Today, 24th June 2016, it has been confirmed that the UK has voted to leave the EU by way of referendum. The following views are expressed as my response to this decision.
In recent weeks I have heard extensive arguments to leave the EU that are either racially motivated, aim to ‘hit back at the establishment,’ or based upon remembering that ‘things used to be better.’ Sure, it was awesome when we had no vaccinations and thought smoking was good for us – let’s go all the way back then. Allowing a referendum is like asking a 12 year old if they want to take the car and a bottle of vodka to their friend’s house. Their parents previously denied them that choice not simply to oppress them, but because they had their best interests at heart. Politicians (while flawed, as all humans) take the responsibility of making decisions that we are not educated to make. In a recent interview, a Brexit campaigner could not cite one independent, credible study that suggested the UK would be better off, or even the same, by leaving the EU. Huge numbers of experts (whoever they are) advised that leaving the EU would probably be negative for the UK. The result is decided, but the count has not yet been finished, and the pound is already in free fall.
Well done UK, you have drank your bottle of vodka, crashed the car, and shit all over yourself – no-one wants to be your friend anymore and we all have to deal with it. I am ashamed. Can we now vote to split the country in two and let 48% of us stay while 52% go see how great Britain (and NI) really is on its own? This is no longer the time of great empires – this is 2016.
After 6 years of not living in the UK, I made the decision to try and move back to the UK in the hope of finding some stability and believing that it could be a good place to live. I feel I don’t even know the country or its people anymore.
My emotions on this are strong – I will return to the initial point in question: Why am I ashamed? I am ashamed because I believe that people have voted for the wrong reasons – I believe in democracy, I believe in having a voice, I believe in having power over your own future – but I do not believe in many of the reasons that people have told me they are voting for. I am ashamed of the number of people who blame immigrants for everything wrong with England, I am ashamed by the people who voted to hit back at the establishment for problems unrelated to being part of the EU, I am ashamed of the people who voted because England ‘used to be better’ because those words don’t have clarification or justification.
I could list countless, ridiculous arguments that I have encountered for voting out of the EU, but I will leave you with just one. I met someone recently who made a living selling products online through an auction site. By their reckoning, they made a pretty good money. However, they could no longer have a Facebook account for fear that they would get discovered for making money that they didn’t declare (avoiding tax) while claiming benefits (which are temporarily available for people who are not able to make money). They were voting out of the EU because of ‘all the immigrants who come and claim our benefits’ and said they would get angry if I told them that I supported the Remain (in the EU) campaign.