OPEN THREAD: Post-Brexit Feelings Smörgåsbord

The first thing I felt when I checked the news at 5:30am on Friday morning, was a sweary kind of disbelief, turning into genuine, chest-compressing shock that it had happened: the UK had voted to leave the EU.

JK Rowling could not magic it away; I briefly wondered if it was time for a comforting glance from Mary Berry to assure us we really had done the best we could, even if the result was a bit wonky. But then, looking at voting demographics by age, I realised there was a 60% chance she’d have voted Brexit, and had to arrest the thought before it brought my entire cultural reality tumbling down.

Not even Lindsay Lohan’s last-ditch remain tweets could halt my downward spiral; by 7:30am I was on the verge of hysterical tears, after learning my best friend’s mother’s leave vote apparently hinged on the high price of sub-par cauliflowers in Belgian supermarkets.

It remains to be seen if she comes to regret this, but certainly many Brexiteers are sinking into deep Bregret, after realising yes, their vote really did count for something, and discovering all those campaign promises were really more “aspirations.”

While much of my own gloom is self-indulgent (though not unwarranted in light of economic turmoil and various xenophobic incidents since the ballot), perhaps the most justified in their sense of despair and betrayal are younger voters who overwhelmingly wanted to remain in the EU, and fear the result has ruined their future. 

It’s not just the age split that’s worrying, it’s the gaping chasms in sentiment between different parts of the country that I fear will widen further as politics lurches to the right in the UK. We’ve had half a decade of austerity chipping away at services most needed by the marginalised; how bad will things get in a Brexit-induced recession before the economy recovers from the uncertainty?

And yet there’s half a nation, and more in other countries, feeling jubilant at the outcome.

So many feelings! Please come and share your post-Brexit processing here, whether your #1 feeling is joy, misery or just ever-increasing sickness of the word “Brexit.”

Sally does something with computers for a living. Beyond this, she enjoys making gifs, dreaming up stories, and overthinking. She lives over a river in the South of England, but her heart belongs forever to the North.

Sally has written 10 articles for us.

93 Comments

  1. As an EU citizen I am disappointed that I cannot move to London, which was my plan B if things don’t work out for me in the US
    But more than anything I am deeply concerned with the rise of right wing politics globally. I read someone comparing it to Hitler’s rise to power and it does not bode well

    • My gut feel is that freedom of movement won’t be curtailed because it’s the price of getting the trade deals the UK will need to remain competitive. Certainly, the amount of back-peddling the Leave campaign leaders have been doing regarding their immigration promises implies they’re keeping their options open. Here’s hoping London will remain an option!

    • It is a bit worry some I was reading some screen shots from 4chan from users from Greece. I wanted to cry over the homophobic, transphobic, and anti-semtic stuff being said. I think they are called the Golden Era or Golden Dawn and trying to get people into political office because they EU has failed their banks and that immigrants are taking all the good jobs. I think they have affiliate group in France, and Italy.

      • The weird thing to me is that it is the UK who decided to leave the union. Like, they haven’t had to deal with the euro, they are powerful enough to not get pushed around by Germany, and they’re a huge financial center. It makes very little sense to me.
        On the other hand, while I don’t have any room for anti-immigrant rhetoric of any kind, I think Greece should hightail it out of at least the Eurozone. If any country has the right to complain about the European project, it’s them. Shedding the Euro would be a shock, but currently there are no jobs to speak of, and their future looks like more austerity and more hard money. No hope.

    • I’m in the exact same spot. Besides all the general reason why Brexit sucks and I can’t believe it happened; I also hate it for personal plans. I’m an EU passport holder also, and I tried to move to the US and that didn’t work out, and now I’m trying in Canada and really hoping it’s gonna work out but otherwise my back up plan was also to go to London since EU is the only place I can work
      legally without some visa bs.. and I really want to be in an English speaking country still, London seemed like the right choice.. Now I am thinking Dublin as a back up plan?!

  2. I’ve seen some pretty disturbing rhetoric from people who want to ban seniors from voting after a certain age. Like, progressive people are saying this! And that’s really upsetting.

    I’m most interested in the stats of how many people voted by age – for instance, only 30% of millennials voted compared to 83% of seniors.

