I voted ‘Remain’. I read some of the facts; Not loads but enough to know that there wasn’t anything fundamental to sway me from my gut belief we should stay. So when I woke this morning to the referendum result – the Britain had voted to leave – I was genuinely shocked. I knew it would be close, but I never thought it would go the way it did. I am open to change but I don’t think the benefits are worth the risk here. I am anxious about the years to come and the impact it will have on me and my family.
It has been impossible to watch the news or read any social media today without being bombarded with ‘responses’ to the ‘Leave’ decision. Initially I was drawn to them both to try and get under the skin of the outcome I couldn’t relate to and also not feel alone. But as the day progressed I found that reading about it just made me feel stressed, anxious or upset. It seems that once the initial euphoria or shock had worn off, people started to turn on each other. The dawn of our ‘new independent Britain’ just seemed to see us all divided.
I don’t think that a 52% to 48% vote in favour of leaving is a particularly successful outcome. The results were clear – ‘Leave’ votes trumped ‘Remain’. But the truth is still that almost 50% of the country are not in favour of what happens next. Given that a political party needs a clear majority in a General Election, it feels wrong that a referendum doesn’t have a mandatory margin of difference for a result to be valid.
But we are where we are. I believe in democracy. What that means here is that as a country we have decided to go it alone. As all of us who didn’t want to leave come to terms with this, we also need to accept it. There are pros and cons to being in the EU; There will be pros and cons to being independent. I’m certain there are going to be some tough times ahead. I’m pretty darn confident there will be some harsh realisations for some ‘Leave’ voters down the line. But there will probably be some pleasant surprises for people like me.
There is nothing we can do about the decision now. What we can do is ensure we influence the decisions being made as we start to rebuild our country. The thought of my future and the future of my child being decided by the likes of Nigel Farage (who within hours of the victory back-tracked on one of his ‘campaign’ promises, surprise-surprise) fills me with terror. I only hope that ‘Remain’ MPs will step forward to help deliver the best separation outcome for us all!
Whatever happens, hold onto your hats folks because we are definitely for a bumpy ride.