It’s time for a Friday Reads post – and I have a whole one planned on a book about the history of the middle east.
But I can’t bring myself to finish it, to think about other politics outside what just happened in the UK.
We just voted to leave the EU. We voted to leave by a small margin – 51.9% of the vote – but we voted to leave. I will never criticise anyone exercising their democratic right to vote. But I can and will criticise the result. The Leave campaign was based on lies. Lies that Turkey was just about to join the EU, leading to millions more migrants (they are decades away, if ever). Lies that we can negotiate whatever we want with the EU (we can try, but their aim will be to dissuade other countries from doing the same). Lies that £350bn will be saved and all of this money can go on the NHS. Even Nigel Farage, one of the leaders of the Leave campaign, admitted after the vote that this was untrue and could never happen.
I am devastated. I don’t mean that lightly. You vote in an election that doesn’t go your way and you know it could change in a few years time. This won’t. Scotland, Northern Ireland and London voted strongly to remain, the rest of the UK voted to leave. It is almost definite that Scotland will end up leaving the UK as a result. There will be an Irish reunification vote. England will be left smaller, poorer, and weaker.
And the people that will have to live with the decision are those who voted to remain – under 25s voted 75% to remain whereas over 65s voted 61% to leave. It becomes even starker when you break the ages down more.
Can’t figure out how to end this. I’m exhausted. Its probably good for my career in the short term as I’ve been advising on potential Brexit for the last few months. Its bad for my company overall as we have already had a huge number of the transactions we were working on cancelled. There are rumours of huge job losses and redundancies all over the City. House prices will fall – bad when I’m in the process of selling my flat. On the other hand, I can’t lose my pension as I don’t have one.
On an entirely ideological level – there are problems with the EU. But I feel European, I live in this wonderful city which I love so much and it is so prosperous and popular and great because of the EU – and we overwhelmingly voted to Remain. I feel so so sad that we have made this momentous decision today that will change all our lives.