One of the insights I gain from the increasingly heated debate on Brexit is that this has become a rare political issue which engages people across the board. Usually when people in Ashford talk to me in supermarkets or on the street it is about personal issues for them. Over the past few weeks almost all the conversations have been about Brexit.
This extends across the generations. I had a really good session with the older students at Wye School at the end of last week, where a range of pointed and relevant questions were asked. The usual view of those who take polls is that young people are much more likely to be in favour of remaining in the EU, and was reinforced by a show of hands at Wye.
I should also report, though, that one of the teachers said the response had been the opposite when the same question was asked at another school he used to teach at, so we should be careful about generalisations.
I have had to point out to several TV and Radio interviewers that describing me as a “Remainer” is a little perverse when I voted last week for a deal that would actually enable Brexit. Of course, I voted Remain in the Referendum, but I respect the result and am trying to put it into practice.
One of the oddities of my email Inbox at the moment is that the majority of those writing in are urging a Second Referendum, even though Ashford voted by 59-41% to leave. Either there has been a significant change of mind or the “People’s Vote” campaign has been more effective in mobilising its supporters.
I incline to the second explanation. In any case, no one has yet explained to me what happens after another Referendum if we see another narrow victory, but the other way. The thought of continuing regular Referendums is surely one thing we can all agree would be a terrible idea.