Brexit — what next?
Here we are, divided down the middle. 52 wanted out 48 wanted in. The margin is slim and there will be a lot of people feeling disappointed. Understandably so. Yet, we should remember that bridging that divide there are a broad majority of reasonable people, the idea that 52% of people are xenephobic, racist or worse as has been characterised is nonsense, it will be less than 10%. The leave campaign did not in any way reflect the real reasons that many people voted leave. It felt like a total misrepresentation. I would venture that the right to self-determination was key, both for us and for our children. Those choosing remain were clearly thinking of a bigger ideal and that is still something that matters — we will no need those people to help redefine our relations globally and perhaps we can forge a positive future?
Norway and Switzerland are members of the EEA, as Britain is; their citizens are free to move within the EU without visas. They are also two of the countries with the highest standards of living in the world. Now of course huge oil resources and a low tax pro business environment in each respectively bolsters their GDP. The UK has moderate oil reserves and the City of London, both of which will be major contributors to future prosperity, yet there are many other opportunities based around trade. Finally Britain will be able to have a direct trade relationship with the economic giant that is India. Something the EU could not deliver.
In the short term we will get an unelected Prime Minister, meaning that he will come from within the Conservative Party. This will be an extremely tough mandate for that PM: to restructure the way that the UK is run and develop bilaterial trade relations. We will only really see a completely democratically legitimated leadership after the next election, which may come sooner than we imagine.
There are a great many European nationals living and working in the UK, it is essential that we send an immediate signal to say that these people are welcome to stay and highly valued. The many Britons living in the EU are also important to their countries and should be able to remain living and working in those countries.
Finally, the clue to how we go forwards is in the name of our nation state: The UNITED Kingdom. We must unite and work together now. Bridge the divides and accept the decisions of the millions that voted in good grace. For that value, of tolerance is key to our British identity.