I’ll start by saying that I’m one of the 48% disappointed and saddened by Friday’s shock result. As a travel writer who benefits from European freedom of movement, someone with a disability who has felt both safe and looked after by the EU’s anti-discrimination laws, accessibility regulations and amazing technologies for those who may need it, and a woman who enjoys a higher rate of pay than many others globally, and may well wish to embrace maternity leave at some point in my lifetime, I feel that we, as a country, have let go of something powerful, progressive and precious.
But, for me, the picture is much bigger than that. Friday’s result, for many, was about ‘taking our country back’ and having more ‘control’ and ‘power’ over the choices Britain can make. In my opinion, instead of representing these things, we showed greed, a lack of tolerance and mostly, a ‘little England’ mentality that was based on deceit from the party campaigns and a discontent many Britons have with issues that are NOT in the hands of the EU, and never were.
Since Friday, the pound has become stronger after an initial crash. There are, however, no more positives I can see. Cameron will resign in a few months, paving the way for the likes of Johnson, Gove or May. Corbyn is being pressured into the same fate, having not stood a chance against the red-top papers that have never given him a moment to breathe, and Britain is now seen as a darker place by the rest of the world, with its metaphorical barbed-wire fences and lack of empathy. It is a country also divided in its darkness, with the call for second referendums and independence shouted loud. And yet, we are sat in separation, waiting for the dust to settle and the action to start. Passion with little productivity is a strange thing to witness.
But change will come, whether we voted for it or not. Brexit is (probably) out of our hands now, but the way in which we treat each other isn’t. The NHS may well crumble, despite what Farage and his friends promised, but our collective kindness cannot suffer the same end. However disconnected we may feel, we are still all in this together. Let’s act that way, before any more bridges burn.