WHEN the general election was announced in October many were thinking it would be a contest between those who want Brexit, those want it but on different terms and those who want to stop it at all costs.

In 2016, the referendum vote led to a great deal of polarisation between communities and three years on nothing it seems has changed.

Whilst many ‘Brexit voters’ will speak about their knowledge of the complexities of the European Union and all it entails we know deep down that most of them know diddly squat.

We would like to think we do but we don’t.

Even I don’t and I have an A-level in British government and politics.

The primary reason that people voted to leave the EU in 2016 had to do with their ill-informed belief that it would help to make the UK borders more secure.

The idea was that we as a nation would be able to limit the number of people coming into this country.

We would in effect be making ‘Britain great again.’ I overheard several people, who I would never regard as prejudiced in their political opinions talking of the need to stop ‘freeloaders from another country taking up our NHS services’ or stopping ‘Asians using the council services.’

All complete and utter nonsense.

The problem was that this all got misunderstood in the haze of false promises and narratives. Now, three years on, with days to go before an election, we haven’t moved on from this thinking.

This has not been the Brexit election, it has been the bigotry election – where racism became the new weapon to bash each over the head with.

If we weren’t insinuating racist language our supporters were shouting down anyone we didn’t agree with.

Even now you can’t have a decent conservation without some idiot calling you a remainer, remoaner, racist or all of the above.

The only way, it seems, to make a good case for Brexit and encourage people to go out and vote is to take advantage of people’s deep-seated prejudice towards others. Essentially scare the pants off people so much they will think twice before voting for one party or the other.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

We let this happen and in the coming week it is time to take a deep breath and maybe realise we got a bit carried with it all.

Then again there are five days to go and hopefully once it is all done and dusted everyone can be friends again.

There’s hope yet.