Brexit, UKIP and the future

'European Union, new headquarters' / CC
'European Union, new headquarters' / CC

As a UKIP member, it should come as no surprise my opinions on Brexit. Despite being a year too young to vote I campaigned weekly in the lead up to the referendum for what I thought would be best for the UK. I’ll admit, campaigning for Brexit in Scotland was hard. We didn’t have the same “oomph” surrounding us as the campaign in the rest of the UK and the Scottish Independence Referendum. Despite this, and the fact we had no support from any major party there was still a committed team of volunteers behind every Leave campaign here which I believe was important in boosting the Scottish vote. While we didn’t have quite the same amount of support in Scotland the relatively short campaign was crucial in boosting the Leave vote from a predicted under 19% to a much stronger 38%.

After we won the vote almost straight away we saw and those I can only describe as fear mongers backing down. Obama who said we’d be back at the “back of the queue” was in fact proven wrong when a week after Brexit Congress had a UK-US Trade Bill, countries came out straight away wanting to begin trade negotiations and despite initial instability within the markets they recovered. The doom and gloom predicted by voting Leave have yet to materialise. I’m yet to witness World War 3, the global Brexit recession or the inevitable nuclear apocalypse.

I’m all the more optimistic for Brexit with the recent cabinet announcements. While Theresa May supported Remain, the optimistic part of me believes she is a strong believer in democracy hence her commitment to Brexit. The pessimistic side of me believes she values her job too much to upset the grassroots conservatives and swathes of people who voted to Leave. May said Brexit means Brexit and she has shown an olive branch to Tory MP’S who campaigned for Leave by offering them top jobs in her new cabinet. The two new roles created by May of Brexit Secretary Given to David Davis and International Trade to Liam Fox highlight this peace offering. She is showing she is now keen to champion Brexit in the creation of these two highly important roles given to two Brexit campaigners. And of course, we can’t forget about Boris Johnson. At any other moment in time, I’d be sceptical at his appointment as Foreign Secretary. Yet now, while I am by no means ecstatic with Johnson’s appointment I do feel a tad better  knowing that we have someone who campaigned to Leave representing us on the world stage. Whether he, the cabinet and Prime Minister May do the Brexit cause and the country good in the long run is yet to be seen, their victories and blunders will be seen in the coming months  and years of their term. Is Fox, Davis and Johnson my dream team? No, of course not. Is it the best we are going to get? Yes. The team in place we have now is the team that will lead us through Brexit and both Remainers and Leavers must accept that and work with it in order to ensure we get the Brexit that I think we deserve.

In terms of my party, I am hopeful for what comes next. They said UKIP was a one issue party but I have a lot more to support them for than just the EU. In fact, since Leave won the referendum UKIP has seen a substantial increase in members dissatisfied with the new government, or from those across the political spectrum who voted to Leave yet feel they are not going to be represented fairly enough when it comes to actually leaving. Every time a leader or leadership candidate speaks out in favour of having a second independence referendum they are pushing more and more of their voters who backed Leave into the arms of UKIP. Already we have seen dissatisfied Tories and Labour members coming to us because of this.

As a young person, I am now incredibly optimistic about my future and the future of my country. The next few years as we go through the Brexit process will be a defining and historic time for Britain.

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