INTERVIEW WITH A REMAIN VOTER
“WHY DID YOU VOTE REMAIN? AND WHAT DO YOU THINK NOW?”
In an exclusive interview, Brexit Facts4EU.Org brings you a unique insight into the motivation of one man who voted to Remain in the EU Referendum in 2016…And who would now vote to Leave.
What is equally interesting is why he has now changed his mind based on the facts he has discovered since then, and why he would now vote to leave the EU.
He is just one man that’s true, but his opinions back in 2016 persuaded his wife, son and mother to vote Remain too. That’s four votes. For the avoidance of doubt, he has no connection with Brexit Facts4EU.Org and we approached him because our Twitter editor saw that he had changed his mind.
It transpired in the interview that his finding the Brexit Facts4EU.Org site played a significant role in his conversion, but that’s just a happy coincidence!
INTERVIEW WITH NICHOLAS BERRY, REMAIN VOTER FROM EAST SUSSEX
The Managing Director of Early Oak Reproductions Ltd talks to the Editor of Brexit Facts4EU.Org
Q: In June 2016 you voted Remain, what were your reasons for that?
A: I have to be honest, I – probably like a lot of other people – didn’t take much notice of the European Union. I was more concerned with our own politics: general election time and in between.
Obviously when the referendum was announced it was clearly a major, major decision for the country to take. So I thought it probably would be a good idea to gen up on what’s behind it all.
I was torn between staying in the European Union and leaving. My wife was definitely anti-EU and has been for donkeys’ years. But in the lead up to the referendum we had the two Treasury reports which I suppose swung it really. I was rather selfishly thinking about my work and our pensions, and those Treasury reports really painted a bleak picture.
So that, linked with a bit more insight into how the EU worked which I got from the EU and the media… I thought, well, I’m going to vote Remain. I actually persuaded my wife – much to her horror – to do the same. And our son, and my mother. Then we had the vote.
Q: So the government’s Treasury reports had an impact on you?
A: Yes. They scared me. It was the economics basically that was the driving factor behind my decision.
As I say I was selfishly thinking of the future for us. But at the same time, I had a view on the country as a whole. However, I had seen other forecasts from international organizations which painted a similar picture and so yes, I voted Remain.
Q: How did you feel immediately after the vote?
A: The vote didn’t go the way I wanted at the time, and it was quite devastating the day after. But I quickly accepted the fact that the vote didn’t go my way and there we have it. And then days turned into weeks, turned into months.
If you go back the two years since then, I’ve actually learnt a hell of a lot more, thanks in large part to you guys at Brexit Facts4EU, actually, and Robert Kimbell and several others. So I’ve gained a huge amount more information. Couple that with how the UK has been doing since the vote and how far removed that is from what we were told in those Treasury reports, and this makes me now very suspicious of forecasts.
So having now got all that information, my opinion is that my decision was the one that a) didn’t get the vote and b) it’s nowhere near as bad as it was meant to be, so far. In fact, it’s a lot better than it was made out to be.
And I think the way the UK is doing, despite the utmost, probably unprecedented, period of uncertainty is great. It’s quite remarkable that we’ve had uninterrupted growth since the Referendum.
Investment continues going into the UK. It’s quite astonishing the confidence that a) so many UK companies have got, and b) that foreign entities have also got in the UK, knowing full well that the outcome is going to be almost certainly a Brexit of some sort.
The worst case scenario factored in is there’ll be a ‘no deal’ Brexit, yet they still invest, and they’re still building factories, and they’re still expanding factories, there’s people being employed, there’s apprenticeships that have been created. It all goes to give you confidence that actually if they’re fine with it, I’m fine with it. For much of that particular information I have to thank the sterling efforts of Jefferson Group, Zenoot, BQ Live, Made-in-GB, Made In Britain etc.
Q: And has Brexit had any impact on your business?
A: Well, last year wasn’t great but January this year was our second-best month ever. More recently, last month we were 20% over target and this month we’re 60% up already. I accept that there’s this uncertainty but once you have certainty back, confidence will be restored.
We are where we are and we should accept it. The decision’s been made. The biggest thing is we’ve had 45 years of EU membership, we’ve had 25 years of Single Market membership. On your site you’ve shown how growth has actually been lower in the 25 years when we’ve been in the Single Market than it was in the 25 years before. I’ve checked the figures myself, using historic data from ONS, so that gives me reassurance that you get your facts right.
And then there’s growth leading up to our accession to the EEC (as it was then). For the 9 years before, it was uninterrupted growth, although we were considered a basket case economy! And yet we had three quite severe recessions during the same period of time following our joining the EEC. So history doesn’t really bode favourably on our membership.
And as you’ve rightly pointed out in one of your reports, only 1% of British people make use of free movement for living abroad, and half of 1% of students make use of the Erasmus programme for studying abroad.
It’s not to say there haven’t been benefits, but the benefits are way overplayed by the EU and their propaganda system. And things like clean beaches? Do we actually need the EU to clean up our beaches? We’re more than capable of doing that ourselves, making the right decisions to actually implement statutes to do it.
So yes, if there was another vote – which I hope there isn’t – then I would certainly vote Leave.
Q: What are your principal reasons for backing Leave now?
A: All the signs are that it’s nowhere near the doom and gloom that we were led to believe by some quarters. And when you read into these things a bit more carefully, the opportunities are there to actually make the country better.
A good example is Australia. Per capita they trade more successfully with the EU than we do. And they’re 9,000 miles away, they’re not in the Single Market, not in the Customs Union, they’re not under the jurisdiction of the ECJ, and they haven’t even got a free trade deal. So if they can do it, we can do it.
