Letter: Are we really going to be ‘stronger out’ Mr Turner?

Despite Isle of Wight MP, Andrew Turner’s claim, Vix Lowthion (Isle of Wight Green Parety Leader) says it’s not at all clear that we will be ‘stronger out’ of the EU.

Vix Lowthion - green scarf

We always welcome a Letter to the Editor to share with our readers – unsurprisingly they don’t always reflect the views of this publication. If you have something you’d like to share, get in touch and of course, your considered comments are welcome below. Leader of the Isle of Wight Green party, Vix Lowthion, shares her latest views. Ed

“Get over it… You lost, deal with it.”

“Don’t stand in the way of the will of the British people.”

“Take back control…. Global Britain…”

And now, thanks to engrained Euro-sceptic/ Brexit banner-waving Isle of Wight Conservative MP, Andrew Turner, we can add a new one to the list:

“Stronger Out.”

No economic assessment for leaving EU without deal
Yes. Mr Turner addressed his constituents on Wednesday by telling us all “a global UK, will be stronger outside the EU” in a week where all evidence-based politics clearly indicated that is not the case. But we know that this Conservative Government refuse to do evidence based politics.

They pursue nuclear over renewables, grammars over accessible education, and now Brexit Secretary David Davis finally admits there is no economic assessment for leaving the EU with ‘no deal’. He admitted holidaying Britons will lose the EHIC health cards, UK farmers face tariffs of 40% on meat and dairy products and UK financial firms will lose ‘passporting rights’ across the EU.

But we’ll still be Stronger Out, Mr Turner?

Creating enemies, not friends
Citizens across all corners of the United Kingdom have also announced this week that they are looking closely at future membership of the Union. Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood claims we are heading “to the end of the UK as a state”, and Sinn Fein’s Martina Anderson told Theresa May to “stick the Brexit border where the sun doesn’t shine.”

And of course, imposing without negotiation a hard Brexit on Scotland where 62% of people voted Remain has led the SNP to set out their plans for a second independence referendum. The bumbling way this Conservative government is handling Brexit is creating enemies, not friends.

Still Stronger Out of the EU, Mr Turner?

Perception in Europe of negotiating style
Then there’s the matter of how the UK is now perceived by our European neighbours. Articles lead on “threats to turn the UK into a tax haven if no Brexit agreement is reached, have gone down like a bucket of cold sick,” [The Conversation] give you a clue as to how well our current negotiating style is going down across the channel.

Then there are the calls of ‘the 3million’ EU citizens and their families who are campaigning to preserve their rights to live and work in the UK, the 4.5 million Brits currently living abroad concerned about their future freedom of movement, and this week’s vote by MPs to stop 3,000 children fleeing from war and finding refuge in the UK.

Retreating back to dark days of Empire
Far from embracing ‘global Britain’, we are retreating back to the dark days of Empire when we spoke of all non-Brits as ‘foreigners’ (or worse) and thought only of how much money we could make from exploiting them. Arch-Brexiteer Daniel Hannan MEP tweeted this week “Happy Commonwealth Day to 2.5 billion people bound together by a dream of liberty” with happy colourful flags from India, Ghana, South Africa, Sri Lanka.

In reality, British took over their countries by force! Post-referendum talk of ‘Global Britain’ completely ignores dark parts of our nation’s history, as well as the priceless contributions of our recent immigrants from across the EU.

But, we are still Stronger Out says Mr Turner.

“MPs were not elected to be lemmings”
So strong out, that Conservative Chancellor Phillip Hammond refused to mention the word Brexit in his Budget. The slow-down in Economic growth, the weaker pound, rising inflation, rising house prices, lower tax revenue, lower business investment, lower immigration of skilled workers – all of the evidence points towards a hard Brexit pushing us right off a cliff.

“MPs were not elected to be lemmings” declared Green MP Caroline Lucas in the Commons, as MPs and Lords did just that and voted to enact Article 50 and leave the EU without any amendments to guarantee rights of EU nationals or MPs to have a say on the final terms or leaving. Parliament is so engrossed in following the ‘will of the British people’ and ‘taking back control’ that they have forgotten a huge part of an MPs job is to scrutinise legislation and make clear judgements about what is in the nation’s best interests.