    • Yeah, honestly that rhetoric has been another disturbing result. I’m disappointed that progressives who claim to believe that the blame lies with the liars at the top of the campaign are also trying to say that older people should have their voice taken away because they don’t have as much time left. As if the amount of time you’ll be alive has a bearing on the value of your life. It’s disgusting ageist and ableist crap.

      • It’s hard to resist the temptation to lay into older voters about them having fewer years left to deal with the ramifications of their decision (I am projecting; I am totally going to lay into my leave-voting parents about this). I am hoping that when the red mist clears, people will realise the suggestion of stripping any demographic of their democratic rights is really fucking stupid/dangerous.

  3. Brexit makes me sad because I am a languages student in the UK and much of my degree (and future life plans) rely on freedom of movement, and the idea that we might not have that anymore is upsetting and terrifying. I’m also just scared for the future of our country: this recession and the fall in the pound is making my life look even less stable than it would be anyway, as an arts graduate! I’m just hoping we can work through it – and maybe Nicola Sturgeon WILL be able to save us all by getting Scotland to veto it in Parliament. Fingers crossed.

  4. As a much hated by the Brexiteers Eastern European living in London, Brexit has made me unable to function for the past couple of days. No matter how much Sadiq Khan reassures us we are welcome, I’m not so sure anymore. I wanted to settle here but now the thought of my future kids being asked to go back to their country by violent adults on the street terrifies me.

    This month may have caused me to become depressed or at least extremely down.

    Finally, there are many thoughts in my head about Britain, England to be more precise, but this one is the one I find to be the most frequent. How ironic that a country that built its wealth on the back of colonizing half the world now has the audacity to moan about migrants.

    • Just remember that *most* of us don’t feel that way at all though- London voted overwhelmingly to remain, and although there are some truly horrible hate crimes being committed around the country at the moment by idiots who somehow feel the vote has given the right to vent any misplaced hatred they feel, the majority of UK folk (even ones who voted for ‘Brexit’) *are* decent (if misguided!) and are calling out the idiots wherever possible. Hopefully whatever happens with the UK-EU relationship (Brexit is by no means guaranteed yet) this will blow over and these hateful people will all crawl back under their rocks. Stick in there if you possibly can, because there are a lot of us out there who have your back.. xx

  5. I’m not from that side of the pond, but the vote was still shocking & upsetting to me (obviously not to the extent that it affected people in the EU & UK, though).

    Mostly, it scared me because I feel it bodes poorly for our upcoming election in November. I’ve been downright terrified by the rise of acceptability nationally for outright xenophobic and racist language and behavior. My own father, who is progressive and liberal on 98% of issues, apparently became deeply Islamophobic in the year I was at college, and refuses to see or listen to reason. It was already scary when it was a inter/national issue, but in my own home? Deeply, deeply jarring and upsetting.

    • I’m kinda hoping Brexit is a Penn Station moment: neighborhood after neighborhood in New York was destroyed to make way for highways and “exciting” new developments. Then, Penn Station was torn down in order to build Madison Square Garden. That was the line in the sand, so to speak – it’s so ugly and inefficient by comparison, that when developers wanted to do something similar to Grand Central, people rose up and stopped it.
      Maybe America will get its shit together, and come November we’ll vote to not tear ourselves down. Maybe November will be the Grand Central response to the horrible choice that was the Penn Station of Brexit.

      I’m holding on to that.

  6. So yeah don’t underestimate Trump, few of us saw this coming and it truly is a mess. I’m from Northern Ireland and live in London and I’mso worried about the repercussions for Northern Ireland whose majority voted to remain in the EU.

    It’s actually going to be very difficult for the UK to negotiate a favourable outcome that allows market access without free movement (and all of the other issues) so some people think that we’ll never acknowledge Article 50 and as such won’t brexit. Either way, ceasing free movement from Europe is (at least 2 years away) and in the opinion of many, will not significantly change so you may be okay Carmen.

