I have wavered tonight.
It is nothing to do with my maternal homeland making the semis of the Euros.
My instincts hitherto have been to accept the referendum result. Democracy has spoken. Large swathes of the country, certainly in England, voted 60-70%+ in favour for Leave. For many different reasons. That cannot be ignored. A vote not just of the ill-informed, nor xenophobes.
I was, and will remain, a strong unwavering supporter of the EU, who acknowledges its imperfections but wholeheartedly understands the benefits it brings. I feel British first and European second, ahead of English or Welsh (neither of which I really feel, save for an unspoken vow always to support the dragons in solidarity with my mother).
Britain for me has always been a mixed society: part 1000 years of non-invasion since the mix of Angles, Danes, Normans and pushing out of the Celts (possibly, too long ago); part Commonwealth, of dominions formed by buccaneering and often brutal colonisation; part European through common experience of devastating conflict and a subsequent grief and pursuit of brotherhood for the common good of common men and women.
But there is a continued Lack of a Real Brexit Plan, meaning that no one *really knows* what they voted for. I truly believe that we still have a Big Opportunity to influence the process of negotiation, through individual and collective lobbying, through direct action and vocal protest, to represent the views and sensibilities of the 48%.
Until now, my thinking has been that this could lead to a Brexit with as many benefits of the EU as possible. That there will naturally be somesort of compromise. That any negotiation might even retain the Four Freedoms, at least in their majority form. Indeed, it seemed from Boris's Telegraph column on Monday that even he was concedeing such ground.
Perhaps Brexit isn't so bad?
I spent many hours, generally on Twitter and sometimes face to face, debating the odds with a variety of Brexit proponents. There were some strong, interesting and appealing arguments, and generally good-natured exchanges (though I will admit my blood had cause to boil on occasion). Those concerned about sovereignty, democracy and accountability, in particular, had a strong case, but too often zeal seemed to blind them to the nature of our own constitutional monarchy.
These exchanges taught me there were many noble sentiments in Leave, many well-educated and principled proponents of Leave. There were moments when I wondered if I was being groomed to the Dark Side, or conversely if I was being deprogrammed from my own brainwashing. But we generally agreed to disagree. I only had to block a dozen or so.
But where are we now?
Labour in utter disarray. LibDems trying hard, but no one is listening (yet). The Tories' leadership candidates to a man/woman committed to Brexit. It seems we will simply limp into a slow separation. We will be ground down over time, bored even, and suddenly we will realise the European brotherhood and future for our children will have drifted away.
But now is also the time to heal some of the divisions, to compromise, to recognise that the 52% won the day, for the 48% to shut up and move on.
Or is it? I waver...
If we are to stand up for EU values, there is still time. If we are to get a Brexit as close to the EU model as some of us would like, we need to make our voices loud now. If we are to stop Brexit altogether, then we need to be as uncompromising and relentless as humanly possible.
We may not win the day.
We need to recognise legitimate concerns of the 52%, especially those disposessed who voted simply to spread the pain.
But we need to stand now. And the firmer we stand, the more likely we are to keep the freedoms we treasure.
At least we'll know we tried, rather than passively accepting what Gove / Leadsome / May / Crabb / Fox may deem us worthy of.