Here’s the first in a new series of posts, where we talk to leading #remainers and find out a little more about what they’re up to, their campaigning efforts and why they voted to remain within the EU.
First up, we’re speaking to ‘EU Supergirl’ and political activist, Madeleina Kay, to get her insight into the Brexit campaign and the impact of leaving the EU on Essex and the UK more generally.
Meet Madeleina Kay
1. Which way did you vote in the EU referendum?
I voted to Remain, by Postal vote.
2. Who will be the biggest loser if #Brexit finally happens?
The people in the regional areas that received the most EU funding will be the biggest financial losers from Brexit. Sadly these areas, including the North East and Wales, voted the most highly in favour of Brexit in protest against the inequality in the UK, not realising that the problem was caused by domestic policy and not the EU. Overall, young people will suffer the most from Brexit, despite the fact that they did not vote for this future because their rights and opportunities are being taken away.
3. Can you tell us how staying in the EU will benefit Essex or the people at large?
The EU is an integral part of our political system, wrenching ourselves away from it will unleash a tsunami of untold negative impacts that will damage our economy, society, environment and culture. Remaining in the EU will immediately prevent these negative impacts of Brexit. Furthermore, we will continue to be part of a forward-looking institution that works to improve the lives of its citizens and provides opportunities to live, travel and study in 27 other countries.
4. What do you think was the biggest lie or deception from the #leave campaign?
The big red bus was the most infamous, but I actually think the biggest deception is the true motivations for Brexit, which are being actively concealed from the taxpaying public. The Leave campaign was funded by the likes of Aaron Banks and disseminated by the right-wing press, whose owners have money invested in offshore tax havens that the EU was cracking down on. The biggest, ongoing deception by the Brexiteers is that they want to turn the UK into a tax haven for the few and have masked this motivation by convincing the voting public that immigration is the cause of strains on public services rather than tax avoidance by the rich.
5. We all know someone from another part of the EU – have you heard or been told by anyone you know how this is affecting them, their livelihood or their life?
Many people. I have just collected 1000 Letters from Remainers in the UK which we delivered to Europeans with messages about Brexit. Many described how Brexit was impacting on their lives; there was an outpouring of grief on the letters. The most upsetting was a Greek woman whose son was buried in the UK. Her status has been threatened by Brexit and she was horrified at the prospect of leaving the soil where her son was buried.
6. So many lies were told by the Vote Leave campaign – if we had a referendum again, do you think the result would be different?
I would make sure it was. Remainers are ready now to fight the battle against the Leavers and this time we are more impassioned than them and we have more methods at our disposal. The Remain campaign lost because it was lack-lustre and factual. We have so much emotion, creativity and power on our side now – we are bound to beat the Leavers now that the harsh reality of Brexit is becoming apparent.
7. Is there one website or place that our readers should know about and can pledge support?
My website is called www.albawhitewolf.com. It includes all of the work from my campaigning since the referendum, including my books, cartoons and songs. There is also a blog people can follow, where I post articles and info on my campaign activities.
8. What would you say to someone in Essex to try to persuade them to remain a part of the EU?
I would ask them why they voted how they voted. Try to find common ground and explain in a non-confrontational way how the EU works to benefit the UK. It takes a long time for people to change their minds, so I also try to leave people with one of my Reasons2Remain posters, or just some ideas that they can take away and think about.
9. Lots of people might think ‘it’s too late’ to campaign to #remain. Why should they bother to still try to make a difference?
If you don’t believe in what you want you will never achieve it. People who think it’s too late are wrong, it is perfectly possible to stop Brexit if we want to. And even if we don’t succeed, we should be fighting to take our country back into the EU in the future – after all the younger generations did not vote for Brexit. We are not beaten until we give up.
10. Finally, you are allowed to plug, promote and shamelessly show off something – tell us where we should look!
My Facebook page, which is named after my beautiful EUsuperwolf Alba! Everything I do is posted on there. Videos, illustrations, crowd-funders, protest events, photos… Follow and keep up to date with the action!
Thank you for taking the time out to answer our questions, Madeleina!
To find out more about Madeleina’s work, visit her Facebook page, Alba White Wolf.
(Photo credit: Bruce Tanner)