To class all those who voted to remain in the EU as members of a ‘metropolitan liberal elite’, as John Hayes did in his ‘Hayes in the House’ column in Tuesday’s Lincolnshire Free Press is as accurate as to call those who voted to leave as xenophobic bigots – no doubt both of these descriptions could apply to some in both camps, but by no means to all.
Many of us have been shocked at the referendum result and were dismayed at the preceding campaign in which neither side presented a clear picture.
Those in favour of remaining concentrated on the dire economic consequences of leaving, rather than putting the case for a tolerant outgoing country co-operating with its neighbours, while those in favour of leaving simply produced emotive slogans such as ‘give us our country back’ (which country?) and ‘Take back control’.
Mr Hayes talks of ‘building a united Britain’, but the referendum result has deepened divisions between the constituent countries of the UK and encouraged antagonism and intolerance towards immigrants.
He, of all people, must be aware of the benefit eastern Europeans have brought to our area.
As for our parliament taking back control – what does he think of the Government’s apparent determination not to allow MPs to have a say in Brexit negotiations?
The headline on Tuesday’s column read ‘They’re out of time’. Like his previous nostalgic wish to bring back the navy blue British passport, Mr Hayes shows that he is the one out of time, wanting to return to an era now seen through rose-coloured spectacles.
The world has moved on and we have to make our way from where we are now, not attempt to put the clock back.
If we want our country to have a voice in the world, we should not be turning inwards into a Little England mentality but looking out, open to new ideas and sharing our ideals.