    • I’m in Northern Ireland and there doesn’t seem to be enough coming from Stormont. All of the parties, with the exception of the DUP, are calling to respect the vote but that, as a Northern Irish assembly, they need to address that the majority of people here voted to remain and need to be assured that our best interests are at the heart of their talks. I watched the assembly talking about it and all they got from the DUP was gloating, more rhetoric (“we took back control”) and the idea that we need to accept how democracy works (ironic from the party that protested the GFA, democratic votes on the flag and keep using their veto on gay marriage) but they seem to want to ignore that the electorate here did not vote with England. As usual green and orange politics are dominating and the real issues haven’t really been touched. Meanwhile Sinn Fein are calling for a border poll, they have no idea what they are going to do about the border in general, people are applying for Irish passports in huge numbers and there are reports of hate crimes popping up. This should be fun …

      • I was reading about the concerns with the ROI/NI border and EU free movement vrs the GFA conditions. Sounds like an awful mess to add to the pile of awful messes. I can’t see a paper/checkpoint physical EU/UK border going down well at all given the history.

      • SJ, yeah – it’s a really risky time. It is divisive and pits the local community against each other in difficult ways. I hope that the community is strong enough to get past this – but the impact that the mishandling of the vote and the attitudes of the NI assembly (all of them) is having on my own entirely moderate perspective makes me wonder if this isn’t just lighting a big fire.

        The politicians on the ground should be better at this and so should journalism – reporters, journalists and politicians are incredibly bad at selecting a neutral and sensitive tone and using culturally sensitive and appropriate language around the issue. Surely press guides exist?

        The border issue is complicated and while Villers and Cameron argue that the conditions to trigger a new border poll haven’t been reached yet there are a number of petitions and campaigns by people both North and South calling for reunification which is arguable indicative of a change in general opinion which meets the conditions necessary to call for a new poll. I can’t imagine we’ll go back to checkpoints and a hard border but if there is a brexit I suspect the border control for transport entering Ireland and leaving NI will be enhanced. Borders aside, I’m not sure anyone is ready for unification, independence or brexit.

  7. As an European in the UK this is very very unsettling. One of the most frustrating parts is that I couldn’t even vote on a decision that has very real consequence on my daily life. Luckily, I live in one of the few remain area’s and all my colleagues and friends are equally upset which is re-assuring. Apart from the obvious consequences this might have on free movement and the economy it could also be a disaster for UK’s science and the environment. My lab and institute is already in a slight panic what will happen with their European funding. The amount of xenophobic attacks is on the rise and this is just overall a massive shit show. I am really curious what will happen now….

  8. I’m devastated about Brexit. I moved from tiny, Tory-stronghold Norfolk to London for university, and I’m looking back at my friends and family from home (where the result was overwhelmingly to leave) and feeling distraught that people I know and love could put this country in so much danger. What scares me most is how easy it is to see how this result happened: when government after government has neglected the working class, robbed them of their jobs and failed them in the education system, it is unsurprising how many would mistake a vote on forsaking EU membership for a vote against the ‘establishment’, or just a vote for change. The 52% thought they were putting two fingers up to the establishment that has kept them poor and hungry for years, but the EU were often the only ones who worked in their favour and protected their jobs and their rights. Those who voted for Brexit are only hurting themselves. My sister is getting some “Don’t blame me, I voted remain” T-shirts printed.

    • This is such a good point, and I think this speaks to what’s happening in America with Donald Trump right now. Like he wouldn’t have a real shot at the presidency if people had a real shot at equal opportunity in our country. And although I doubt any Obama voters are in favor of Trump, I think on our end, we’re disillusioned that a president we thought was so smart, and so capable, could change the direction this country was going in. He is so smart, and so capable, but there is a large group of people representing a tiny percentage of the population who have blocked him at every turn. It’s a really scary time in politics in terms of what economic inequality hath wrought. The left is so discouraged about the prospect of progressive change through political leadership, and the right is just coming unhinged altogether.

      • I work on issues around the Puerto Rico debt crisis. If you haven’t been following, the US Congress is considering implementing an unelected control board which would have complete control of the purse strings. And lots of people (I’m not sure that it’s a majority but they make a lot of noise) who live there support it because they feel like their government for years and years has just stolen from the people. So it at least gets rid of ‘those people’ even if they ultimately give up democratic processes.

        What people will do when they feel like there is no opportunity and their leaders aren’t good is intense.

  9. I teach at a language school in Spain where over half of the employees are British citizens who moved here because of freedom of movement. Everyone is feeling anxious, to say the least.

