I had intended for the last post on this blog to be one about how the Remain and Leave sides could be reconciled after a Remain win as the anger on the Leave side was apparent from the beginning and would need to be addressed. And also because an MP was assassinated allegedly because of the referendum, an event that has not happened in living memory (and I’m getting on a bit now).
However, I find myself in the situation that Leave has won. This means that the reconciliation is still needed but that this can hardly be called the last chapter. Immediate effects of the referendum result have included:
- resignation of the leader of the ruling Conservative party
- moves to oust the leader of the opposition Labour party
- slide of the pound against the dollar and the Euro
- instability on the stock markets
- retraction of all key promises on the Leave side on immigration and available public funds
- a petition asking for a re-run of the referendum (ironically set up by a Leaver who expected to lose) gathering the highest number of signatures ever (even after allowing for some fraud) standing at over 4 million as at the date of this post.
Leaving the EU is triggered by invoking Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty and it suddenly looks as though this may not happen. Given the internal political turmoil, there could easily be either a new General Election before the end of the year or a second referendum, either on BREXIT or the terms of BREXIT.
In other words nothing is resolved and the UK can look forward to weeks and months of instability.
My main impression is that there is still a gaping need for a huge input into improving public discourse, tolerance and embracing diversity as an advantage. Realistically this could be achieved much more easily with a significant change of government policy that better distributed the fruits of globalisation to all sections of society but that is unlikely to happen. Tolerance would also have a much more realistic chance of taking root if certain sections of the press reported more truthfully.
I will resist the temptation to correct any more factual errors about the EU (eg the Dane who moaned to me a few days ago that the EU had required smoking bans, when in fact it was only ever a recommendation) because as I recognised very early on, it is emotions rather than facts that determine elections and anyway, as Michael Gove from Leave said, “We are tired of experts.”
Farewell from a disenfranchised Brit.