Really, properly, angry.
A white-hot, incandescent, rage-fuelled, burning, seething, roiling, pure, barely restrained anger.
That’s how I’ve felt since the result of the EU Referendum was announced in the early hours of Friday morning, when the UK had, incomprehensibly, voted by a slim margin to leave the EU.
My last post about this before the referendum was largely an on the fence one, but as you have probably guessed I went with my head rather than my heart, and made the sensible, logical choice to remain a member of the EU.
It seems however, that slightly too many people within the UK, particularly in Little England, actually fell for the jingoistic, xenophobic, misplaced patriotism espoused by the Leave campaign in the run up to the vote. Now of course begins Project Backpeddle, as the likes of Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, Liam Fox and Daniel Hannan start telling us that in reality:
- We won’t have full control of our borders. Some control is an aspiration.
- There actually won’t be £350m per week to go to the NHS. That promise was a mistake by the Leave campaign (Er Nigel, you did promise exactly that yourself…)
- We’ll still need to comply with EU trading regulations if we want to remain a part of the single market.
- We won’t get our sovereignty back, as we’ll be having a new PM with no elected mandate to rule.
- We won’t be saving VAT on energy bills, as most of our energy is imported.
- Inflation will rise, the pound will tank against all other currencies, and unemployment will rise.
- Scotland will trigger a second independence referendum.
- There’s no need to trigger Article 50 straight away, let’s not be hasty now…
And of course several of those have already begun happening. Scotland are now going to hold a second indyref, the pound has dropped against all other currencies on the planet, and major businesses are already acting on contingency plans to move operations out of the UK to Ireland & Spain. Both significantly countries still within the EU.
There was an excellent comment posted on the Guardian’s website in response to an article on the UK’s most senior EU official resigning his position. I’ll reproduce a part of it here:
If Boris Johnson looked downbeat yesterday, that is because he realises that he has lost.
Perhaps many Brexiters do not realise it yet, but they have actually lost, and it is all down to one man: David Cameron.
With one fell swoop yesterday at 9:15 am, Cameron effectively annulled the referendum result, and simultaneously destroyed the political careers of Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and leading Brexiters who cost him so much anguish, not to mention his premiership.
Throughout the campaign, Cameron had repeatedly said that a vote for leave would lead to triggering Article 50 straight away. Whether implicitly or explicitly, the image was clear: he would be giving that notice under Article 50 the morning after a vote to leave. Whether that was scaremongering or not is a bit moot now but, in the midst of the sentimental nautical references of his speech yesterday, he quietly abandoned that position and handed the responsibility over to his successor.
And as the day wore on, the enormity of that step started to sink in: the markets, Sterling, Scotland, the Irish border, the Gibraltar border, the frontier at Calais, the need to continue compliance with all EU regulations for a free market, re-issuing passports, Brits abroad, EU citizens in Britain, the mountain of legistlation to be torn up and rewritten … the list grew and grew.
Go read the whole comment, it’s very excellently put. Whosoever chooses to accept the leadership of the Tories after Cameron steps down has to accept either triggering Article 50, and committing political & career suicide, or not triggering Article 50, thereby still committing political and career suicide.
Cameron for once in his life actually did the smart thing.
Of course many Leave voters woke up on Friday morning, and as the enormity of what they had actually just done started to sink in, so did regret. Many of them have now expressed a mixture of regret, outrage, bewilderment, and a sense that they were betrayed by the Leave campaign. And of course they’d be right, because they were. A significant number of pro-leave voters have admitted that their leave vote was actually meant as a protest vote against the government. A government that they have now ensured has complete control over the UK without oversight from the EU. Well done guys, well done.
Far too late it is now to worry about your:
- EU Subsidies
- Free Healthcare System
- Job security
- Workplace rights
- Right to live and work in 27 other countries
- Children’s future prospects
The one thing that did make me laugh a grimly satisfied chortle? Cornwall. A region of the UK that depends heavily on EU subsidies voted strongly in favour of leaving the EU. And now? Now they still want to be handed the millions of pounds per week that they got from the EU. Yeah, good luck with that.
But it’s a pattern that was repeated right across the country – the areas that actually depended the most on the EU for money, jobs and protections, are the same regions that voted most strongly for Brexit.
But of course, Nigel Farage backs the use of a second referendum in the case of a narrow result, so that’s ok then, isn’t it?
But we already know most voters, regardless of which way they voted, did so based on the propaganda of both campaigns, and that unlike intelligent people, only started researching what would happen if we left the EU after the polls had already bloody closed.
And then of course there’s the infamously insular, racist & misogynistic readership that is the Daily Mail comments section. A stronger group of pro-Farage/BNP/National Front/EDL/Trump supporters you won’t find anywhere. Like the Mos Eisley cantina, only worse. Apparently, they’re all shocked now what leaving the EU means for them and their lives.
You can’t help but laugh.
Except you can’t really, can you? Because unless the miracle of an SNP veto on Brexit happens, or whoever wants to pick up the poisoned chalice that is the Tory leadership decides not to trigger Article 50, we’re all screwed.
A referendum campaign marked by lies, deception, fear-mongering, jingoism, provincialism, xenophobic and racist (in significant parts) hate filled rhetoric and straight up personal political greed has now landed the country with a future significantly darker than it was a week ago. A future that, if the referendum were to happen again, I would seriously doubt we’d have anything resembling the result we’ve had.
I await the future with a sense of dread, trepidation and fear.
That and anger.
A real, proper, anger.