Brexit 101 | What The Hell Is A People's Vote? Debunking The Common Myths

Monday, 18 March 2019

Ah, Brexit. The buzzword in today's society, the word that makes everyone (well, mostly) want to curl up in a ball, stick their head in the sand and pretend it doesn't exist. The word that will probably cause me to lose a few followers since I've been told in the past, in no uncertain words, that people don't like to read about politics. People aren't interested in politics. Well, too bad, kiddos, we're talking about it. Since the UK political system has reached breaking point recently after the Tory MPs called a vote of confidence for Theresa May in December, they've voted down her deal and more votes are set to take place, I think it's something I need to address. Read me first.

Secondly, let's talk about a People's Vote. This is what I am currently campaigning for, with a group called Our Future Our Choice, which is the biggest youth campaign for a People's Vote in the country. Head on over to the website here, and get in touch to find out how you can do more, and if there's an OFOC chapter in your area!

What even is a People's Vote? Well, a People's Vote is a final say on the Brexit deal. The People's Vote campaign is, in their words, seeking to ensure that the government's Brexit deal is put before the country in a public vote so we can decide if the decision and deal makes the country, and us, better or worse off. The People's Vote campaign is huge and has been endorsed by many other pressure groups, e.g. Our Future, Our Choice, For Our Future's Sake, Healther In The EU, Scientists For EU, Open Britain and most regional anti-Brexit groups. It's also been endorsed by the Liberal Democrats and huge amounts of MPs on both the Tory and the Labour side, as well as the Green Party and some Lords, such as Andrew Adonis and Peter Mandelson. It's the biggest and most cohesive movement that the government faces against Brexit.

I'm here today to debunk some myths about a People's Vote and explain to you why we need one and why it's a good idea. So here's some common myths about a People's Vote and why they're kind of just bullsh*t.

Isn't it just a second referendum?
No. The PV is absolutely not a second referendum. It wouldn't be repeating the first question of 'should we leave or remain in the EU' but rather it's a say on the deal we get. A Final Say, if you will. No one voted for this version of Brexit, not even Leavers.

But...didn't we already have our say? Isn't having a People's Vote undemocratic?
Yes, we did have our say. But we had our say three years ago in a vote that was also undemocratic. Both sides (Leave AND Remain, I don't want to come across biased at all...) built their campaigns around scaremongering and lies, Nigel Farage's supposed £350m extra for the NHS never appeared and on top of that, Vote Leave actually broke electoral law. Legally this doesn't matter, as the referendum wasn't legally binding so they can ignore it, but morally the result should've been voided long ago.

As well as this, many people who should've been able to vote weren't allowed. It's my opinion that 16-17 year olds should've been able to vote in that referendum, as they were in the Scottish Independence referendum of 2014. Also, UK citizens in the EU and vice versa were not allowed to vote - people in the country who this decision will affect more than anyone were denied their voice. We also voted not knowing anything - there was no plan for Brexit, no coherent set of steps we would follow to leave, and 3 years later still no decisions have been made. Now that we know actual, solid facts about Brexit and it's short- and long-term effects, a Final Say is needed.

Okay. So we have a People's Vote and we choose to remain. What's stopping there being a third, and fourth vote? We'll never make a decision.
This is a really good point and one that's brought up over and over again. At the end of the day, a People's Vote would be a fair vote, based on facts, no one would break any laws and that's what makes a fair moral result. Of course there's a danger we'll vote for a Brexit deal, but if the vote is fair unlike the first one, with a legitimate electorate and no manipulation from outside forces, the result would be accepted. If one or other side feels it is necessary to cheat once again by overspending or coming out with lies then more are needed.

But don't politicians lie all the time? Why should this be any different?
Yes, of course they do. But what we should really be taking away from this is that something is fundamentally wrong with British politics. The referendum should never have been called in the first place - David Cameron did it to stay in power. Theresa May should never have been in charge, being a Remain campaigner. A lot has gone wrong in British politics in the last three years and that's what needs to change, but it needs to change within the safety of the EU.

Fine. Alright, but why are you so sure that the decision will have changed?
Because the last three years have been a nightmare. There's also an Independent study that shows as of January this year we actually became a Remain society, as there are around two million new voters, most of who are Remain, and enough Leave voters have died to swing the vote - that is how close the majority was. And this isn't even counting the people who have changed their minds - like I said before, not even Leave voters voted for this Brexit, everyone has seen what just the negotiation process has done to the country in terms of both the economy and social issues, and a People's Vote is just the way to sort it out.

