By Eddie Izzard
No one knows what will happen in a post-Brexit Britain. The talents of leaving the European Union promised a kind of Valhalla of beautiful times when jobs were to be abundant and everything had to be easier. But they've never had, and still haven't, a clue what could really happen.
For example, the Leave campaign promised that £ 350 million a week ($ 445 million) would be put into the National Health Service if we left the EU and stopped contributing to it. Then everyone from Nigel Farage, one of the great right-wing advocates to leave, told Dominic Cummings, who led the campaign that it wasn't true. (People wondered so much that a large part of the British still believe in it.)
What we know will happen, especially if we leave E.U. without a number of treaties and agreements (what they call a "hard" Brexit) is a nightmare that seems more likely: people in the UK need a visa to stay and stay or work in Europe; We will lose our health care coverage in Europe and your choice to live or retire will suddenly become very difficult; A whole lot of laws that make our lives as the British engage in Europe will disappear; and we need to restore all our trade agreements.
But all that will happen if U.K. goes into a hard Brexit, still no one knows. But people now have a much clearer idea of what leaves E.U. Really means and what a tough and evil Brexit really means. So we are now asking for a referendum – no matter what agreement is reached, so that the public can vote to run from our continent or stay and fight for our continent is the best plan.
People like me, who are positive in Europe, know that Europe needs to be reformed. It's hard to do that, but we will do it and Brexit is a great incentive for both UK and European leaders. However, driving and hiding from Europe was never the way forward. Brits don't stop.
The Whining Right has groaned to be part of Europe since the first referendum to remain in Europe back in 1975, which we won, 66 percent to 34 percent. The referendum in 2016 to leave the European Union was 52 to 48, but it is not a mandate for this hard and evil Brexit – which will ultimately just isolate Britain.
America has also been isolationist before; I think the last time (except with Trump) was with Lindbergh's US first campaign in the 1940s, which again was an extreme right-wing movement. Right wing in our country is always scared and suspicious: they want to retreat, stand out, isolate us, and go back to trying the 1930s policy. The world has tried the 1930s policy; It did not end well.
I say no to go back to it and focus on the idea that the British should help lead humanity. We must be brave and curious, rather than scary and suspicious.
I want to fight for positivity and for engagement with Europe no matter what happens. I would like to be a Member of Parliament in 2020 or when the next general election takes place. I think many moderate people do not go into politics. But I am a radical moderate; I do radical things with a moderate message.
Thus, I mean: I have run over 70 marathons for charity; I came out as a transgender 34 years ago; I now perform in four languages. I try to do positive things that hopefully people can look at and say it seems more positive to the world for the future of the 21st century.
They get so many negative messages, otherwise: Brex-hat; Trumf hatred; retreat, separate and use hatred as your main political weapon to whip up fear. It's the timid and suspicious mantra.
I think a brave and curious UK should look like some of us who see life positively. To have the attitude when you meet someone new to say, "Hey, how are you? What are you doing?" Or just want to learn something new or travel to a new place. It is courageous and curious. And this is especially true of young people, of whom almost 80 percent come to voting age and say: "We want to be part of Europe ." They want their future back.
As said to THINK editor Megan Carpentier, edited and condensed for clarity.