Q: How do you feel about Theresa May’s Chequers Plan? She is saying this is Brexit. Do you agree?
A: No, not by any stretch of the imagination, because it ties 100% of the UK into a number of areas of the Single Market, which goes right against the whole ethos of why people voted for independence and sovereignty. But also it prevents us doing any meaningful free trade deals with other countries, particularly where we’ve got to administer tariffs on behalf of the EU despite the idea that overseas companies can claim them back. It still doesn’t fly very well and companies don’t want that complication.
The Chequers Plan is an abject disaster.
Q: What do you think overall of the Brexit debate?
A: Hmm… If you’re active on social media, it’s very difficult to stay neutral or even centrist because if you’re arguing a point and somebody is extreme the other way, it’s difficult to be moderate. You have to go extreme the opposite way. It’s a psychological thing. It causes a backfire effect as well because people become so entrenched, even if everything points to the fact that they’re actually incorrect, they double down and won’t admit it.
My favourite one is when they move to another argument without acknowledging the first because they can’t argue against the point you were originally making.
Q: What are your reflections on how the Remainers and the Brexiteers behave?
A: Well these days I do occasionally go ‘into the vipers’ nest’ and I do engage. I would say there’s more animosity from the Remain side, although you have to be careful saying that, because maybe there are some extreme Leavers too.
The Remainers tend to get into a mess because they’re largely not that well-informed. Generally you don’t get arguments of substance because they basically can’t back it up. It’s pretty much based on forecasts or sweeping statements. “We’re going to have our economy ruined”, “We’re going to have companies closing down”, “We won’t be able to fly our aeroplanes”, “Truck drivers won’t be able to drive across from Dover”, “Insulin is going to run out”, etc, but they’re all forecasts.
And you ask “Where is the evidence for that?” and they can’t provide any because evidence of the future is simply not possible.
Q: The next set of Project Fear has just started and it will have an effect on people – what do you think?
A: Yes, a lot of people will take notice of that.
Q: It had an effect on you the first time around, didn’t it?
A: Yes, but I hope that I learn lessons very quickly. I wouldn’t have survived in business if I didn’t. Because we all make mistakes, we all make errors of judgement. The trick is to actually learn from them.
Q: Any final thoughts?
A: Brexit should be given the chance to prove itself.
Firstly we would like to thank Nicholas Berry for putting his head over the parapet like this. We admire and respect people who can say that they made a mistake and have revised their opinions based on new evidence.
THE GOVERNMENT’S LIES
One aspect we found interesting was Nick’s comments about how the Treasury’s two reports before the Referendum were the main factors in influencing his vote – and thereby the votes of three other members of his family.
Only this last week we mentioned these again, and showed how the current Chancellor Philip Hammond was forced to admit these were wrong when giving evidence to the Select Committee four months after the Referendum. You can read our report.
These were the reports saying that families would be £4,300 per year worse off, and that an immediate recession would follow any Leave vote, with 500,000 – 820,000 people losing their jobs as an immediate result.
The fact that these were official Treasury reports clearly influenced Nick, and we find it shameful that no-one at the Treasury has been fired for producing such nonsense. Even more regrettably, Philip Hammond is now trotting out similar tosh from what we now refer to as the Treachery.
WHAT ELSE CAN WE LEARN?
We found it interesting that Nick seems to have made his own efforts to discover the truth. He was kind enough to say that reading our site has made a big difference, and he also credits some groups who produce summaries of positive business news on a regular basis.
In doing his own research Nick is perhaps not typical. What concerns us are the millions of people who are still not hearing the truth, because they rely on the BBC or Sky for their news.
We are also concerned that the facts we produce are not being used by any of the large Brexit organizations, which would make them more widely available to the public. We do what we can to promote our work to the media, but if other Brexit groups used our stuff it would help. And before you ask us, please ask those organizations why they don’t use our research and reports.
Nick did NOT ask us to put a link to his company, but we took a look at what they do and we rather like it! We thought that some of you might be interested, so we asked him if we could add a link.
They say they are “Britain’s Most Recommended Reproduction Oak Furniture Specialists” and certainly it all looks great to us. If you’re in the market for what they do and want to buy from a traditional British family-run business, then why not buy from a Brexiteer?
And no – to repeat for any Remoaners out there – we don’t know or have any connection with Nick or his company, we contacted him out of the blue, and he gave his time voluntarily for which we thank him again.[Sources: Brexit Facts4EU.Org exclusive interview] 06.55am, 26 Aug 2018
Name: Brexmix, St Albans, Herts, UK Date/Time: 26 Aug 2018, 3.04pm
Message: Hi Nicholas, I was impressed with you standing up and talking frankly about your change of mind and your reasons. This kind of mentality is what the country needs right now for the sake of all of us. I hope there are many of you out there! 🙂 I loved your final thought; “Brexit should be given a chance to prove itself!”
Name: Greg, Devon, UK Date/Time: 26 Aug 2018, 2.50pm
Message: To Nicholas: I’m so pleased that you did this interview, I really respect you for it. I was very interested to read about your reasons for voting remain. think it’s disgraceful of the Treasury to keep producing reports which then turn out to be completely wrong and which they never correct or admit were wrong. Facts4eu produced a couple of great articles about these reports versus reality.
Name: Sally M, Norwich, UK Date/Time: 26 Aug 2018, 1.13pm
Message: I want to congratulate Nicholas and to thank him (and Facts4EU.Org) for giving us his story and his views. Remoaners go on about a slogan on the side of a bus, but Leave had to cope with a continuous deluge of official information from government. Nicholas proves the effect of that. I admire Nicholas for standing up and saying he was misled and has now informed himself and changed to supporting Brexit.