Friday 23 June 2016 will long be remembered as the day when the world held onto the rails of despair, as Britain’s seismic decision to leave the European Union (EU) divided the nation with tremours most likely to last a decade.
‘Shocking’, is what most people are describing the results of the vote as, but perhaps more fitting is the term ‘Historic’ – the mere scale of this moment requires its labelling first and foremost.
This EU referendum was a rare opportunity to build or burn the UK’s bridges with the EU. Our voters decided that it was time to burn those bridges and call it quits. They heard the warnings, listened to experts of every kind warn them that Brexit meant disaster, watched the prime minister as he advised them not to take a terrible risk. However, their answer was: ‘Goodbye Europe’.
So the figures: 51.9% of us chose to leave the EU, whilst 48.1% voted to remain. In Manchester, a total of 201,814 people turned up to vote, and with 60.4% of them choosing to remain, our city sent out a clear message.
Whichever way the vote was going to go, the result was predicted to have far-reaching effects. Now that it is a Leave victory, the #Brexit consequences are already showing like bruises from a bitter and divisive fight.
Prime Minister David Cameron announced on the morning of the result that he will resign by the time of the Conservative party conference in October 2016. There is a sharp contrast of his announcement to that of the previous year. Just last year in May, he delightfully proclaimed the Tories’ “sweet victory” in the historic general election results that swept the party into majority government.
Former London mayor and #VoteLeave leader Boris Johnson said that the British people “have spoken up for democracy”. The EU was “a noble idea for its time,” he said. “It is no longer right for this country”.
Financially, markets across the world are down sharply. The British pound has already fallen in value and banking stocks are taking a heavy beating in early trading.
Bank of England governor Mark Carney has said they “will not hesitate to take any additional measures” to ensure monetary and financial stability. What these measures will mean to the ordinary citizen is unknown, in truth.
Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister of Scotland, said she will prepare the legislation for a new vote on Scottish independence.
In Wales, 52.5% of its voters chose to leave the EU, compared with 772,347 (47.5%) supporting Remain.
For many, this is a sad result. For some the results are strangely exciting. However, one thing is becoming apparent – on the world, Britain has obnoxiously turned its back.
TNT News Yasin Chinembiri
Photo Credit: Webmaster VoluntaristDK