Don't you agree the EU needs changing though?
Of course it does. Much like British politics, the EU has done a lot of changing and in my opinion declining, since it started as the EEC in 1957 and we voted to join it in 1975. But the way to change it is to remain and reform rather than throwing all our toys out of the pram and leaving. It's easier to change a system from the inside, rather than trying to attack it from the outside.

Why haven't we just called another vote already?
There isn't enough support in Parliament - yet. But every day this Brexit catastrofuck (David Schneider's genius phrase) continues, more and more MPs are changing their minds and calling mandates for a People's Vote.

And how can you put MORE pressure on?? Well, by joining us on March 23rd on Park Lane, London, and demanding a People's Vote from Parliament. We had 700,000 voices on our last march - let's make it a million.

Next on Brexit 101, I'm talking about how Brexit will affect YOU.

Em xx

(Late) March Bullet Journal Update

Friday, 15 March 2019

Hello pals! As a quick break between now and my second Brexit post (can't overload you with politics or I'll lose all my followers...*sips tea*) I thought I'd show you a rather late March bullet journal post. I did this a while ago but life has been somewhat hectic recently, to say the least, and I only got around to taking these photos yesterday! But it does mean I can have a long chat about how I've been switching up my bullet journal a little bit this month...

My title page was inspired by Amanda Rach Lee once again - she just has the most beautiful designs and I love trying to recreate them - trying being the key word there because my artistic talent is, to say the least, nada.

My calendar layout is very simple as always, I don't like overloading it and I've taken off the YouTube tracker as I've started doing something a little with my tracker for my stats. I have also got rid of my habit tracker as, while it's a good idea, it's not very good for me as I hold myself to way too high a standard and end up getting pissed at myself unnecessarily and focusing on things that just don't really matter that much.

So when I say I've mixed up my stat tracker a little bit, I mean I'm tracking them all now. It's only a trial because I do tend to get very hung up on my stats - one of new affirmations is that numbers on an app don't define me, so we'll see how well this goes. But as you can see, I've set very small goals that I hope are achievable, and I'm just trying my best to take small bites and take a step back from being too hard on myself. I've also added a brain dump page for anything I wish to pop on there.

This is just a cute quote page again a recreation of Amanda Rach Lee's. On the other side is my random notes page for one of my massive projects I'm working on right now!

So this is going to come as quite a surprise! I've started actually changing my weekly spread up! I realised again my meal planner and water tracker just wasn't working for me anymore and I needed way more space for planning and to-do lists, so instead I've been experimenting with a few different layouts. The first is a Dutch door spread which is a really cool idea with the half page in the middle, meaning each day can have a half page rather than a third, giving much more planning space. I also still had space for my weekly events list too. The second I went with a much simpler layout with four sections on each, and then a bit sectioned off for events. I like both but might trial them again to see what works better. 

As always, here's a list of all the products I used...

- Crayola Supertips (basically all the green ones)
- Tombow dual brush pens (#133 and #192)
- Pentel fude touch sign pen
- Pigma Micron fineliners (0.3mm)
- Pilot G2-05 gel pens
- Uniball white gel pen
- Leuchtturm 1917 a5 dotted journal

What do your March bullet journals look like?

Em xx

Brexit 101 | Brexit Basics & Where Do We Go From Here?

Tuesday, 12 March 2019

Ah, Brexit. The buzzword in today's society, the word that makes everyone (well, mostly) want to curl up in a ball, stick their head in the sand and pretend it doesn't exist. The word that will probably cause me to lose a few followers since I've been told in the past, in no uncertain words, that people don't like to read about politics. People aren't interested in politics. Well, too bad, kiddos, we're talking about it. Since the UK political system has reached breaking point recently after the Tory MPs called a vote of confidence for Theresa May in December, they've voted down her deal and more votes are set to take place, I think it's something I need to address. 

Question is for a lot of people: what even is Brexit? Well, all the "no one knows" jokes aside, Brexit essentially is slang for "Britain Exit" a.k.a. Britain's Exit from the EU. In June 2016, as everyone knows, the country voted on a 52/48 majority to leave the European Union. As you can probably tell if you follow me on Twitter or if you have any common sense, I'm not a fan of this majority. The EU, simply, is a group of 28 countries in Europe, who have agreements to allow simpler trade and free movement between these countries for anyone to live and work. We first joined the EU (then the EEC) in 1973 when Edward Heath was PM.

