“Are you angry?” yelled Will Grover, a councillor with Prime Minister Theresa May‘s Conservative Party.
“Yes!” yelled back the mostly older crowd.
“You should be,” said Grover, “because your voice, your vote, is being betrayed. They do not respect you. Why should you respect them?”
Grover and several dozen others were venting their anger at Britain’s parliamentarians over the U.K.’s failure to leave the European Union nearly three years after they voted on the Brexit referendum. Grover was speaking at a “Leavers of Lincolnshire” get-together last Thursday in Horncastle, a village of about 6,000 in the English Midlands. It’s a local chapter of Leavers of Britain, an organization that describes itself as “an online AND offline community bringing like-minded people together across the U.K.”
Brexit voters are furious these days. The U.K. was supposed to wave goodbye to the EU last month, but now may not leave until Halloween. British politicians can’t agree on how to exit the political union and trading bloc, and Parliament has been paralyzed for months.
Seventy percent of people in this part of Lincolnshire county, about 140 miles north of London, voted to leave the European Union. Some in Lincolnshire say they voted to quit the EU to halt an influx of farm workers from eastern Europe; others say they want to take back control of lawmaking from Brussels.
Grover says Brexiteers are often derided as gullible xenophobes and feel stigmatized for their views, especially in areas with heavy pro-EU support, such as London. Grover said he hoped last Thursday evening’s event might provide a safe space for some Brexit voters.
“So you could come together and be proud to be a Brexiteer,” said Grover. “To not be called an idiot, to not be called a racist, to not be told you didn’t know what you were voting for. This is for you to feel proud and unashamed of your views.” Read more