On 24th June 2016, 52% of the UK voted to leave the EU – a decision that has broken the hearts of many (myself included) and had huge political, economic and social ramifications already. The future of the UK is uncertain – our Prime Minister has resigned, the Labour party are in chaos, the value of the pound has dropped significantly, and the people of the UK are suddenly realising that leaving the EU maybe wasn’t the best idea…
A breakdown of how the ages voted shows that my generation, the 18-24 year olds, voted largely in favour of remaining in the EU. Indeed, we, the generation that will live the longest with the consequences of the referendum wanted to stay… Yet here we are, stuck with a decision most of us disagree with, and we are furious. We’re enraged. We’re heartbroken.
I’ve sworn more in the past 4 days about Brexit than I have about anything before. I’ve cried more than I ever have for any break up, or bad news, and I have spent hours trying to convince my parents to move abroad with me. Like many, I am ashamed of this decision, ashamed to be ‘British’ and ashamed that the xenophobic, lying Leave campaign was triumphant (don’t get me started on that, that could be a blog of it’s own). Mostly, I’m p***ed off.
A Financial Times reader summarised my feelings perfectly when he said:
“The younger generation has lost the right to live and work in 27 other countries. We will never know the full extent of the lost opportunities, friendships, marriages and experiences we will be denied. Freedom of movement was taken away by our parents, uncles, and grandparents in a parting blow to a generation that was already drowning in the debts of our predecessors.”
Many of the consequences of Brexit are unknown and will come to light in the coming months. But for me and for my generation, this feels like a huge betrayal. We feel as if our futures have been taken completely out of our hands. There’s talk of a privatised NHS, of tuition fees rising again, of another recession… We didn’t vote for this, we didn’t want this…
At the end of the day we have one planet, one human race and we should be UNITED and working together to protect each other, develop each other, protect the environment together… World resources are running out, climate is changing, more extreme weather events are happening, crops in many countries are failing more often, we have global threats like ISIS to tackle, and instead of voting to stay together, work together, tackle these terrifying and potentially world-ending issues together, 52% of our population have decided that we’re better off alone. THIS isn’t what my generation wanted… we don’t want to be ‘Great Britain’ we want to be part of the world because we see the bigger picture.
Brexit is a step backwards – a step away from what my generation largely want, and that is why we’re so angry. We didn’t ask for this future.
*NB. If I hear another person talk about how leaving the EU will ‘make Britain great again’ then I will scream. Britain was never great, we were great at colonising other countries, stealing their resources and exploiting them – and that is nothing to be proud of.