Economically, to leave the world’s biggest single market without a clear plan other than slogans, is incredibly irresponsible. Car firms tell Theresa May that post-Brexit WTO tariffs on the 57% of UK cars which go are sold in the EU will lead to job losses. Counties such as Cornwall which voted Leave, are seeing that the UK government grants will not stretch to cover the loss of EU funded investment.

But Mr Turner still thinks we are ‘stronger out’.

Getting into bed with unsavoury characters
Leaving the EU at such a globally divisive time is far from wise. The election of President Trump, leadership votes in France and Germany in the coming weeks, increasing threat and instability from climate change, and world conflicts bringing the main powers into close proximity on the battlefields in the Middle East: now is not the time any experienced leader would pursue a policy to go it alone in the world.

Hastily making friends with dictators, dodgy regimes and world corporations is not only economically weak, but we are getting into bed with some rather unsavoury characters. Relying on the likes of disgraced Liam Fox to secure our trading future, at the same time as Theresa May insists we must leave the European Convention on Human Rights, is heading us towards a ‘global Britain’ where we have fewer rights, fewer friends and fewer morals than our European neighbours.

And yet still Mr Turner believes we are ‘stronger out of the EU’.

PM claimed ‘Stronger In’
I believe in evidence-based political decisions. I believe our leaders should equip themselves with all the facts, the reports and the forecasts and campaign and vote accordingly.

It is not at all clear that we will be ‘stronger out’. In fact, our Prime Minister and many of her cabinet less than a year ago were travelling across the country, declaring that we are ‘stronger IN’. With all the economic and environmental upheaval, the splits in the Union, the closing of doors on our migrant friends, the cosying up to questionable regimes – I believe that Mr Turner will be seen to be on the wrong side of history.

It isn’t strong to blindly cross fingers and hope for the best: it is weak. Strong leadership comes from those who recognise the pressures we face in an increasingly global world, and choose to work with our neighbours to overcome them – not to leave them behind and go it alone.

OnTheWight: Isle of Wight MP celebrates imminent triggering of Article 50

Independent: Brexit: David Davis admits government has done no economic assessment of UK crashing out of the EU without a deal

Nicola Sturgeon’s referendum call prompts demands for Welsh and Northern Irish independence votes

The Conservation: Red lines and red rags: Europeans unimpressed by Britain’s tough talk on Brexit

Telegraph: What will Brexit mean for British expats?

New Statesman: The 12 bits of Brexit bad news hidden in the Budget 2017

Friday, 17th March, 2017 8:23am


ShortURL: http://wig.ht/2f6U

Filed under: Government, Island-wide, Letter to the Editor, Top story

Any views or opinions presented in the comments below are solely those of the author and do not represent those of OnTheWight.

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64 Comments on "Letter: Are we really going to be ‘stronger out’ Mr Turner?"

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Steve Goodman

Thanks Vix.


Long time since we’ve heard from vix on these pages.
Must be an election looming

Vix Lowthion
You know more than me then, considering this is about the EU Referendum and Westminster politics? Looking forward to hearing about the country being asked to have a say/ vote on what Brexit looks like,and electing a different set of post referendum MPs! (Sorry busy time of year on run up to A level exams to comment much on these pages – though we were here 3… Read more »
Unfortunately, the wishes of the 48% who wished to remain in the EU are being completely ignored. Theresa May is doing this at her own peril. By the time of the next General Election a lot of support for Brexit will have waned as the inevitable “hard” Brexit that will result from May’s intransigent stance will badly hit living standards across the country. She also need to… Read more »

How do you know the wishes of the 48% are being ignored (other than the wish to remain).
Article 50 has not yet been invoked and negotiations have not yet started so nobody can yet say with any certainty what will/will not happen in the next two years.


Theresa May: “No deal is better than a bad deal”

That is how I know.

No, we cannot say with certainty what will transpire during negotiations, but May’s belligerent attitude doesn’t bode well.


How do you explain away the fact that a large percentage of young people on the electoral roll during the referendum could not be bothered to get up and vote ? And what makes you think that remainders don’t die ?

On you first point, I agree, that it is sad that a lot of young people are so apathetic about politics. They don’t believe that voting will make a real difference to them, so don’t bother. They are likely to regret that in the next few years. Those that *did* vote, voted overwhelmingly (63%) to remain. Leavers are more likely to die than remainers as they are… Read more »

Are you seriously trying to say that the timing and content of your ‘letter’ have nothing to do with the upcoming council elections. Greens not putting forward any candidates for that then?.

