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Brexit Stage Left

In the early hours of Saturday morning, it was announced that the United Kingdom had voted to leave the European Union. By the skin of their teeth, the Leave campaign had been victorious and 48% of the voting population were left disappointed and frustrated.

So what’s it like being one of the 48%? And why are even more people joining the In campaign after the referendum?

The main reaction from the In voters was outrage. Many were quick to point out Farage’s statement from May (a period in which he believed his campaign to be losing) that a close result should trigger a second referendum. The parliamentary petition to put this into effect (ironically also set up by a Brexiter) has not gathered over 3,000,000 signatures, making it the most-signed petition in the scheme’s history.

The fact that certain demographics and areas had voted overwhelmingly to remain has provoked further anger. A staggering 75% of under 25s voted to stay in, and almost every university in the country public came out in favour of a Bremain. Scotland, too, was predominantly in favour of the EU, with around 62% of voters supporting the remain campaign. It has come to light then, that the older generations were the deciding factor in swinging the vote, causing much unrest amongst young people who point out that it is they who will be paying for the consequences.

June the 24th was a monumental day not only for British, but for world politics. As one Financial Times journalist pointed out, it was still breakfast time and the Prime Minister’s resignation was only the third most important news story of the day. Cameron’s announcement was followed by a large portion of the Shadow Cabinet stepping down and several votes of no confidence being filed against opposition leader, Jeremy Corbyn.

The value of the Pound plummeted to its lowest point in over 30 years, causing France to overtake the UK as the world’s 5th largest economy. The UK’s credit ratings have also been downgraded and the revelation that the £350,000,000,000 loss that the British economy experienced on Friday alone was in fact greater than the all combined contributions it has made to the EU since becoming a member served only to rub salt into the wounds of the Bremainers.

The phrase “I told you so” does not being to cover it.

Much to the amusement of international news outlets, some of the most-searched terms on Google following the Brexit announcement were “what is the EU” and “what happens when you leave the EU” – a testament to the ignorance of many voters, and the creeping feeling of regret which has already driven some Brexiters to join pro-EU organisations.

The future of the British economy looks uncertain, as does the country’s status as a “United” Kingdom. As Scottish independence makes a resurgence and the young people and the 48% declare their disappointment in Britain’s decision, only the coming months, years and decades will reveal just how big of a mistake this is.

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Anna Wilson

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