Before I start my post, I voted to remain. I stayed up the entire night of Brexit, starting at midnight all the way til 10am when the Prime Minister announced his resignation.
It's 2am and I've already ranted enough so I'll be concise with my thoughts. I think the people who had legitimate reasons to want to leave are in the minority and that the majority who voted leave did so from a lack of knowledge, poor information or a bias against specific parts of the population.
There were three main reasons (two of which were hyped by the leave campaign) to leave.
1. Financial. The biggest advertisement was that it costs £350,000,000 per week to be a part of the EU. They literally advertised "leave the EU and we will put this money into our NHS". So we were supposed to believe that leaving the EU would magically cause 50 hospitals to begin construction, which is a load of rubbish. And what do you know. Literally (seriously) within hours of the leave vote, the head of the campaign was asked about his promise of giving the NHS the funding of the EU. He said he can't promise it and "it was a mistake saying it".
Within 2 days of leaving the EU, the value of our economy dropped by £140,000,000,000. Something like 40+ years of EU membership. Obviously there will be recovery, but it's a very long ways away.
2. Immigration. Within the last two years, there has been a huge focus on the influx of people from other countries. The UKIP party and the "Britain First" movement are using manipulation to feed on the fears and prejudices of the common working man. Making reference to all the jobs that are lost, all the cost of taxes to pay for the free benefits, housing and so on. Wild accusations of having to change our ways to accommodate for foreigners (especially those of middle eastern descent who happen to be of Muslim faith).
Just a week ago I saw a photo of a photoshopped signboard with directions to major city destinations in English, with Arabic photoshopped under the English. Despite the fact that another, smaller signboard with directions to local destinations having no Arabic and the fact that none of these people had actually seen the sign with their own eyes. The amount of toxicity in the comments was alarming.
This is the facebook page of Britain First.
The headline is "taking our country back". Within the first few posts (all within the last 4 hours) there is an enormous focus on negatively portraying migrants or foreigners. Britain First is shocked to learn of the reports in the media that state that Sherwood Forest has been invaded by migrants who are chopping down trees, killing deer and threatening people with knives." "VIDEO: British truckers avoid Calais because of violent migrants". "ISIS twins stab mother to death". Etc.
Well for starters, the perception of people coming here for benefits and housing is absurd. People come here because the conditions in their homeland are so deplorable that there is a risk of death for themselves and their families. Anybody who is sitting around rubbing their hands in glee at the free things they will get for no work are an absolutely tiny minority. But what of the nationals already living here who get the same benefits for free and for no work? The people who spend their no job income on drugs and booze, don't look for work and don't get reprimanded? Second, these people aren't "stealing" jobs. If you were qualified enough for a job, you would have it. It's that simple. Anyone who thinks otherwise is deluding themselves. But the problem is that too many people are deluding themselves and were able to cast a vote.
I just realized I was supposed to be concise, so I'll stop at that point and quickly mention the third main focus. This one wasn't a focus of the media, but it's a definite sticking point regardless.
3. Terrorism - More specifically, Islamophobia
Within the last few years (and the last calendar year specifically) there has been a surge in high profile terrorist attacks. There is a belief that by leaving the EU, that immigrants will no longer be allowed to enter the country (false). The most obvious counter to that is that anybody plotting terrorist acts here is already here and I'm not thinking of Muslims when I say that.
Being in the EU caused factual, clear improvements of life for our country with the most obvious being the laws we adopted, especially in the workplace. There are no guaranteed benefits from leaving, whilst there are guaranteed drawbacks from leaving. Nothing I saw convinced me that it is in the best interests of this country (short term and long term) to leave the EU. It's a telling fact that the majority of people who voted to remain were young people, who ironically have the longest amount of time to live with the consequences of the fallout of Brexit.
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It's also telling that a lot of people have claimed that they regret voting leave. I've seen that one person voted to leave because she thought it meant we wouldn't be a part of the European football championships anymore "I'm sick of watching football". One of my friends voted to leave just because "we should give it a try".
I think that this decision will come to haunt us. I'm childishly hoping that some sort of emergency act is declared. That the referendum is delayed or that a new vote is cast. I doubt it'll happen though, I've already seen comments that the voices have been heard and it would be an insult to the principles of democracy to backtrack on the decision that was made.
44 minutes later. Concise.
Fuck Boris Johnson, Fuck Trump, Fuck Islamophobia. Fuck politics.