Vix Lowthion

Yes I am saying that. It’s a reactionary response to Andrew Turner’s press release earlier in the week – not an orchestrated/timed/election press release.

Yes they’ll be lots of Green candidates in the election – but none of them campaigning on this Brexit issue, so it’s hardly relevant. But thanks for continuing to boost the hits on this page.


So sad that you find it necessary to register any sort of hit as a bolster to the green cause.
Only too glad to be of assistance to boost your ego.

So sad, Alan, that you feel the need to bolster your own petty insecurities by hurling personal jibes. Brexit could, actually, be the best thing that could happen to the Green Party. Come 2020, the effects of the forthcoming “hard” brexit will be biting hard. The Tories and UKIP will be discredited (UKIP already are, courtesy of Mr Nuttall) and we could very well be seeing Vix… Read more »

Logically though. ..how does this help the green party ?

Luisa Hillard
Only UKIP ever made Europe a campaign issue in the run up to Council elections, which seemed rather pointless to me, seeing as how the Council has little to no influence on national government decisions. In her role as the Green Party parliamentary candidate it is entirely appropriate that she comments on, and challenges, national government policy. Always happy to have a constructive debate! And, in the… Read more »

Yes. Even though she’s a greeny she can still voice an opinion…I don’t see how she’s helping her party win votes but she does have a right., as we all do to her opinion..why are snidey comments about elections being made?

Luisa Hillard
Pigwig, in my experience both sides of any argument always think they are right. Humans are very tribal and whether is be our football team, or our political party, our self-esteem is somewhat affected by their success. There is therefore a need by some to defend one’s position from {a strong candidate from a different ‘team’ and] the perceived threat of a public kicking come election time.… Read more »
The Ancient Matelot
This all highlights what is wrong with government by referenda. Asking a simple question and then hoping that the losers will just accept it. Didn’t solve anything in Scotland and will not solve much in this case. Politicians are elected to govern, not to abrogate their duties to the general public! The politicians asked the British public what they wanted. Having asked them, (and yes, I know… Read more »
Vix Lowthion
It would be good if the government would work with the other parties to formulate a Brexit strategy – so far they have refused to protect the rights of EU citizens in the UK and refused to formally document they will consult with parliament on the terms of the Brexit deal. I am not asking to overturn the results of the referendum. I am asking why Mr… Read more »
The Ancient Matelot

Surely in any negotiation both sides outline what they would like and then work towards a compromise. Presumably that is why Mrs May is talking about a hard Brexit. Trouble with all you politicians is you disagree with something then when your opposite number agrees you call it a u turn!


Exactly. We have a son and d in l in Barcelona. I would have been very unhappy if they had been left ‘high and dry’ as TAM commented. We need to look after own.

Vix, are you sure that “this is about the EU Referendum and Westminster politics?” This is only sour grapes politics;The opposition opposing the party in power, challenged with doing the best for its electorate. Only harm can be done if you continue to harass the Government in a Nicola Sturgeonesk (not sure what the correct word should be) way. In my eyes this is about DEMOCRACY. The… Read more »

Rather than being negative how about getting behind it and making the most of it.
The majority of the country voted out.
If u dont like democracy then maybe a job change?

The problem is that the majority was exceedingly small, and the question only dealt with leave or remain, not whatever comes next. If you want to get people behind Brexit, you need to give them a reason to get behind it. If May were a little more reasonable in her expectations about what kind of deal we will be able to strike with the EU then I… Read more »

Not you s the s !

The Ancient Matelot

Surely negotiations start with both sides stating what they want and working towards a compromise?


Indeed they do.

But May’s “No deal is better than a bad deal” is essentially saying she is not willing to compromise.


If you don’t like free speech. ..maybe don’t read..

Yes making the most of BREXIT, that is exactly what we should be doing, why should we accept that we can only be successful as part of Europe? I am personally sick to death of hearing the remain camps continuous moaning and moaning.., You should have campaigned harder for staying in Europe. The vote may have then been different. Vix, show us exactly what you did to… Read more »
We will, almost certainly, rejoin the EU at a later date. The Brexit vote was swung by those of older generations, each year more of those become ineligible to vote, while more young people who will have to live with the effects of Brexit reach the Age of Majority. Then there will be a large number of people who will be badly affected by Austerity++ that the… Read more »
Leeroy Ox

How does one “sprout” drivel?

