Many of us have woken up this morning to news that Britain has voted to leave the European Union.
The result was always too close to call, but, on Thursday 23rd June, 52% of British voters voted to leave. Scotland is reportedly considering another referendum to break with Britain, meaning it will remain in the EU and be independent. The British pound dropped to a three-decade low. Nigel Farage shockingly reported that the Leave campaign had won without a single shot fired, ignoring the tragic murder of Jo Cox.
While I was driving to work, David Cameron stepped out of Number 10 and declared that he will resign, probably by October, and allow a new Prime Minister to evoke Article 50, and start the process of Britain moving out of the EU. Who that will be remains to be seen, but I’m worried that it will be someone even worse than Cameron.
This country has been in disarray for years. The NHS is strained, schools are full, benefits have been slashed. There isn’t enough council housing to go around, there aren’t enough jobs to go around, wages are not high enough. The rich remain rich while the poor get poorer. In the past, benefits have been handed out to the undeserving, while those in desperate need remained desperate. Unemployment has remained at an unacceptable level. Zero hour contracts are widespread. Low wages and high prices mean that many more people have relied on food banks. People are discontent.
The Leave campaign felt like the ruling elite jumping on and leading what should have been a working-class revolt. Many people have expressed anger at the EU ruling us, but it is in truth Parliament that has made a lot of the bad decisions that affect so many people. I do not trust the Tories. I do not trust the government. I voted to Remain because I wanted to be protected, to feel protected from the filthy rich politicians who lie and avoid tax and use their expenses to build moats and other ridiculous things. The EU may not represent us, but these people do not represent me either.
I’m glad that such a high percentage of people turned out to vote. I’m glad that people felt strongly enough to stand up and have their voices heard. But I am not glad about the result. Until Wednesday evening, I was undecided. I understand why Britain wanted to leave, I understand why the Leave campaign managed to light a fire in so many people. But I decided to vote Remain because the Leave campaign just didn’t answer my questions; it failed to reassure me that Britain would be better off outside the EU. And yet, this is the decision that has been made.
I’m fearful for the future. I’m concerned that many people approached this referendum and voted with hate in their hearts and propaganda in their minds. I’m concerned that the racist undercurrent has directed people to vote to leave. I’m concerned that our rights will not be protected under Tory rule. I’m worried about women in particular, our rights to maternity leave, equal pay. I’m worried about EU migrants, how they will be treated. I’m worried about our future trade deals and freedom of movement. I’m worried about inflation, the economy, the NHS, the uncertainty that the Leave campaign has left us with.
The future is so uncertain, and I’m concerned.