Things I have learnt this week:
1. Britain voted to leave the EU last Thursday after a long and vitriolic campaign. The EU isn’t perfect, far from it – I have been appalled by the way it has treated Greece – but, after consulting my children and Father (who has lived in France for 24 years), I voted remain – well it was their future that I was voting on.
2. There was no plan in the event of the British people voting to leave.
3. The majority of the people who voted in Scotland and Northern Ireland don’t want us to leave the EU.
4. The referendum is not legally binding.
5. The vote was against the establishment. Record numbers of people voted, many of whom feel that politicians and the media do not listen to them.
6. Nigel Farage was not part of the official leave campaign and the leave campaign are now rushing to distance themselves from him and his rhetoric.
7. The leave campaign doesn’t believe any of the headline claims they made about immigration. During the campaign they stated time and again that immigration levels could be controlled if the UK left the EU and this would relieve pressure on public services. They are now claim “Immigration levels can’t be radically reduced by leaving the EU. Fears about immigration did not influence the way people voted.”
8. The claim that we send £350 million to the EU was a mistake, and we will not be able to spend that much extra on the NHS.
9. Mr Cameron, who had promised to invoke article 50 immediately should the UK vote to leave, feels that he is not the man to lead the negotiations. So not only do we not have a plan, we don’t have a leader.
10. We now have to watch the Tory party squabble as it campaigns and elects us a new Prime Minister.
11. The labour party appears to be determined to rip itself apart. Most labour MP’s have shown Jeremy Corbyn a vote of “no confidence” despite grass roots labour members wanting him to lead the party – another example of the “establishment” not listening?
12. There has been a rise in the number reports of hate crime. Polish people in Huntington have been called scum and told to go home. A very distraught and frightened German lady – the widow of a British GP and she has lived her sine the 1970’s – described how she has had dog turds thrown at her front door and been told to leave. Countless videos of people shouting vile, racist comments to people on buses, trams and in the street are circulating on social media.
I am broken hearted and not a little concerned! I can only hope that we find a cohesive and productive way to make our country a successful, tolerant and happy place to live and work – for us all.