Referendum Aftermath

In this Thursday’s referendum 51.8% of Briton’s voted to leave the European Union. The outcome has since resulted in uproar on both sides with Cameron set to step down as Prime Minister in October and a petition calling for a 2nd referendum going viral.
As a supporter of the remain campaign from the very beginning, I’m still trying to get over the shock of the result and uncertainty of the future. To say that I’m unhappy with the outcome, especially because it was so narrowly won, is an understatement. Here’s the thing, it wouldn’t be so hard to accept the result either way if not for two things; the outcome was as close as it was, and if voters had PROPERLY researched their position rather than absorbing the biased campaign propaganda (on both sides) without question. I respect leave voters who researched the advantages and disadvantages of EU membership and then decided leaving was in the interest of their personal gain, but the amount of sheer ignorance I’ve seen on the most part side irks me. As a member of the working class, it disgusts me that once again many of the working class have allowed themselves to be exploited by the campaigns and only gone and shot themselves in the foot. Unable to look past their xenophobic attitudes many leave voters seem to not have bothered to look into what it actually means to be a member of the EU. The post-Brexit recession will most likely lead to an increase in prices of consumer goods and travel through Europe as well as the loss of many jobs, and a likely increase in University fees (as if £9000 wasn’t enough already!). With the lowest paid jobs, and prices of bare necessities on the rise, the working classes will suffer the most. Since the results on Friday morning, the value of the pound (£) has also fallen to an all-time low in 30yrs. But it’s okay, because at least we have control of our borders and no immigrants ‘coming after our jobs’ right? (!).
For any leave voters thinking we’re going to be rolling in money now that we aren’t contributing £350million a week to the EU, think again. Over 3million UK jobs were linked to the EU meaning if, on average workers earned £300 a week we made back £900million a week- almost three times as much as we paid into the EU. Brexit may mean we get back £350million weekly (though not to fund the NHS as promised!), these millions of jobs are at risk and there will still be a net loss of money overall. Not to mention the millions we paid into the NHS, our Universities and our farmers from the EU. The leave campaign pushed the fact that we pay £350million a week into EU membership, money which they had initially promised to instead use on the NHS but then dismissed the proposal as a ‘mistake’ just hours after the results were in. How ironic, that the only good point they actually had, the one plastered across all their campaign leaflets and busses, was an empty promise. I’m not going to lie, it gives me some comfort knowing I was right not to trust the likes of Farage and Johnson and to see some leave voters on social media feeling stupid and regretting their decision but these minor satisfactions are not enough to override the awful result, just as leaving won’t be the solution to all our EU-related problems.
Yes, I’m bitter, bitter that an almost 50/50 split will lead to such a negative impact on the whole country but it’s been decided now and so, regardless of how we feel about the situation, we have to pick up the pieces and make the most of what we have. After all, there will always be some perks of leaving (though I can’t think of many off the top of my head). The next decade or so will probably be the most difficult financially and I feel as though we’ll have to go back to basics, to the age of manufacturing as opposed to providing services. For so long we’ve relied on foreign produce but as importation prices rise and so we’ll have no choice but to become more self-sufficient. The aftermath of the referendum won’t be good, especially at first, but that doesn’t mean we give up, we have to prepare and aim to succeed independently as it is still possible.

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