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The Referendum

A lot has happened in eh last week or so and I haven’t written about any of it. I especially decided to stare clear of the EU referendum, as which way to vote was a definite choice of personal conscience. I am going to now write about the aftermath though, without saying which vote, remain or leave, was right or wrong. I have noticed over the last couple of days the news stories on the internet report an increase in racial abuse. Some of it may be argued by the perpetrator to be just a bit of fun. This I’m sure would be the excuse of the couple who reportedly asked a Polish waitress “what have you got to smile about now you’re going home” and then laughed at her. I’m sure to them this funny but to the waitress it was probably pretty hurtful. Just because the leave campaign won doesn’t mean we have to stop being tolerant, human in fact, we voted to leave the EU not travel back in time.

Then there’s been the economic aspect. The markets aren’t happy, too much uncertainty, and share prices have fallen to reflect this. In all probability the financial markets will eventually sort themselves out. The big uncertainty seems to revolve around whether or not we can come to some sort of arrangement to stay in the free trade area, just as Norway and Switzerland have. There has been more informative debate over what may happen now since the referendum than there was before. Too late if you ask me, we are now hearing the information we should’ve had before to help us make our decision. If we get the same sort of deal that Norway and Switzerland have we will pay money to the EU and are allowed in the free trade area which also means we have to allow free movement of people. If we leave the free trade area, we will have import and export taxes on goods, putting our cost of living up. This means that those who voted leave just to control immigration did so at a cost. Don’t worry thought, the Brexit campaign will have a plan. Well there’s another surprise I wasn’t expecting but apparently they haven’t. Apparently nobody thought to draw one up. We appear to have made the biggest decision we could make as a nation without any real thought being put into it by our leaders. Now I don’t blame the PM, he was campaigning to stay in but, the Brexit campaign, led by Boris Johnson should have given it some thought. Now that the PM has resigned we face the possibility that Boris may take over as PM. We appear to have handed our country over to a man with no foresight. Can he get the agreement he wants from the EU, probably not. They hold all the cards and our declaration that we won’t invoke article 50 for a few months is just upsetting them. We may be lucky get offered a deal as good as Norway’s. This along with the information that the Brexit boast of spending the money we’ll save on membership on the NHS was in fact a mistake. Has led some who voted leave to wish they’d voted remain. I don’t know who started it but a petition has been raised with over 2 million signatures asking parliament to pass a law so that any referendum with less than a 75% turn out is invalid if won by less than 60% of the vote. This of course can only apply to referendums in the future, this one is done.

This referendum is apparently only advisory, and parliament don’t have to follow it but that would be undemocratic. You could argue that the British public shouldn’t be asked to make a decision as big as this but that is an insult to our intelligence. What I do believe is true is that many of us where not informed, politicians didn’t campaign, they just tried to scare the voting public into voting the way they wanted them too, not actually giving them a reason to. Concealing or just not mentioning the facts. If there really is a reason to have the vote again it is that many people voted leave on the grounds that the money saved will go to the NHS and immigration can be curbed. Both of these points appear to have been misrepresented, it may be said, lied about. If you are one of these voters the real lesson for you is research the information, and don’t trust the slogan but even in this day and age, even though many of us say we don’t trust them, we don’t expect our politicians to lie.

Either way it’s done now, we have to live with our decision. We have to hope our leaders do a good job of getting us a good deal. Don’t hold your breath, business isn’t. Business is not waiting to find out. Carnival UK, one of the world’s biggest cruise ship companies has announced they’re moving 1000 key jobs to Germany, as are HSBC. Things may get bad, things may get better but whatever happens I hope the racists aren’t allowed to use this to their own advantage and cause us as a country to go backwards in regards to our own morals. Some may say the vote to leave was a stupid decision but that doesn’t mean we have to turn into morons.

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