So where is Brexit now? Good question, and I am going to make a "no one knows" joke because really, no one knows. On 29th March 2017, something called Article 50 was triggered, meaning the UK had 2 years to negotiate with the EU and come up with a withdrawal agreement or divorce deal before we actually leave the EU. Essentially, this is the list of terms on which we leave - it includes what goes on with trade agreements, Northern Ireland borders and a whole host of other things that need to be smoothed over and knots that need tying up into a neat little "Leave" parcel.

Although...that's not quite what's happened now, is it? Nice little Leave parcel turned into big old Brexit mess, didn't it? And many, many people have no idea exactly what that mess is. However, the mess is due to be tidied up by the 29th March (I am gonna stop using the 'mess' analogy now as it's getting sliiightly confusing!)  as that's the date we are due to leave the European Union. The big problem with that is that we have no idea on what terms we are leaving yet. There are three different options (in simple terms) and they are Theresa May's deal, a no deal Brexit and finally, no Brexit at all. 

The problem is that Theresa May's deal has already been voted down by MPs. The problem now is, they haven't exactly said what's on the table instead. Many government ministers are trying to convince the EU to make changes to that deal to make it more acceptable to those who voted it down, and they are set to vote again on Tuesday 12th March (today!!) on this deal. But as new info comes to light this morning, it turns out that actually, May's 'revised' deal is pretty much the same as the deal that got voted down before. Attorney General Geoffrey Cox (who advises the government on all things legal) has essentially said that legal risks haven't changed, and that the UK will not have legal means of exiting the backstop (don't worry, I will address this soon) without the EU agreeing. But, if by some unknown miracle May's (un)revised deal goes through, we leave the EU on the 29th March with that deal. But if that fails? The vote goes to a no deal Brexit.

Effectively, no deal means we crash the hell out of the European Union with no divorce bill, no coherent exit plan and no way of moving forward. Without wanting to be a 'fearmongering Remainer' as I have been called on Twitter before, a no deal Brexit would be an unthinkable disaster. We would cut all ties immediately and we would have to follow WTO rules while also trying to negotiate free-trade deals. This would hugely increase tariffs on goods (aka what you buy in shops), EU citizens having practically no rights in the UK, hundreds of firms moving out of the UK causing extreme job spells disaster. So there will be another vote to determine whether no deal is what we want/ If that fails? We go to delaying the f*ck out of it.

In my opinion as a staunch Remainer and ardent Europhile (need I remind you that just over 70% of 18-24 year olds voted against Brexit - imagine what that would've been if 16-17 year olds had been allowed to vote?!) delaying Brexit is the best course of action. Revoking Article 50 and extending the exit date is the best course of action and subsequently taking it back to the people with a People's Vote. Democracy is basically crumbling and Westminster is clearly incompetent of delivering us a decent deal. 

Next time on Let's Talk About Brexit...we talk about a People's Vote, what Brexit means for young people & social justice, and what the hell a rounder's position is doing in Brexit negotiations???

Em xx

Keilidh MUA Masterclass Tour & A Chat About Social Anxiety

Thursday, 7 March 2019

Hello hello! I thought I would bring it back to old blogging days (check out this post if you wanna see all my ramblings about the 'good ol' days' to quote Leave wouldn't be an Emilia Rachael blogpost without a Brexit reference surely?) and throw you a good ol' post about an experience I recently had with some lovely photos taken on my phone and just have a lil natter.

So as the title of this blog post (and the massive f*ck off picture above...) suggests, I went to the Keilidh Mua Masterclass Tour! I bought my ticket back in December when I was at home on a complete whim as I thought they'd sell out super quick (I was right) and honestly, the time flew by! So on Sunday I donned some amazingly colourful makeup and wandered on down to the Renaissance Hotel in Manchester to watch Keilidh do some makeup and a guest demo. For those of you who don't know, Keilidh is an Instagram makeup artist and YouTuber who I discovered after she won a Lunar Beauty contest and filmed a video with MannyMua, and honestly since then she's been one of my biggest inspirations - her looks are right up my street and she's 100% made me braver with colour, more confident in my skills and just generally improved my makeup ability. So obviously when I found out she was doing the tour I had to go and I pretty much screamed when I got my ticket confirmation through!

