You’ve heard of the shy Tory, but have you heard of the Shy Brexiteer? If you’re reading this, perhaps you yourself could be one… but I can assure you, it’s not helpful to the Brexit cause. I’ve been coaxing Brexiteers out of their closet for over a year now, and it’s made me a great believer that coming out as Brexiteers will secure us the best Brexit. There’s a lot of anti-Brexiteer prejudice out there, so it’s no surprise you might not want to come out. It’s not helping that sections of the media keep pushing the lie that Leave voters are racist, even when polls and research have shown again and again it’s not true. Take for example, this piece in the Evening Standard which with selective reporting and confirmation bias again, tries to reinforce and talk up the supposed racism of Leave voters, when the actual research said something much more complex and nuanced on prejudice rather than racism. Read my full response here. Defeating that narrative too, is a recent report produced by Open Europe, suggesting that the main reason for a vote on immigration control was not ethnicity (at 7.9%), but rather whether or not immigrants have a criminal record (84%) – which any reasonable person would have to agree is a reasonable concern. This proves that there is a coherent and important immigration argument to be had on the Leave side. Rather than disregarding it with name-calling and prejudice, it should be confronted and tackled. Another great ploy to synonymise Brexit with racism, is the incessant pushing of the correlation between weak hate crime data and the timing of the Brexit vote, without any proof of causation. By just ‘putting it out there’ with no proof of causation, we’re all now tarnished as raving racists. A reasonable consequence of an academically sound argument? I think not. But what can we do to thwart this false accusation as Brexiteers? We will set an example. That is the only thing we can do. The only problem is… you can’t set an example if you’re still in your Brexit closet. So get out from there and show a human face ready for an open and respectful debate. We Brexiteers should be available, ready and waiting opponents to our adversaries and battle our case and represent a friendly, open people. Be that familiar face that gets someone to reconsider their anti-Brexiteer prejudice. Play a larger role in your communities, and don’t shy away from representing our vote in the most publicly positive way possible. Don’t hide, be heard. Speak up for yourself or let others speak for you. Let’s all be ambassadors of the Brexit we hope for. Sticking up for yourself in work situations, coming out to Remainer friends and family is hard, I know. That’s why set up the Leavers of London, a monthly social and networking group: its purpose, amongst many other things, is to give people the social support and encouragement to come out. Call me a dreamer, but I have a hope, that perhaps filling our country with positive and pro-active members of society, will ensure a more respectful and optimistic climate in which to launch our new Global Britain message. We voted for independence, and with independence comes responsibility – so let’s make the best of it. If you want some help, tips or advice in becoming more outspoken about your advocacy for Brexit, please become a member of the Leavers of London. You could even pop along to one of our meetings, the next of which is on 25th January. Email me on firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.