Today is the day that the UK leaves the EU, and I feel really sad it’s finally come to this. I honestly believe we’re jumping collectively out of the frying pan and into the fire, and the chaos is only now truly beginning. Although ‘collectively’ is perhaps a bit of a misnomer, as the divide between the half of the country that always wanted to leave and the half of the country that always wanted to stay is as deep as it was on the day of the referendum, and is still truly divisive. I accept with heavy heart that we may indeed be exiting the European Union, but I still want it recognised that it is not being done in my name.
When the result of any referendum is that close, to me it’s not a question of re-running it, of re-hashing old arguements, but of the half on the ‘winning’ side of the arguement being gracious to those on the ‘losing’ side. Accept that you may have won the vote, but appreciate that nevertheless only half the country is with you, and act accordingly. You may have a majority, but only just: The result was far from unanimous. So don’t turn it into an uncivil war of wounding words, don’t twist the truth into multiple misrepresentations of fact or expound a nasty narrative of vitriolic extremes. We are not the enemy.
Don’t try to turn half the population into traitors – because if anything, it’s those of us who wished to stay that have been betrayed by your bullying behaviour, not the other way around. Realise that perhaps this is not a propitious time for proposing street parties and national celebration across the board. Don’t be so cavalier with dismissing our dismay, remember there are still puritans amongst us protesting against such flamboyance who prefer taking a more sober approach. It’s bad enough that it’s happening at all without the ludicrous idea of Big Ben chiming in at a cost of a cool half a million – but thankfully at least that plan has now been shelved.
That whole ugly cartoonish image portrayed to the world of puffed-up Brexiteers gloating over whinging Remoaners is an embarrassment. Nigel Farage and his cronies waving their Union Jack flags so disrespectfully within the European Parliament this week is an embarrassment. For those of us who wished to remain, being dragged out of the EU against our wishes is bad enough without having our noses rubbed in it gleefully by people who should know better. Britain should be greater than this.