I’ve never been one to shy away from change. I voted remain for positive reasons. I believe being part of Europe is the only way to protect the environment and ultimately the future – for our children and grandchildren and for the world. I believe we can only exert positive influence from within. There have been others way more eloquent than I who have put forward coherent arguments for why we should have voted to stay. There’s been a lot of scaremongering on both sides of the divide. People who were ‘in’s’ have been labelled unpatriotic and ‘outs’ have been called racist and xenophobic. Many people voted for what they believed was best for the UK. What they thought was best for our future. Of course there are always people who vote for less positive reasons, and many who don’t vote at all. The turnout was high, but not staggering, and it is telling that less than 40% of under 30’s voted.
What saddens me is the obvious rifts that exist: between old and young, between political parties, between ideologies, between different parts of society, between different parts of the UK. These were the issues that needed addressing before the referendum and these are the issues which will need addressing long after the dust has settled. Why people who fought for freedom and independence feel de-valued and lost; why young people feel dis-inherited of the future; why certain areas of society feel fearful for their jobs and homes; why immigrants have become the scapegoats for many of our internal problems.
A good and wise friend said that the sun still rises and sets and life goes on, or words to that effect, and of course that is entirely true. Life will go on. We will get up tomorrow and the day after, and the world will still be here. We will take steps as a country to work out how we extricate ourselves from a union which has existed for 40 years, which for all its faults, foibles and bureaucracy delivered tangible benefits to members, including the freedom to live, work and love in any of the member states. We will still be a little island in a big-wide-world and I for one will feel a little less anchored, a little less secure, and certainly a lot more isolated.