Does it appear as green shoots or is it more a brown coloured pro-Brexit kind of thing?

Rupert Besley
37% of the electorate voted out. 63% didn’t. That is not ‘the majority of the country’. The points (well put) in the letter above are valid arguments, founded on evidence. Those who, apparently unable to contest such points, choose instead to go for personal digs, really do their own cause no good. Such responses merely confirm the strength of the points first made. The ‘get over it’… Read more »
The Ancient Matelot

Not all of us who have disagreed with the letter have made digs but reasons why we have disagreed. It is sad when people resort to personal abuse or snide remarks etc., but politicians are experts at that sort of behaviour

Well said Vix Lowthion ..someone who speaks for so many of us .In days too come we are going too see many people suffer because they didn’t look at the long term future ,but made an emotive vote based on ignorance of the facts and xenophobia . A yes -No vote on something as life changing for a nation as this was not good. It needed much… Read more »
Sorry Vix. Lost me at ‘ evidence-based politics ‘ what’s that when its at home…new one on me…but evidence is that the majority of people who voted ( note…who voted…). voted for Brexit? You castigate our MP for saying that the UK will be stronger out. But the fact is nobody knows, do you – no , because you can’t. So whilst you may disagree with his… Read more »
billy builder
Beacher, when you take a leap into the abyss it is not the leap that hurts. Indeed initially as you jump you might actually be going up. It is not even the falling that hurts. But there will be a landing, an extremely nasty crash landing. The Tory press are waging a continuous disinformation campaign, highlighting anything negative about the EU but not reporting the massive costs… Read more »
Vix Lowthion
‘Evidence based’ as in grounded on tangible facts which we see and hear, not mere hopes for the future that we will be ‘Stronger Out’. Absolutely, Andrew Turner does not know this. And he is quite wrong to claim it. The evidence is clear and what we see currently – splits in the Union, isolation in Europe, friends with unsavouries, attacks on freedom of movement, companies focusing… Read more »
mark francis wdp

But what’s it all going to cost, that’s what I want to know?

(Actually it’s not- because nobody knows; what I really want to know is who is going to pay for it?)


Well, we, the UK are.

It is us that kicked this all off, so, obviously, we have to pay for it.

the spy

Nicola Sturgeon: Don’t like Brexit? Move to Scotland! stop the winging and move there is a open invitation on sky news

Iain McKie

I was surprised about how little Vix Lowthion knew about environmental legislation and decision-making at the European level during the referendum campaign. This ought to have been home turf for a Green Party representative. I had similar experiences with other senior Greens, notably over the HFC23 fiasco. Consequently I have found it difficult to take them seriously on EU issues.


And I (and a lot of others) were surprised about how little you knew about the party you *were* a member of and standing for.

iain mckie

My point is that we have someone who is calling for evidence based answers, when they had not bothered to research their own subject in the first place. It makes them either a charlatan or an opportunist.

the spy

I hope this is your own view not that of a political party please can you clarify ?

You joined and stood for a party (UKIP) led by a man (Farage) who, by his current dalliance with Trump, has revealed himself, absolutely, as a self obsessed demagogue. A man who cares only for his own self glorification. A man who, while claiming to be a man of the people, is now demand to be given a place in the House of Lords. A party you… Read more »
I know young people who voted to leave the EU, because they studied the history of the European movement. They realised it had been based on deception from the start. Though in their education they had been pumped full of EU propaganda, they were able to see past this. In the 1975 referendum people were asked “DO YOU THINK THAT THE UNITED KINGDOM SHOULD STAY IN THE… Read more »
And I know elderly people who voted “remain” because they fought, in the literal sense of the word, against the kind of rabid nationalism that is now on the rise around the world. As for Ukraine and Georgia? They have a choice between the EU or Putin’s Russian Federation. Can’t see any EU troops in Ukraine blatantly posing as location opposition militia, can you? Like it or… Read more »
Billy Builder

Or May’s extreme right government.


May is as self-serving as they come. She has always been a Brexiteer, but played the part of “remainer” because she fully expected the remain camp to win the referendum and valued her position in the cabinet more than her ideology.

Now she spouts one-nation drivel while stabbing the “JAMs” she purports to support​ in the back on the blood-soaked altar of nationalism.