    I’ve been following the news online and am sickened by the rise in xenophobic/racist incidents happening in public, seemingly targeting anybody who doesn’t appear to be white British.

    On top of everything else, nobody in government (except Nicola Sturgeon) seems to have the slightest plan for either governing right now or handling Brexit. And Nigel Farage’s repulsive antics today were unsurprising but still deeply embarrassing.

    • I just watched the video of Farage – how on earth did no-one stand up and slap him?!

      I’ve not always been convinced by Nicola Sturgeon, but hats off to her actually going to Brussels and trying to get shit done.

  10. I’m with you… sickened and disheartened. I’m an American living in the UK, but my partner is an EU national who has been here for 7 years, living, working, paying his taxes and finishing his doctorate. He was crushed. Stayed up all night watching the results come in, couldn’t do anything but swear and hang his head the next day. He rarely posts on Facebook at all, and if anything it’s just stupid things, but he let out an unhappy and disappointed rant that morning. We live in Leicester, so granted, it’s a very international city with a big university and Leicester vote ‘Remain’ (though narrowly)… but I still worry, for him and for all of our friends and colleagues.

    I feel like it’s the strangest intersection between the far right and labour-minded left (maybe not unlike what we’re seeing with Trump’s campaign back home)… people who have been consistently screwed by a system that left them behind believed that this vote was a way to call attention to themselves and say ‘fuck you, government’ and change things, but are finding out that’s very much not the case. And the people who believe their vote has legitimised their bigotry, fully disgust me. I can’t even begin to drum up the correct feeling for their ignorance and hate and can’t see how my shouting ‘Do you know Pakistan is not in Europe? Do you know British people also have dark skin?’ is going to educate them because I fear it’s beyond education at this point.

    And then, from what I’ve observed/what some people have told me when I asked them a bout their votes, there is a set of people who have voted ‘Out’ straight up based on campaign fear-mongering and lies… someone told me they voted out because they heard the EU has an army and will draft British citizens. erm, wot?

    Here I thought I packed up my little bags four years ago and moved to Europe, but as it turns out I moved to a tiny racist island just outside of Europe. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    • To be honest for me the fact that Leicester voted remain by such a narrow margin kind of gives me a little more hope about the situation. Because as much as we are all screwed now no matter how this came about, I don’t want to believe I live in a country where more than 50% of the population are driven by racism and xenophobia. I haven’t lived in Leicester very long but in the few months I have been here a group from Britain First (a racist horrible political group) had to be escorted out of town by police when a crowd of passers-by surrounded them and yelled at them to get out. I do not believe that this is a basically racist city. I also know that some of the leave votes were cast by my (asian) patients. So I feel reasonably safe in asserting that this outcome was not entirely and hopefully not even primarily due to racism and xenophobia.

      I know this may sound like a stupid thing to be happy about in the context of such a mess, but it matters to me. This is the country I was born in. I know it has a bloody history of invading and oppressing but I need to believe that we are moving beyond that. Even if we have just managed an incredible feat of self-sabotage. I would honestly rather we were a nation of rebellious idiots than a nation of hate-filled racists.

      That doesn’t mean that I’m not heart-broken at the situation and seriously scared for the future. But I don’t want to be hopeless.

      Sorry, essay over… I think I may have some feelings?

      • Leicester is and has long been an extremely international city, and it is a heartening thing. It’s one of the reasons I chose to move back here after my MA.
        Unfortunately… we aren’t safe from hate. There’s a banner near the Vicky Park entrance to the university that’s advertising for the Eid prayer festival (the end of Ramadan), and today it has been tagged ‘Fuck islam’ on both sides, with a swastika drawn in the middle. In Leicester. in 2016. at the university. We are the liberal establishment, and still some small mind feels free to spread hate. I wish I hate the right words for the kind of disgust I feel before 9am even.

  11. I was so crushed by the results on Friday, and it only seems to have got worse over the weekend. The main political parties are imploding, the pound is worth less than nothing and the amount of overt racism is appalling. Plus as a Scot I think this time we’re actually going to leave the UK – everything just seems so unstable, and I know it must be worse for EU nationals living here.

