It’s been a week since the European Referendum here in the UK and in my household we are still getting over the shock of the decision to leave. (Brexit) The reactions have been shocking particularly the rise in racially motivated incidents and the backlash on social media.
I’m not usually one for standing up and speaking out but some of the things being said (and done) have made me angry enough to do just that. Especially when people keep saying it will be alright when we don’t actually know that. We don’t know how bad it may get before it starts to get better.
We were complaining before the vote about being fed up with all the news coverage of it, most of which was either misleading or certainly not helpful. The lack of information available did not make it easy to decide which way to vote.
In some ways that is understandable when this is an unprecedented situation. No country has left the EU so of course there will be a lot of unknowns. Personally I voted In. I don’t regret that decision. I thought we would be better being part of a solution to problems rather than causing them.
It’s been a long week and although the stock exchange and currency have settled a bit after the horrendous falls immediately following the result, it seems that we still don’t have answers to the questions people were asking before the vote and now there are more questions:
Who will be the new leader of the Conservative Party?
Will that person continue as an unelected Prime Minister and begin negotiations with the EU or will they call a General Election?
When will Article 50 be triggered?
Who will continue to lead the Labour Party? Jeremy Corbyn is hanging on by the thinnest of threads.
Will Scotland move to have another Independence Referendum in a bid to remain in the EU?
Will there be real attempts to unify Ireland and what impact will that have?
How long will it take for Immigrants to feel safe and wanted in this country following some of the awful incidents this week?
How long before ignorant racists realise that many of the people they’ve abused are probably British citizens and have as much right to be in this country as they do and that if we did boot all the non-British people out our public services would probably collapse? (And how long before the knowledge sinks in that if we do negotiate a decent post Brexit trade deal with Europe it will probably come with strings attached like free movement?!)
We probably will be ok in the long term. As in years. Not days or months but years. We may not remain a united kingdom and I don’t think anyone will consider us great but of course our British spirit will see us through.
I accept that this is democracy in action and although I may not like the decision I have to accept it and look forward. We can’t change the present by looking back although we can learn from our mistakes and hopefully make the future better.
However, like it or not, we are part of a global community. Big issues like global warming, the continued threat of ISIS, migration issues etc will not be solved by cutting ourselves off from the outside world. These issues need to be tackled globally. We need to be part of discussions and negotiations involving these issues.
We also need to accept that, despite the colour or our skins, the languages we speak, our beliefs and all the other things that make us individuals, we are all human, and if we don’t work together we could destroy this planet and the human race.