Brexit reason

June 22, 2017

John Hendry (“Within reason”, Features, 15 June) believes in the value of teaching reason and argues that the only reasoned position on Brexit is to be a Remainer.

However, the overwhelming incomprehension and disdain-filled invective in university circles that greeted the result of the UK’s referendum on European Union membership is testament to the fact that reasoned academic analysis and understanding had not taken place among those who should have known better.

The accusation of Brexiteer lies and appeals to emotion does not really stand up: both sides were guilty of fear-­mongering and distortion. What is now evident is that most Remainers relied primarily on certain economic arguments, whereas many Brexit­eers prioritised other economic, social, cultural and psychological factors in their arguments for leaving the EU. This does not necessarily make them unreasonable or unreasoning. It just means that their reasoning is underpinned by a different set of basic values.

Students do not need persuading into any ideological doctrine or self-interested view that Hendry and members of the senior common room happen to espouse; they need a university education that truly enables them to think critically, especially in a political climate where the stakes are so high. And yes, I did vote leave, but does that necessarily invalidate my argument?

Yanina Sheeran
Shipley, West Yorkshire

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