  12. Nobody saw this coming. I went to bed on Thursday night a little scared, and then I woke up and heard the news and it was horrifying.

    Our government is imploding, the pound is at a 31 year low. I’m doing a politics degree and I’ve never hated politics more. It feels like I have no future, like no one my age has a future. Racism and xenophobia won and I feel so completely helpless in the face of it.

  13. As a British national who’s lived outside of the UK for most of my life, with only a British passport (I was not a dual national most of my life), I’m gutted. I am starting my MSc later this year in the EU and my father emailed me the day after the vote to say I should probably look into getting another EU passport. I stayed up til David Cameron resigned and I spent most of the next day on the edge of tears. Having my country full of fascists and having the working class taken advantage of my Farage and Johnson plus having my right to free movement taken away feels like my legs have been cut out from under me. Especially since I’ve lived most of my life in a country where being gay is illegal and was strongly looking forward to having a chance to be somewhere else that that wasn’t the case (yes, I still have Britain but the principle). Alongside that my dad’s family is all Scottish and I’m terrified of being cut off from them by borders that will be more difficult to cross.

  14. I have joint British and Canadian citizenship. I grew up in Britain, and spent some of my early 20s there, but I’m pretty settled in Canada now. I honestly did not think this was going to happen. I spent Thursday evening obsessively refreshing the BBC vote count. Over the weekend I felt mostly shell-shocked, and now I’m just kind of depressed about it. On the plus side a lot of my younger, educated friends who feel like they just got completely fucked are throwing around the idea of moving out here, which I would love.

      • I have never been so glad to have NZ citizenship in my back pocket!
        (I may have told my girlfriend we need to think about moving in together so if it all goes horribly wrong she could emigrate with me)

  15. As a citizen of a country who is still in the EU, I really hope this starts a discussion about how undemoctratic the EU structure is and about the heavy austerity politics of the recent years.

    The people I know in Britain who voted for Brexit, some immigrants themselves, had no racist motive, they voted out in order to distance themselves of the right wing economic austerity politics of the EU. (Obviously that does not take away the fact that the far right will try to use the vote for its own benefit both in Britain and in other European countries.)

    So, it is really time for something to happen in the EU. It is as much about EU as it is about Britain.

    • Yes yes yes all of this! I don’t like Brexit because of the political momentum it’s giving the anti-immigrant hard-right. but for real though let’s stop pretending the EU was some high-fallutin liberal fantasy, and remember the refugees turned away at the shores of “fortress Europe”. As a main peddler of austerity, the EU is especially bad for lesbians who lack access to the male wage. Solidarity forever! https://www.jacobinmag.com/2016/06/brexit-referendum-leave-remain-immigration/

      • “— let’s stop pretending the EU was some high-fallutin liberal fantasy, and remember the refugees turned away at the shores of “fortress Europe”” – for real though!

        Thanks for the link, the whole site looks really interesting!

        It’s also good to remember that in Norway, Switzerland etc. EU-citizens have most of the rights they do in the EU, even though the countries are not part of the union. So it’s not as though Britain is closing it’s borders (any more than “fortress Europe” already is).

        The fascists benefiting from this in my country and in others I do hate, though.

    • “The people I know in Britain who voted for Brexit, some immigrants themselves, had no racist motive”

      I really this were true across the board. My parents, who are Indian immigrants to the UK, and a lot of other POC I know living in Britain voted to leave because they actively hate immigrants and muslims. No amount of me trying to reason with them changed their mind. My parents even told me I was too stupid to understand and I should shut up. To me, it makes no sense to stir up racial hatred when you are a POC, it’s literally shooting yourself in the foot.

  16. I’m so upset that this has happened. This was a vote for small-minded and short-sighted politics, fuelled by Farage-style racism and xenophobia, and outright lies from the Leave campaign. We have screwed ourselves over so terribly, and I’m so embarrassed – what must we look like to the rest of the world?


    • what must we look like to the rest of the world?

      Reading through the maelstrom of everyone’s despair and uncertainty, I think this is the only question I have a reasonable answer for: we look like bigoted fuckwits. Navel-gazing aside, I actually have a lot of pride in being British, and I feel like we’ve let the whole school down.

