Indian-origin anti-Brexit campaigner releases memoir of her struggle
London, Sep 2: An Indian-origin campaigner who mounted a successful legal challenge to prevent British Prime Minister Theresa May triggering Brexit without Parliament’s approval has released a new memoir to trace her journey through death threats and abuse from Brexiteers.
Gina Miller, born Gina Nadira Singh in British Guiana (now Guyana) to Guyana’s former Attorney-General Doodnauth Singh, reveals in her new book titled ‘Rise’ that she inherited her fighting spirit from her father, which prevented her from giving up even when online trolls threatened her children.
“My father was actively involved in setting up a political party against our dictator [Guyana] and ironically I was sent to the UK to be safe. So, I have a sense of fatalism that I am exactly where I should be, fighting for things I learnt at my father’s knee,” she said, at the UK launch of her book here this week.
Miller, an investment fund manager who became the face of the legal battle over parliamentary supremacy in the aftermath of Britain’s vote in favour of leaving the European Union (EU) in June 2016, admitted going through very “low” moments and tears in the face of the attacks after she successfully brought a legal challenge forcing the UK government to seek Parliament’s approval to trigger Article 50, the legal mechanism taking the UK out of the EU.
“I was very conscious of the very febrile environment that Brexit has created but I had no idea that it would be to the level and severity that I received – that I was foreign and being a woman of colour I had no right to speak up. There was a concerted effort to silence me,” said the 53-year-old businesswoman-cum-campaigner.
“The more hatred I got from the extremists that normally sits of the fringes of society, the more I was going to fight because this is not the country I want my children to grow up in. So the more they threw at me, and still throw at me, the more I am going to fight,” said the campaigner.
She is now focussed on building momentum behind a people’s vote over the final outcome of Brexit — in the form of another referendum or general elections.
Miller wants the British electorate to have the option to choose between May’s “unworkable plans”, a scenario of a “no deal” with the EU, and a “Remain and Reform” agenda for Britain alongside the EU.
“Quite simply, status quo is not an option,” she said.
Despite being widely tipped in the media as a potential candidate to take over the leadership of the UK’s Liberal Democrat party after Lib Dem leader Vince Cable steps down later this month, Miller dismissed the idea of entering official party politics any time soon.
“It is very flattering but I have no ambition to go into party politics. Our system is so broken and needs to reform before I can even think about entering it and I believe it is easier to bring about that reform from the outside,” she said.
The release of her memoirs is something she describes as a “virtual cuddle” for others fighting for difficult causes and an “emotionally naked” book in which she speaks candidly about her life experiences, including an abusive marriage in the past.
“It is my way to reach out to a Britain that is incredibly divided,” she said.