Melissa Todd: Will Thanet bear the brunt of Brexit?

HGVs Photo Kent Police RPU

Thanet keeps making headlines, doesn’t it? Dredging, Seaborne Freight, alternative lorry routes. It seems when or if Brexit arrives my adoptive home will suffer a disproportionate amount of the resultant fallout.

Now, I didn’t vote for Brexit. I know very few people that did.  I like blue flag standard beaches, European grants that run to millions, skipping merrily in and out of foreign climes when I please. I appreciate my German doctor: I worship my handsome Portuguese dentist. Bringing music therapy to twenty different care homes in and around Thanet, I’m aware that many of them are staffed almost exclusively by people born elsewhere, without whose services a lot of disabled and elderly folk would be stuffed. I have a fair few relatives living in Europe, and Lord knows I fervently hope they remain there, far far away from me.

Nonetheless, Thanet as a whole certainly did want out of the EU, voting 63.8% to leave. That’s a fair way below some other areas of the country, like Thurrock or Great Yarmouth, say. whose support for Brexit topped 70%.  So why are we suffering all the queues and inconvenience? Why is Thanet alone being placed on the naughty step? Heavens, didn’t we do our bit by working hard to embarrass Nigel Farage, twice, when he tried to take our precious isle?

Why did 63.8% vote for Brexit? It’s simply baffling to me. I can’t think of a single good reason to go, and I’ve been listening to all the arguments for several centuries now. Was it the immigrants? Thanet has below average levels of immigration, in fact, in common with most of the places that voted to leave. Regions peopled plentifully with immigrants tend to find those Johnny foreign sorts aren’t all bad, actually.

For sovereignty? Odd, nebulous concept, sovereignty, particularly when deep down we all know we’re governed by about three international conglomerates, rather than the poor tired saps in Westminster, or Brussels. Whatever sovereignty means, is it really worth all this bother and expense and sheer soporific tedium? And if you voted Brexit in the hope it would mean more money for the NHS, it must be particularly galling that post-vote the QEQM appears to be losing its stroke unit and quite possibly its A&E too.

I don’t want Thanet to be the butt of Brexit’s great joke. It isn’t fair. It particularly isn’t fair to me. But hey, what can we do but laugh, right? Maybe this is Thanet’s legacy and duty. In those dark, hungry days ahead, as our economy stagnates, property prices plunge, the NHS unravels, we fight for the last rat to roast on a tattered Union Flag spit, perhaps the rest of Britain can look at our little corner and think yes, OK, it’s bad. But hey, at least we’re not living in Ramsgate. Geography and poverty have combined to flagellate that lot most amusingly.

Not sure anyone in Thanet will be laughing, mind.

Do you agree with Melissa or do you think there is a strong case to leave the EU? If you feel you could write a strong opinion piece for the benefits of leave email [email protected]


  1. I have just seen yet another TV interview with a Brexit supporter. This one seemed to welcome food shortages as he wanted Britons to “go without” to show them what they have got to be grateful for. So , maybe, this is the motive for a “Leave ” vote. To punish Britons for having it too good. Because you are all having such a great, lazy, easy, time, you need to suffer a dose of Brexit to make you pull your socks up. Yet, “Leave” voters probably think they are “patriotic” In a way, they are patriotic in the sense that they love a version of this country that used to exist (it didn’t really, I was there) but seem to hate the actual British people and are happy to see us suffer.

  2. One person left a comment that we were already suffering, which was a reason to get out. As I understood it, before Brexit Britain was 5th or 6th richest economy, and we did that inside the EU. If we’re ‘already suffering’ it’s as a result of the hideous uncertainty of this mad decision.
    We were the 5th or 6th richest economy, that was fact, any claims of greatness Brexit will bring are merely hopes, we have no idea whatever how bad it will be!

    This is a super piece of writing, but I so wish it wasn’t necessary!

  3. The EU is a corrupt undemocratic organisation. Just look how Greece was thrown willingly to the wolves with shameful little outcry. I worked across Europe for years and my continental friends felt the same. Corbyn knows it wouldn’t sanction his proposed financial reforms as the EU loves the faux austerity meme to keep people in their places. Their chief auditor was hounded out of office years ago for raising financial concerns. There’s a long and dubious history for those milling to look. And I have many friends across Europe. The EU is not Europe. Their lack of support for the yellow vests is also very telling – as they don’t like the voice of the real people.

  4. I am a Bremainer, and get about a bit, and speak to many people, and believe the main reason why people in Thanet voted to leave was their unfounded fear of foreigners taking their jobs! Yeah right! So who forced employers to give them these jobs? And rent them housing? By and large most people didn’t have a clue what they were voting for in the Referendum! If they think they did, why is this Tory government still trying to agree the Terms and Conditions to leave the EU? As someone once said, leaving the EU with all its faults, is the greatest act of self harm since Britain caved into Hitler at Munich, which led to the worst war in human history! Buckle up, its going to be a rough ride for the next few years!

  5. I can’t see any practical benefits in leaving the EU. The countries we will probably have to trade with if we do are some of the most corrupt and undemocratic in the world- Saudi Arabia, Russia, even America. The latter is supposed to be a democracy, but it looks as if it’s in thrall to the National Rifle Association.

    Can anyone state what the practical benefits would be, if we leave the EU?

  6. According to various august authorities, any form of Brexit will be bad for Britain. A ‘no deal’s Brexit would, they say, be disastrous in terms of GDP, jobs, the economy.
    Why on Earth are we proceeding with this farce?

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