Friday 24 June 2016

EU Referendum result: Disunion

The markets closed in positive territory yesterday, firm in the belief that Britain was going to vote to remain in the European Union.

At around midnight, UKIP leader, Nigel Farage, conceded defeat, saying that he thought ‘Remain’ would scrape through. 

Remain supporters who then decided to turn-in for the night did so with contented hearts. We’d wake up in the morning with Britain staying in the EU.

But we didn’t. And we won’t be.

As the night unfolded, Mr Farage unconceded defeat. As the results came in, it became increasingly clear that that Brexit was looming. The pound dramatically fell to levels not seen since 1985.

And it also became clear that we were seeing in front of our eyes the disunion of more than one union.

The UK’s union with the EU is now coming to an end. And the country’s own union of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is now at risk, split in two by the referendum result.

England and Wales have voted decisively to leave the EU. But Scotland (especially Scotland) and Northern Ireland have voted decisively to remain in the EU.

We are now in uncharted territory. The electorate has voted, maybe unwittingly, for disunity and disunion. We don’t know what’s ahead. 

For those of us who supported Remain, this is a shocking, seismic tragedy which we can’t understand. The world won’t understand. Our allies in Europe won’t understand. All the world leaders and experts who urged us to remain in the EU won’t understand.

And I don’t understand. 

It seems that voters were wowed and wooed with fanciful ideas of getting their country back. But did they really know what that means? 

Soon, or at least in due course, we will know more precisely what country we have just lost, and what country we’ll be getting back instead. 

With a referendum decision of 52% in favour of Leave and 48% to Remain, Britain – and Britons – are literally split down the middle. 

And it might mean that we now not only separate from the EU, but separate from each other.

With allies, I worked hard for a Remain result, and we will all now be profoundly and deeply disappointed and bewildered. 

We will be feeling that those who voted for Leave were misled; that they were fed a pack of lies about the EU not being democratic, or immigration being harmful. 

We know, from the facts, that the opposite is the truth.

Will those voters, in time, relent and realise that this has been a colossal mistake? We simply don’t know. 


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1 comment:

  1. This will be seen as the blackest day of the 21st century. History will hold the politicians and pundits who led us here to account.


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