Brexit. What a joke. Yet everyone has something to say about it!
I am British. I was born in Britain – England to be exact. I have always been proud to be English. Being English has always been important to me but I always like when Britain pulls together so I would say to many I am British and that I also used to be proud of being British.
I am currently travelling the world with my family. I left the UK in the summer of 2018 with a one-way ticket. To date I have been to Iceland, British Columbia, Alaska, California, Nevada, Arizona, Mexico, Barbados, Florida, Australia and I am currently in India!
I have already mentioned being from England, Britain and the UK. Either way, they typically all mean the same thing to me.
On my travels, I speak to many people and often Brexit comes into conversation. Not so much in Mexico or India but certainly in the other places I have visited. I have spoken to people who simply follow the media, but mainly Brits who have moved abroad or non-Brits who have once lived in the UK. The ‘outside’ perspective of someone who has experience living in the country is very interesting. These people have been Dutch, German, Australian, American, Canadian, Spanish, Swiss, and many more.
They obviously ask my opinion Brexit. I am very upfront from the outset and advise them that once I left the UK, I stopped following UK mainstream media so am not fully up to date with Brexit. The reason I stopped following mainstream media is because it isn’t always factual, it is biased in some form and it is mostly negative. The news isn’t always relevant to me. News articles are created from ‘stories’ that would be popular. The more people would find something interesting whether negative or not is more preferable to publish simply due to popularity. The more people read or watch the media, the larger the advertising potential it has. Media also massively influences people’s thoughts processes so it wouldn’t surprise me if everything was written in a way that was paid for to sway the mindset of the reader. This crooked world is run by greed. Money talks unfortunately and runs the majority of decisions on governmental scales to smaller individual scales.
Anyway…. What do I think of Brexit??
I voted for Britain to remain in the EU.
When I heard the outcome of the United Kingdom EU referendum held on 23rd June 2016 which was that 51.9% voted leave, that was when I decided I wanted out of the country I once loved.
Let me explain.
To date, bearing in mind it has been almost 3 years since the outcome of the British EU referendum, I haven’t heard a single justified reason that has evidence to why the UK should leave the EU. Not a SINGLE reason!!
What I have heard is stories and predictions.
Now, many of you who know me and follow me on social media will know that I do not base all my thoughts and feelings based on facts, but actually I base a lot of it on gut instinct and following my heart. Obviously, logic plays a huge part and that is what I often use in business, because I have to!
I started an electrical and fire alarm contracting business in 2010 near the start of the recession. I was based near London and London was still booming despite construction and the building services industry struggling in the rest of the country. However, the recession really messed up my trade and industry during that period.
Many clients used it as a way to reduce the market value of the services from an electrician simply because many were out of work. When that happens, people become desperate and reduce prices and some even worked for cost or for a loss!!!!
Prior to 2010 starting my business, I worked for a well-established company working all over the country and I earned fantastic money. I was young at the time – in my early twenties and had no children. Life was great. I wouldn’t think twice about splashing a thousand pounds on something. I was made redundant because the company I worked for were into their bank overdraft (or so I was told) and it was taken away by the bank leaving the company with immediate cash flow issues which couldn’t be resolved. Everyone was made redundant overnight.
It led to my opportunity to start my own company and boy it has been one huge learning curve. Learning to be a businessman is very different to being an electrician.
I was a shareholder of my company until 2018 when I sold my shares to travel so I was at the helm of the company for 8 years. The business steadily grew over time to turning over shy of £1.5M before I exited.
At first, things were tough. Partly because it was a start up business but also because we were in a recession. However, 2015 was a turning point. Organisations, companies and individuals had money to spend. The sales of homes were crazy. In parts of the South East, you could put your home on the market, have an open day the following Saturday, have a dozen people round who saw the property for 15 minutes and entered a bidding war to buy it! It was nuts. All good for my industry because there was money and value on spending for installations and maintenance.
Up until 2015, wages in the industry typically hadn’t risen at all. From a point of view as a business owner, I couldn’t charge any more than what we did because the market didn’t allow it. It was still recovering from the recession and how the market rate was massively reduced. Clients were still really keeping costs down and held lots of power. Again, money talks and the UK safety culture tends to understand it has legal duties but neglects responsibilities by passing the buck. Something that shouldn’t be done *cough* Grenfell.
2015 was different. There were tons of work out there. It was amazing. Without being completely ridiculously priced, I could name my price and it would be accepted providing I could deliver the timescales. Fortunately, I had a great team and working short notice wasn’t a problem. Clients would struggle finding an electrician who was available, so I ensured I was available and charged accordingly. Wages were on the increase and so were the market value rates. All good!
When the EU referendum outcome was announced, that all stopped. Home sales decreased. The amount of work declined a little but clients continued pressure with lowering costs again. The prospect of higher wages became all but a dream supplemented by higher overheads to run a business. I noticed cost of living was generally rising in all aspects of expenditure. Nothing went down, it all went up!!!
