Brexit is a feminist issue

This interesting and timely article by Rosie Duffield picks up many of the arguments we’d make against Brexit – and sums them all up neatly in one place. Enjoy, share, and keep the faith: it’s ain’t over till it’s over, and even this close to the March 29th deadline there is still everything to play for.

With love, W4EU x


Women aren’t buying Brexit 

Women aren’t buying Brexit for a very simple reason : they understand Brexit in ways that men don’t.

Blokes’ Brexit is a dog’s dinner of bullying bombast, demonic deceit, delusions, demagoguery and devious perversions of democracy. It is nasty, brutish and short. Short on understanding. Nasty in its triteness. Brutish in its repugnant pretence that black means white and all shades of grey have meaning only in terms of how they present them.

For women, Brexit is tangible, in your face and confronted daily. Dip into a shopping trolley and it’s there: the fall in sterling’s value as it is betted on affects what food women buy. 40% of vegetables and 37% of fruit come from the EU. Smaller packaging and sugar taxes can’t hide that or the fact that 18% struggle to feed their families. 90% of single parents are women, often part-time workers about to lose EU employment protection. Women know that trade with the EU makes green mile sense while trade with states thousands of miles away equals environmental damage and higher costs.

Brexit is full-on shame when they see health workers, their families, friends and children being torn apart by a spiteful disregard for being part of a mixed-nationality family or community, taking for granted the joys of travelling, living, working, loving and playing in a borderless Europe.  The neglect of Northern Ireland and the peace the EU helped and cement is mind-blowing in its idiocy.

Women understand all too well that sneakily dumping the Charter of Fundamental Rights, along with maternity and paternity rights, social, welfare and employment  protection,  steals our legal right to tolerance, mutual respect for diversity, non-discrimination, rights of children, decency and democracy.

Women aren’t buying Brexit because they know Brexit is bloody and bonkers. The 2017 White Paper mentioned ‘trade’ five times and ‘women’ and ‘equality’ not once. Ignoring women doesn’t mean they will shut up about bearing the brunt of Brexit.

Women ask why waste tax on stockpiling essentials from insulin and isotopes to toilet paper and drinking water when stockpiling is a political choice? One that was never on any ballot paper, and easily averted.  Women aren’t stupid. Nor callous enough to have come up with a Brexit like this one.  90% of Brexit speeches on the Withdrawal Bill was grabbed by men. 62% of senior ‘Brexit’ civil servants are men, and the rest relatively inexperienced and prone to quitting asap to move to another department. Only one senior woman was in the team sent to Brussels.

Who thinks it’ll be okay for their kids to face shrinking worlds and fewer opportunities while their EU peers enjoy unfettered opportunities in the EU27 to learn, work, explore, innovate and create and generally have a better quality of life than that Brexit assigns to all stuck on tiny Britain? Women revolt at the vile and immoral reality of ending freedom of movement: they hear bigoted spite at school gates. They see the daily distress of children and families being ripped apart. They are ashamed of the parochial glee with which the Government massages so-called migration figures: EU workers are not ‘migrants’. They are EU citizens, just like Brits are EU citizens – all being displaced by other people from third (non-EU) countries. Women are not in thrall to xenophobia and seeing people just as units of labour.

Women experience Brexit in ways alien to the preening puerility of far too many Ministers and their chums.  They experience the weasel words of ‘security of trade and employment’ as an odds-on certainty of being ever poorer.

For women a promise of a ‘better future, a Brexit dividend in 10, 20 or 50 years time’, personifies buffoonery and ageism:  British (and especially women’s) pensions are among the very lowest in the EU – 29% of earnings compared to over 50% in most comparable EU27 states.

Women are not ‘just’ the foot soldiers of street stalls and handmaidens of domestic drudgery. Brexit’s pernicious petty belittling of women’s voices has denied Brexit of reason.

Scorning women and pretending that Brexit serves democracy doesn’t make women accept protestations that another man could get a better deal.  Women aren’t interested. They want what they have in the EU. They want to stay.

Prof Juliet Lodge – Women for Europe

Great piece on why ethnic minority women need a People’s Vote

With all the drama, the sound and the fury of the last few months, it’s easy to forget that much of the debate is being conducted by a small group of men; women’s voices have been consistently silenced or under-represented in the Brexit debate, with women from BME backgrounds even more poorly represented – as set out in this article by Lauren Pemberton-Nelson.

We collaborate with Lauren on a regular basis and have huge respect for her campaigning work. Brexit will strip us all of legal protections we currently take for granted; and the rising intolerance and hate crimes that the discourse around Brexit is enabling should concern us all, regardless of how you voted in the referendum:

As it becomes clearer that Brexit could be accompanied with further increasing hate crime whilst reducing the rights and freedoms that ethnic minority women have, it’s more important than ever that all voices are represented in a vote on the final Brexit deal.

Brexit perpetuates existing legal, social, political and economic inequalities. Austerity has already seen disproportionate funding cuts to specialist centres helping BME women fleeing domestic violence, and further cuts to the NHS stand to hit women, and BME women in particular, the hardest.

Politicians seeking to protect the needs and rights of BME communities should take note of the urgent need for a more representative debate around Brexit, and the real-life implications of exiting the European Union for marginalised communities.

What next?

With the govt. consumed by Brexit-induced political turmoil, infighting, backstabbing and chaos, it’s time to renew the argument for a People’s Vote. This blog from an economist writing for the LSE Brexit blog argues that Britain deserves better – and for the political geeks out there (like us), it goes into great detail at the end about the devastating impact any form of Brexit will have.

….it is important for lawmakers to know that Brexit will make their constituents poorer. Whereas the wealthier can ride this out, it is families on middle incomes and the less well off who will feel the financial pain most sharply.

The economics of Brexit are very simple. Being outside the EU inevitably means higher costs of doing business with our nearest neighbours – so there will be less trade, and less trade will make us poorer.

The more distant a relationship we have with the EU, the bigger will be our pay cut. This will be hugely painful if there is a disorderly ‘No Deal’; it will hurt to a lesser degree with a softer approach. The formal amounts that the UK pays into the EU disappear in the rounding error compared with these economic losses.

Let’s be honest: the Leave campaign was won by selling mutually unachievable, contradictory and impossible versions of a fantasy deal that were never ever going to be deliverable. In that situation, surely the only sane and morally right thing to do is to ask the voters if this is what they voted for. #PeoplesVoteNow #EndTheChaos #StopBrexit