Suruk let me start off by one thing we agree on and that’s Putin, it doesn’t change the fact that the EU is continually expanding. Many eastern European countries who breathed a sigh of relief when freed from Russian control, are not overly happy with so much EU intervention in how they run their countries. Rabid Globalism is being opposed by what some call populism – you… Read more »

Suggest you do some fact checking regarding the comparative powers of the European Parliament and European Commission.

Nothing the Commission proposes can be enacted without the approval of the European Parliament.

Maybe Theresa May could learn a little about democracy from them, eh?

Suruk I have done fact checking over the years and have seen reports of the Commission ignoring MEP votes, but that wasn’t the point I raised which you chose to ignore. It is not the EU websites claimed democracy it is the actual end results. Obviously proper discussion cannot be had with many Remainers, but it is no wonder with the likes of Blair and the real… Read more »

Seeing reports in the Daily Express doesn’t really count.

Karl Love
Of course it’s all about electioneering! I’m a town councillor and I know how important it is for all Cllr’s to get their voice and message heard in the run up to the elections. Thats what politics it’s all about at this point in time! Let’s not run away from that facts and simply tell the population of our island, things that might generate votes to win… Read more »
You know young people who voted leave, I know some over 70s who voted remain. That is purely anecdotal. The statistics, though, are very clear. The vote to leave was swung by the older generation, and the younger the group, the more voted remain. That is a fact. Theresa May and her Government. “No deal is better than a bad deal”. Not a bone for the 48%… Read more »
billy builder
Cllr Love. The older generations voted BRexit by enlarge based on a rose tinted view of their youth that ignored the reality of the 1950s and 1960s where British industries were unable to compete across the world and the Commonwealth markets were declining. Together with the views of the right-wing bigoted press that blamed all the countries woes on jonny foreigner in general and the EU in… Read more »
Karl Love
There are many reasons why the older generation voted Brexit and sealking to attach blame does not help anyone. I have said, older people have children and have a life experience of voting to support and protect their children. Your definitions and reasons for explaining how and why older people voted to Leave, as they did, are presumptions and far too narrow and hurtful. Its all a… Read more »
Steve Goodman
‘This is my point, we need to look to the future accepting that serious harm is happening and stop doing it. The additional doom and gloom created by the brexiteers’ spanner in the works is not helpful and as we can read, it’s divisive. Our political leaders need to halt and reverse the damage and tell us, for example, how and when they will do what they… Read more »
billy builder
Cllr Love. With the greatest respect the vast majority of the 62.5% of voters who did not vote BRexit will never forget or forgive the hard line BRexiteers who are driving this country to economic and social destruction. Likewise a significant number of BRexit voters will resent those hard right Tories who duped them with lies and fake news into voting for the ensuing devastation. Respected politition’s,… Read more »
Ian Young

The idea that people are going to just abandon their deeply held beliefs and instead sign up to a cause they passionately disagree with is rather naive.

I am sure however that most Remainers will engage and work as hard for a successful Brexit as Euro-sceptics have in the past engaged and worked for a successful Europe.



Look at how hard most UKIP MEPs worked for their constituents.

I’m sure I can put in at least as much effort to ensure Brexit is a success.

Vix, as you might have noticed, is not a “political leader” (yet). Those that *are* our political leaders (Theresa May, Boris Johnson, David Davis) are the ones being divisive by completely ignoring the 48% who did not want Brexit. And as for “doom and gloom”, sorry, she is just telling it like it is. We *will* be very much worse off after Brexit. That is a forgone… Read more »
Steve Goodman
‘Of course it’s not all about electioneering. Thanks to the Turner/Trump style ‘it’s all going to be great folks’ (contrary to the evidence) bs, we all have even more to be seriously concerned about. They know how important it is for them to get their voice and message heard, because a lot of people accept it without question, and they like being elected to power and taking… Read more »
Vix Lowthion
But Karl, I have explained how to make Brexit work the best we can. That’s through leaving the EU (if we must) but retaining the rights of EU citizens here and UK citizens abroad, through remaining in the single market, and through prioritising our human, workers’ and environmental rights. In a nutshell, a ‘soft’ Brexit. Our political leaders continuing to pursue a Hard Brexit is what will… Read more »
billy builder

Vix, May has to have this done and duster before the next EU elections as if it is not then that election becomes a defacto second referendum, which by 2019 May would lose.