Up until the referendum, I saw the UK economy from my point of view rise from the recession and was onto a good thing. Once the outcome was announced, it hasn’t moved forward one little bit!!!!!
I spoke to many business owners in a similar position to me, peers and friends about Brexit and I didn’t hear a good enough argument to leave.
“It’ll save the NHS millions” ….. Oh really?? Tell me how…. With evidence.
“We can farm our own foods” ….. Sure we can. UK oranges sound lovely.
“We need to get Great Britain back!” ….. Hmmm. Okay.
“We need to stop immigration” ….. Why? This country has repeatedly been invaded time and time again and immigration is our history! Many have said this who work in construction because they claim foreign workers come over to our country and take our construction jobs. Firstly, the need to build new properties and to maintain existing is relative to the population growth. If it suddenly stopped, it would lead to a huge hole in the need to build new homes and commercial premises. Construction would suffer!!!!!!!!!
Now when people say that foreigners come over to the UK and steal British jobs, I can’t help but roll my eyes. NEVER have I ever thought to myself, someone has stolen my job because they are foreign. I would think that because they offer more than I can to an employer. This is bold and I mean it….. Many Brits are bone idol and LAZY! Yes, you heard that. I come from a council estate in Surrey. It is working class for sure and although there are many very hard-working people there, equally there are completely lazy people who think the government owe them a living. They have capabilities to work but the UK system allows people to be lazy. The majority of people from my home town are white English.
We are brought up in schools thinking Britain is great! Great Britain!!!!! We are led to believe our ancestors sailed around the world making our mark in America, Australia, Asia and Africa and it creates some sort of self-importance. Let me tell you, I have lived in Barbados recently – a country that was cut down, destroyed and created to farm sugar and tabaco worked on by slaves!!!! The history is frightening. There should be no ‘pride’ in that. The brits done this in many new lands across the world killing people as they pleased. It seems acceptable because we forced our social norms and culture across the world dismissing that any others could live any different. Again, all for greed. For precious metals, for land to farm on, oil, and slavery. Money is a man-made product yet, proves to be the most valuable.
I voted remain because the economy was on the rise in my opinion, business was flowing in the right direction and although there were huge problems in the UK at the time, I didn’t see that leaving the EU would solve issues. In my opinion it would create more.
The aftermath in the UK was weird. It felt like it was divided by the narrow minded who were using racism as a driver for a decision, people who saw value in the EU at the time and people who really didn’t give an F or didn’t have a clue.
Now I don’t think Britain should remain in the EU forever, but at the time and at this time, I think it would be beneficial to stay. There are many countries who are not in the EU who operate very well but you can’t easily compare them. I spoke to some Brits who originally voted not to enter the EU back before I was even a dirty thought on a Friday night and they express how they voted leave simply because Britain hasn’t been the same since and shouldn’t have entered. Comparing back then to now is completely and utter madness. Post war was a very different time. Society was different and so was technology. You can’t compare 25 years or 50 years to now!!!
Speaking to foreigners who were in Britain at the time all have said the same things to me. They didn’t feel welcome in the UK. To work in another country requires bravery in some respects because you have to slot into their system. You wouldn’t do it if you didn’t feel they offered you something different to your own country, but diversity is a good thing. If everybody had the same views, came from the same background and did the same thing, you can prevent development because you can’t progress if you use the same practises time and time again without change. Britain needs a change for sure, but I don’t think leaving the EU is the change it really needs.
I found that many people around me based their views on racial influence and hearsay on how better off the UK will be to leave the EU. When someone does this, I switch off. I’m bored of it. Someone please tell me something factual! I am open minded and always willing to learn something. I’m even open to changing my mind.
We cannot trust politicians because it is their job to polish a turd. There is always an alternative motive – usually financial for somebody. Like the media, popularity is important because popularity makes money. Influencing how we live our lives has huge benefit to business and where those with money invest their money. We are simply sitting tax ducks waiting to declare our tax returns to HMRC. The rulers are laughing. We pay for everything!
If I could completely live out of the system, I would!!! But it isn’t easy, isn’t cheap and provides little security. So, I have to suck it up and do what I feel is sensible from time to time. Anything in life has a compromise. I just feel we shouldn’t do everything for this man-made story called money.
As for my future, I have been out the country for 9 months now. I don’t miss it a bit and I love travel. I enjoy learning about British history and society because it fascinates me. Fortunately, I happened to be born in a country where I have white and male privilege. It sucks for those who don’t because believe me, if you travel India and see the poverty first hand, it might make you stop and think about how hard you feel your life has been. I feel countries with privilege should use the ‘power’ influence positive change throughout the world. For now though, I feel the average Brit is sucked into capitalism and materialism because we know no different and lives could be improved at home in many ways. My decision to leave was because I saw a decline in lifestyle, individual money and prospect. I’ll be back at some point because the system forces me too! Plus I better see my family at some point!!!!
Let’s see what happens in Brexit next.
Written by Dan Jackson AKA Dans the Engineer in Rishikesh, India