The following post is simply my own personal view – I’m not a political commentator, politician or activist and I wasn’t sure if I should post anything. However, with the resignation of David Cameron as Prime Minister, I feel shaken and quite frankly scared for the future of my country. I welcome comments of a respectful nature that will encourage discussion from both sides.
This morning I woke up to the news that the people of the United Kingdom have voted to leave the European Union. Although in my heart I was hoping for the opposite result I’m not massively surprised, a lot of people (though not all of them, I have seen some very well thought out reasoning from people voting to leave) seemed to be voting from a place of fear and xenophobia. Is this the future of Britain? Will no-one from any other country be welcome?
Already this morning I have read some sobering and sad tales from people born in the UK to immigrant parents, or people from other countries who have lived in the UK for 20, 30 or more years and all of whom consider themselves British or adopted Brits but now feel apprehensive and wary in the country they have called home for all or the majority of their lives. I can’t even begin to imagine how that would feel. And I’m not sure I want to be part of a country that makes people feel this way.
I watched as the Pound plummeted to a 30 year low against the US Dollar and read reports of people moving their stocks and shares to other markets. Is this a knee-jerk reaction, will things calm down and level out over the coming months? Let’s hope so.
Through my reading I have also learned that the UK wasn’t the only country feeling uneasy in the EU and that other member countries may also ask for a Referendum of their own. The country that has been mentioned the most in this way is the Netherlands, one of the founding members and always a supporter of the EU. I wonder if other countries will push for Referendums of their own or if they will take time to see what happens in the UK before they make a move.
From a Scottish perspective, I can only imagine there is a lot of thought going on. In 2014 Scotland voted to remain in the UK but also overwhelmingly voted to remain in the EU. I wonder how the ‘Better Together’ voters would vote now if there was another Scottish Referendum tomorrow? Or did most ‘Better Together’ voters also vote to leave the EU? I’m also curious about the people who voted ‘Yes’ for independence and ‘Out’ for the EU – how would an independent Scotland survive completely on our own?
On that note, there is a written manifesto that Scotland can request another Independence Referendum in the event that significant events occur that go against the wishes of the majority of the Scottish people. This will be another ‘watch this space’ moment – will the SNP exercise this right? I think they would be wise to watch what happens in the rest of Europe for a few months before deciding. I also think if they do exercise this right, now would be the time to put away the 1,000+ page documents and come up with some clear, short and easy to understand pros and cons for independence. In particular a plan for an independent Scotland without oil.
I also wonder if the people who voted to leave the EU would also vote for UKIP if there was a UK General Election tomorrow? Most of the ‘leave’ campaign seemed to originate from UKIP and people with similar views to this party. I’m not asking this to strike up an argument, I’m genuinely curious if people agree with UKIP policy or if they voted due to British pride and a strong belief that we really are better out of the EU. And now that David Cameron has quit I may find out the answer to this question sooner rather than later. I never thought I’d see the day that the resignation of a Tory leader would make me feel afraid for the future of the UK.
We live in interesting times…