It’s been a couple of weeks now and I have finally managed to compose my own thoughts on the Leave vote. It took me a while to write this post, because I have so many emotions rattling around in my head about Brexit. Because of my dual citizenship, I am stuck on both sides of the divide, but I also have the “golden ticket” that so many people now seek. I’m told that immediately after the vote there was a spike in the number of “British” people trying to find out how they could get an Irish passport. Still, it is a shame that I may now need both passports to be able to travel freely to see my family in both areas.
There are a lot of people still trying challenge the vote in the United Kingdom, but I don’t think that will make the situation better. People already feel disconnected from politicians, so politicians overturning the will of the people could only serve to alienate the general populace further from the political classes. Likewise, all this backstabbing and backroom dealing that is apparently going on in Westminster seems to be taking British politics back decades. Then again, it may well make politicians understand that it is the British people who really should be listened to as in recent times they seem to have been somewhat ignored, and it could indeed make for a better future for all British people.
One of my main concerns about Brexit however is that this could reignite the troubles in Ireland? Northern Irish people voted in favour of staying “in”, with 56% of people thinking that it was better to “Remain”. When the UK eventually leaves the EU, I suspect that this could create some extra friction in an area that is still trying to overcome centuries of hate. Especially with so much talk about Scotland leaving the Union, there is a real potential for more violence if Irish people seek to follow the same path. I hope in this I am wrong.
For myself, (selfishly perhaps?) I’m worried about how this could affect my travels. But I’m also worried about the effects on the economy. The whole world seems to have been shaken by the actions of one little (geographically speaking) country, and I’m concerned that this means that my savings won’t reach as far. I mean, there has already been a lot of talk about how this could inflate the flight prices of all of my favourite low-cost airlines. It seems a selfish perspective, but I think I might have to change my plans a bit based on the economic instability. I may even have to go home to support my parents if I find that they are beginning to struggle financially. We are it seems at the moment at least in a real period of uncertainty, so all that any of us can really do right now is wait. If only someone (anyone? Please?) had made a plan….
My one real wish about the referendum is that there could have been more control about the messages which were put out there by BOTH sides. There seemed to be no rules and regulations about who could say what, and lies were constantly dressed up as fact. Interviews after the results were announced showed that many people regretted their votes, and many of those who didn’t actually understand what the vote was really about. Tighter regulations on disinformation could really have changed the results I feel. Hopefully lessons will be learnt for the future.