  17. Reposting what I shared on Facebook the day after. It’s still a very weird and worrying time but I’m trying to focus my energy away from being glued to the news and watching old white men decide my future.

    “Brexit and the way it has empowered and legitimised the far right has left me panic-stricken and confused with so many questions.

    What does the state of the UK (and world) mean for me as a young jobseeker, trans woman of colour and child of Muslim immigrants?

    Mental health care is already failing me, will the possible changes mean I won’t even be around very long?

    Gay marriage is the only right afforded to LGBTQ people by the UK itself, all else is governed by the European Union. What happens to those laws now especially since we’re about to get a government that won’t care?

    I want to go back to university one day, will that ever be feasible at my class level without astronomical debt?

    I get my hormone medication shipped in from abroad every three months. Have I already made the last order that’ll be allowed?

    If I want to travel to Europe or further afield, how difficult and expensive will it be?

    If I’m discriminated against during the job interview/hiring process for my race or gender (again), do I have any rights left to defend myself with?

    Do I need to be scared to leave the house in this area where the majority voted Leave and their graffiti and campaigning is prominently displayed? Have the racists been so emboldened by this result that I’m in physical danger?

    Should I be even more worried for my family and friends? My British friends living in Europe, my trans friends who experience workplace discrimination, friends and family living below the poverty line and all those with loved ones in the same position.

    How will this impact the US Presidential election in November? Will my marginalised American friends who are already feeling the effects of bigoted Republican lawmakers be OK?

    Basically the big fat rhetorical question I’m trying to ask is WHAT THE FUCK, BRITAIN?!”

  18. Just reading this is making me so upset. It has rocked my belief that most British people are generally sensible and at least believe in equality of some sort. Over the weekend I went home and was coddled by my family so the last two days at work, surrounded by news channels, has been really tough. I just want to close my eyes and not think about it, but it has such far reaching and serious consequences I just can’t. I feel sick.

    • I have been feeling the same, except my family seem so apathetic about it all. I keep trying to remind myself that the worst that we are seeing in terms of the racism and xenophobia are from the minority of the people who, unfortunately, know how to shout the loudest. I feel so helpless, I can’t even begin to imagine how the people who are being targeted are feeling. Generally though, I too want to stop thinking about it but I can’t and it terrifies me.

  19. All I need to know is Sarah Palin thinks it was a good thing which tells me it in fact is actually terrible.

    (jk I actually have kept my history aware Southern USian eyeballs somewhat on politics across the pond so I legit understand the factors, the whys and the potential fallout even if I don’t know all the names.)

        • Hey, noooo we don’t need Trump to look more stupid.
          For we have the NRA to support the right of civilians to have swift ownership weapons that can fire 45 rounds per minute and more mass shootings than anywhere else in the world.

          Elected officials like Rick Scott enacting waiting periods for abortions while relaxing waiting periods for firearms and fast tracking concealed carry permit process.

          A guns right activist getting non-fatally shot in the back by her 4 year old with her gun she left in the back with him while she was driving.

          Not even Brexit can out stupid that.

  20. I currently live in a rural community in north Scotland. After a day of shock and checking the news, in particular that every single constituency in Scotland bar none voted to remain, I attended a traditional music concert in a community hall last Friday where everyone else was well over 60. They were discussing the result with sadness and shaking their heads. The host, an old man, talked of the madness of what had just happened and pointed out that the single-track road joining those remote townships was built with EU money and the musicians’ instruments had all been bought with EU funding. It was a poignant way to end the day, seeing such a very, very local impact, seeing the difference the EU had made to an isolated island community, and the thought that a beautiful little gig like this, that brought local people together to listen and dance, couldn’t have happened without that support.

    • Honestly, I’m in the US now, but have lived in UK and Germany for around two years each, and my first thought was that if I were Scottish, I would be furious right about now. I vividly remember that independence referendum and how the threat of an independent Scotland being kicked out of the EU was very much used as a cudgel by the pro-UK crowd to convince everyone to vote to stay. At the time, I also would have said that staying in the UK was the smart move, but for England and Wales to then turn around and drag the Scots out of the EU not two years later is really messed up. I know a lot of Scots who were previously pro-UK and are now anxiously awaiting an independence referendum and the first chance to get out if the Brexit actually happens.

