At our farm in France, we cut our first lettuces this morning, and will plant melons and aubergines after lunch. These vegetables from 250 miles south have become a critical part of your boxes, providing variety through the UK’s ‘hungry gap’ with minimal road miles and environmental impact.
We had planned to take a break next week while the post-Brexit shambles was resolved; with this now pushed back two weeks, by which time lettuces would be stacking up in the fields, we couldn’t have planned things worse. It is frustrating to see so many of our politicians stuck in a one-way tunnel with no light at the end.
After my initial dismay almost three years ago, and a little anger at the lies told about the utopia awaiting us outside the EU, I came to accept Brexit – occasionally even looking forward to post-Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) farming. Contrary to many claims, I think most Remainers eventually accepted the result with good grace and humility.
Utopia is Greek for ‘nowhere’. There have been many noble attempts at utopian societies; most have been short-lived, and all have fallen short of their founders’ ideals. In the last year, public opinion on Brexit has shifted, as it became apparent that the vote was between a precise ‘stay’ on one side, and a range of beguiling but often unachievable or incompatible versions of utopia on the other. Polls now consistently show more people wanting to stay than to leave. It was David Davis, the Brexit bulldog, who said in 2012: “If democracy cannot change its mind, it ceases to be a democracy.”
It’s time for so-called remoaning snowflakes to make their voices heard; to demand respect for their arguments in favour of something known, alongside the demands to respect a shrinking vote for Leave and its multitude of utopian nowheres.
Sign the petition here, write to your MP, and if you’re a Leave voter who has changed your mind – there’s no shame in that, but you owe it to your country to shout about it louder than anyone else. Apologies to those who don’t want politics from their greengrocer. I have kept my personal views on this silent for a long time – it now just feels too important.