ALTHOUGH there is every chance that it will correct itself, the world’s economy has taken a hell of a knock with the decision by British voters to leave the European Union, and in the short term a least, there is going to be some very painful medicine for everyone in Britain to swallow but at least just over half of those who voted can feel Great for a while!
There were a lot of comments on our website and the media in general saying that a decision to leave had to be made for the good of our children and future generations and regardless of how much short-term pain there may be, people were prepared to make sacrifices to ensure that their families would be better off.
Many thought that the majority of older people would actually vote to remain on the basis of ‘better the devil you know,’ but the reality was likely to be quite different as the following figures from a YouGov poll show;
|Age Band||Median age||Remain %||Leave %||Life Expectancy||Years left|
The content of the poll appear to be broadly in keeping with what actually happened, so effectively those who have the most to gain or lose were not able to have their say, and all they can do is live with the results and hope that their ‘elders and betters’ have decided their future on a positive basis.
It wasn’t a clean fight on either side, and within hours of the result, the self-appointed liberator of Britain, Nigel Farage sort of admitted that in hindsight he shouldn’t really have mentioned that there would be a spare £350 million (€425 million) every week to pump into the NHS, a figure that was oft quoted by disenchanted Tory MPs.
I heard a very interesting comment from someone I was chatting with who was delighted with the result on the matter of Gibraltar. He acknowledged that things could get tougher for the Territory but using an analogy from the war, he said that there are often casualties and if that was the case with Gibraltar it was a shame, but there isn’t a lot of people there anyway.
Part of the blame for the way the vote went is being laid squarely at the feet of Jeremy Corbyn as has been accused of being lukewarm and doing too little too late to guide Labour voters in the Midlands, North East and Wales, and this has resulted in a vote of no confidence being raised against him.
Presumably there was nothing to stop committed Labour Parliamentarians from campaigning in their constituencies, and the fact many didn’t could be taken to suggest that they were more interested in letting Mr Corbyn screw things up than in actually trying to achieve a remain result.
As for the Liberals, at least they don’t have to be looking for a new leader, assuming they remember who the current one is, and even David Beckham couldn’t bend the result!
We now have the possibility of a second referendum on independence for Scotland, a cry for the removal of borders between Northern Island and Eire and some half-joking suggestions that London should follow the Catalan situation and try for its own independence, whilst there is a huge number of votes on a petition (even more than for the sacking of the editor of the Daily Mail) requesting a second exit referendum.
At the end of the day, David Cameron possibly regrets bringing forward the referendum to 2016 when he could have strung things out until 2017, but the fact is, like it or not, and there are plenty who do, Britain has instructed parliament to get us out of what is probably now a doomed Union, and let us all hope that whichever politicians are still left after the result are of sufficient calibre to negotiate a sensible exit, and new deals with every major country in the world.