I am heartbroken by the EU referendum result. It is a win for nobody, except perhaps the Daily Mail. I am sad that the Leave campaign’s lies and scapegoating somehow convinced 52% of voters that leaving the EU would fix all this country’s problems.
It will not, which I think is now becoming pretty clear. (Or should I say would not? I am clinging to the hope that the referendum was not legally binding, that a majority of MPs did not want it and supported the Remain campaign. But I fear it not happening is too optimistic.)
The EU is not perfect but it is still a wonder of modern democracy, of peaceful co-operation. A consortium of 28 countries can tackle bigger problems better than any individual nation could. The benefits are so much more than a bald sum of money that no-one can agree on an exact figure for. But it is worth saying that EU immigrants are a net gain to this country.
I love Europe and I am proud to be European. I love living in a country that is diverse and enriched by immigrants from almost every other country on the planet. I want to tell every European living here that they are welcome, they are appreciated, they are needed, and that it will all be okay.
I want to, but I can’t. I can’t promise it will be okay to my friends, family or strangers. It’s not okay right now. It’s a mess. The future is horribly uncertain and no-one is in a position to guarantee anything at all. What we do know is that racist attacks are happening more since Friday morning. We know that there have been serious calls for Northern Ireland and Scotland to leave the UK.
I love my country a little bit less since Friday morning. I do not feel British right now. Something beautiful has been lost and I’m not sure how it can be restored.