Anyway. The masterclass was quite a standard format - there was one guest demo with just an eyeshadow look, a short break and then Keilidh's demo followed by a meet and greet. I was surprised at how small the Manchester event was - it was super intimate and honestly I loved that, it made it feel like we were just her friends really! All in all the day was wonderful and I'm so glad I went - the meet and greet was amazing, I waited right until the end so no one was watching me see her (I'm gonna chat about this in a second) and I managed to have quite a good chat with her, she complimented my makeup (!!) and she was just such a lovely girl, so down-to-earth and so easy to talk to - she's such a pure and wholesome person and honestly I'd love to spend more time with her because I think we'd be such good friends! I also managed to meet Abby Roberts (abbyrobertsartistry on Instagram) and she remembered me which I was honestly so shook over, again such a sweet girl and seemed so happy to chat to people and take photos and things, she was adorable! (still cannot get over the fact she's only 17 though like whaaat)

(Becca and Erin who I went with!! You can find Becca's Twitter and Instagram here and Erin's Twitter here)

However, I did wanna take this opportunity to have a quick chat with you all about social anxiety. I've been diagnosed with GAD years ago but recently my anxiety has got very very social again - for all it's amazing-ness (??) the event got me more worked up than I have been for a long time. If there's anything that terrifies me and gets my anxiety going it's young teenage girls - I can't get out of my head the idea that they're all standing around judging me, looking at me, and I come out of these events feeling completely scrutinised and completely insecure in myself and my skills. I did also go to this alone - I met two girls who I chatted to a bit on Twitter first and we went together (by the way they were both so so lovely and it was amazing to finally put faces to names) but they both had VIP tickets so I spent quite a lot of the event on my own and oh, my God my heart was racing like you wouldn't believe. I just wanted to pop this in here just to say that it's okay to feel like this and it's okay to be nervous of ridiculous things (because who in their right mind is scared of teenagers). I just don't want to let it get to the point where it stops me doing things alone but I'm hoping the more I do the more it will ease and the more I'll be able to do. That's the hope anyway - if anyone has any excellent tips for social anxiety they'd be much appreciated!

That being said, I had such a good time and I'm so so glad I didn't let anxiety completely get the better of me and I actually went as it was an invaluable experience that I'll never forget and hopefully will get the chance to repeat in the future. 

Em xx

Five Good Things #12

Sunday, 24 February 2019

Hello hello pals! Today I thought I would bring back my Five Good Things posts - I used to do these alllll the time and loved doing them, it's such a good way to reflect on the week gone by and look for all the positives. This week hasn't been a great mental health one, as I've been very very concerned about the amount I'm piling on myself and the future and very scared of failing everything so it's been a bit of a funny one! But here's five good things that have happened anyway so here goes...

01 // One of my best friends from home Lily came to visit me this weekend! She only stayed one night but we went over to Trafford (where I met mmmitchell and stupidly didn't get a photo with him but he did hug me) and we had brunch and wandered around and it was lovely.

02 // The weather has been so. darn. good recently. I know everyone has been harking on about it and it does worry me that it's ~so~ warm in February but I have to say the weather has an amazing effect on my mood - I genuinely feel so much happier with everything when it's sunny and warm. 

03 // I'm actually enjoying one of my film classes for once?! We're doing neo-noir film focusing on Chinatown and honestly, wow it's such a good film - if you haven't seen it yet you definitely need to, it's such a good storyline and stick with it even though it's long! Considering I only got 55% in my last film essay because I dislike the unit so much I'm pretty happy! (Just to flex I also got 80%, 75% and 68% in my other units which is preeeetty sweet)

04 // My boyfriend lent me his graphics tablet and honestly, I've been having way too much fun with it! If you don't follow me on Twitter I've been posting passive aggressive cartoons about my dirty af housemates so you should definitely check them out, or I also post them on my new doodle Instagram account which Vicky made me set up :)

05 // I've started getting back into exercising - running whenver I can and cycling into uni twice a week! It's about the only thing I have been doing this week, I may have watched three seasons of Friends this week but I have done some exercise which is something at least.

And that brings me to the end of Five Good Things from this week! I think I'm gonna try my best to start doing these every week so watch this space friends.

What are five good things from your week?

Em xx
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