Well the UK hasn’t sunk into the sea, so I guess that’s a start.
So, I stayed up all night on Thursday to watch as the results for my country’s referendum on the EU and with every hour my heart sank a little more.
Speaking as someone who is 20 years old this feels like my future and the futures of thousands of other young adults like me, has been pulled out from under our feet.
This is not a decision like one made at a general election, I can not look at the results at say, well maybe it’ll be different in 5 years, this decision is final, there is no turning back now and sadly my age demographic, who voted some 75% to remain, must live with this decision the longest, an estimated 68 years.
Why all this doom and gloom, well prehaps its because of what the EU represents to me. I was born in 1995, I have known no life except one inside the EU, as opposed to millions of other British people. The EU and the ECC before it represented a unified Europe, nations that had been traditionally enemies came together to secure peace and prosperity. Every year holidaying in Cornwall, I would see the EU’s funding at work. My Dad often traveled across the EU, working and bringing money home for us. Everything in my life pointed to a continued future in the EU and I often envisioned myself working out there myself, learning languages and forging connections. I never expected that the UK would leave and waking up today it feels like part of my heritage has been ripped from me.
Unlike some of my compatriots I don’t see the need of getting angry at those who wanted to leave, many had legitimate concerns over issues such as immigration and the role of the EU, however I am annoyed at how both campaigns were run. Leave based their arguments on half truths and silly soundbites like ‘take back control’ and ‘this is our independence day’. Whilst on the other hand the In campaign only spewed negativity, timidly promising that the EU could change and mindlessly quoting dire statics and estimations, while never actually pointing out any of the good that the EU does.
However this vote also represents the continued growth of disunity between people, over countless years we had been fed stories and headlines that have heightened our suspicions and paranoia towards different people, all of which came to height when the politician Jo Cox was assassinated on the streets of Birstall. The way the vote went, it could mean that there is not a United Kingdom for much longer, or even an EU for that matter. It pains me to see countries, once so close and alike, turning their backs on each other.
But most importantly, I feel that as young person in Britain, my views are becoming out of step with majority older population and that we have been increasingly targeted. First there was the rise in tuition fees, then there was reelection of a Tory government which promised further cut backs, and now we have this. For a world where the children are supposedly the future I certainly don’t feel like anyone really cares about my future.
I don’t think Britain is entering the Utopia that Brexiters seemed to suggest it is, however I also don’t think things will be as bad as the In campaign predicted, at least not for those over 50’s and people already sitting on a nice retirement fund with no prospects of working again. As for me, if I am living in country where I feel my views are repeatedly ignored I see no reason in continuing to live here, but we shall wait and see.
I think the important thing now is remember that, no matter what way we voted, we are still human beings and society does not need any further divisions, instead we must take this time to heal and reflect.