Generation gap was gaping

Last Friday, the local People's Vote campaign hit Uckfield, after visiting other towns inWeal den.

Friday, 21st September 2018, 4:07 pm
Updated Friday, 21st September 2018, 5:08 pm

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the three commonest topics/reactions from members of the public showed Uckfield to be largely in step with the nation as a whole where Brexit is concerned.

At least that was my experience.

The generation gap was gaping.

“I voted in the referendum” was a common unthinking response from, mostly late middle-aged people.

That ignored the fact that only 37% of people eligible to vote actually did so, and that the People’s Vote is not a rerun of 2016, but an opportunity to respond to whatever agreement (if that’s the right word) that the prime minister reaches with the EU. That sounds like democracy to me.

Pensioners by and large were staunch Leavers, frequently because they had lost family members on the Continent in the Second World War.

For younger readers: that war ended in 1945 in the last century.

In contrast, teenagers and young adults were mainly Remainers and were aware that no European country can sensibly go it alone in an increasingly global market.

If the Leavers have their way, then their grandchildren almost certainly will have a lower standard of living and their country will be an economic also-ran on the world stage.

Regrettably, Brexiters are in denial about these uncomfortable truths.

Your correspondent Paul Newman (Express, September 2) is not.

He pointed out that treasury analysts have suggested that Britain’s GDP will fall by 7.5% if we trade under World Trade Organization rules – an option favoured by many Remainers.

Richard Powell in the same edition of this newspaper reports that the LSE Centre for Economic Performance forecasts that a family on 40,000 pounds pa would be a thousand pounds poorer under WTO rules.

There really is no sound, objective argument for the UK to leave the world’s richest market, the EU, and there really is no sound unbiased argument against having a People’s Vote.

This now seems to be recognised by the nation’s three biggest trades unions Unite, GMB and Unison which voted last week to remain in the EU.

Alan Whittaker,

Wealden LibDems