Grantham Journal letter: A momentous and historic event
Following the close result of the EU referendum in which just over 37 per cent of those eligible to vote supported leave, I have never known a time of such division, fear, anger and uncertainty about what the future holds.
I have no doubt that in the coming days, weeks and months, that when the reality of the economic damage to the wellbeing of this country becomes obvious, many who voted to leave the EU will not only regret their decision but will feel deceived by the claims and promises of the leave camp and their ally`s in the press.
Like it or loathe it, financial services in the City of London represents 12% of our GDP and contributes substantial tax revenues to fund essential public services such as the NHS and others and without access to the world’s biggest single market by value, there is a grave risk that over time, companies will relocate to Frankfurt or elsewhere in the EU.
Rolls Royce have announced that they will review future investment in the UK and no doubt others including car manufacturers will follow suit if they are excluded from the EU market.
The stakes could hardly be higher following a referendum that was effectively playing “Russian Roulette” with our future.
The leave campaign`s slogan “lets take our country back” is a mirage. Take it back to where? The Rule Britannia mentality is no longer relevant in todays interdependent world and may well come to be known as “lets take our country backwards”.
Many things were blamed on the EU which were blatantly untrue and those unhappy at the lack of affordable housing, the state of the NHS, care for the elderly, the bedroom tax, cuts to disability benefits, zero hour contracts etc etc should have directed their anger at the government and not used the referendum as a protest vote.
Not only will leaving the EU make us poorer, but the very brexiteers who will take over the government are the architects of the policies that have led to those grievances and that seems like “shooting yourself in the foot” only this time your foot is unlikely to get better.
The referendum result will go down in history as big an event as the fall of the Berlin Wall except that brought hope and optimism whereas this decision brings the opposite. David Cameron only called the referendum to try to heal the deep divisions in the Conservative Party over the EU but instead of achieving that, has also divided the country, and could be responsible for the breakup of the United Kingdom and make the country poorer.
Still at least Donald Trump and Putin are happy as are a few extreme right wing groups but I don`t know of any country on this planet that thinks it is a good idea for us to leave the EU and become isolationist with little or no influence.
In the face of the biggest refugee crisis since the second world war as a result of the Syrian conflict, the EU nations need to stand shoulder to shoulder to try to find solutions to this appalling situation not walk away and leave it to others to carry the burden. Our standing in the world will be diminished by this shameful decision.
Gonerby Hill Footgh