy and we all could accept the outcome. But I can’t and won’t accept what happens to my fellow Europeans, British and from all other countries, based on a farce.

Martina Brinkman
German businesswoman who studied political science, history and economy in Trier. Co Founder of Europa United.

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    1. Absolutely sensible and in my opinion correct view.

    2. Thank you for this article, absolutely true and thousands of us are working to remain members of the EU family.

    3. Totally agree with this article, I moved to Ireland due to the brexit result in the referendum. Mad people or those with self serving interests have indeed taken over the country…………………

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