  21. I’m absolutely gutted.My partner and I stayed up most of Thursday night when I after the first results came in and didn’t look good. I’m furious with the politicians of all ilk who between them took us into a referendum that wasn’t needed, have not properly explained the benefits of the EU in the past, have not invested properly in areas that have lost their industries, have lied and misled the voters, did not have a plan for brexit and are now descending into fighting. The country is in chaos. The blatant racism is horrific and very worrying. I spent yesterday evening with a Spanish friend after someone put a note through her door telling her “now you can go and leave what belongs to us”. She has lived in the UK for 20 years and she and her partner are raising 3 kids here. They are now considering whether they will stay as this is not what they want their children to see. It’s despicable and shameful to see the rise in incidents like this. This does not feel like home anymore. I’m fed up of the gloating of leave voting colleagues. The future feels uncertain for the United Kingdom, the economy and also my (mainly Europe-focussed) job. My partner and I were considering a move to Europe, not sure we’ll be able to do that now. I want to find something to feel positive about but at the moment I feel deeply sad and very angry.

  22. Honestly I’m too scared & overwhelmed by the whole thing to keep up with the news as much as I usually do. As a queer disabled working class woman I’m scared for myself, I’m scared for BME and non-British and disabled and trans friends and by the fact that the UK is already in breach of international human rights protocols, and that we’ve now handed more power to the right – the Conservatives were already talking about scrapping the Human Rights Bill months ago. Lots of the protections that disabled people, trans people and other minorities have come from the EU. I’m scared because I can’t up and move like other people are considering – I need the NHS & the welfare state to survive and am unable to work more than a few hours a week because of my conditions.

    • I’m also fed up of people telling worried Remainers to “just get over it, it’s happened. You lost” etc etc like it was some big game. So I’m glad this article exists where we can talk about it without someone telling us to shut up, thank you

  23. Here are a few jokes to lighten the mood.
    Did you hear those who voted to leave are now being referred to as Bond Villains.

    Did you know the latest Bond film has been canceled. Why, because those who voted the leave have done something only a Bond villain can dream of. Destroy the UK.

    Did you hear both the Northern Irish Catholics and Protestants have made up and are at peace once again. Why because both want to stay in the EU.

    Did you know the ex mayor of London supported the Brexit. Funny how he is no longer mayor of a city that will lose the most high paying bank jobs and has lost more money in the last three days in the last ten years he was in office.

    And Finally, Donald Trump was called out for his statement about Brexit being a good thing. When questioned by American Media after coming home. He said, I thought someone asked me about breakfast. It was good. Breakfast, not Brexit.

    Oh and Donald Trump was supposed to be the president in the latest Independence Day film. Unfortunately he couldn’t stick to the script so they had to let him go. But they did keep his ego. They used his giant ego to model the giant ocean sized spaceship.

  24. I think probably everybody in the whole world had a similar experience with some politician, you know, you chose him/her and then you realized that you made a mistake, that not every little thing you were told is true, that you were lied to just to get your vote.

    Most of the time it takes a while, but never in my life I’d imagined that it could happened in just 1 freaking day…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jy-m1NSUmOY

  25. I’m American but I still can’t believe this happened. I do find it pathetic that ignorant Americans think this is positive and ignore how England damaged their own economy because of xenophobia

  26. I just keep thinking about how Thatcher gutted industry in the UK, and helped to create these deep divides between the haves and the have-nots, wrecking entire communities with wanton disregard, with no plans for the communities left with nothing. And I see a lot of the reasons people voted leave, and I wonder how likely they would have been to vote otherwise if they did not feel betrayed by a government who neither listened to, nor cared about them.

    And of course, of those angry, desperate people looking for someone to blame, apparently a horrifically large proportion are all too ready to lash out at “foreigners”, especially after being egged in that direction relentlessly by Murdoch-owned newspapers (infamous owner of Fox News also, not uncoincidentally).

    It’s really a lot more than just membership of the EU that we should be reexamining.

  27. My sister, who’s in her 40s and lived half her life in the UK and somehow has never really had to deal with racism (idk how) is upset. She said that this is the first time she’s ever felt unwelcome. It’s kinda weird seeing her like this – compassionate sorrow mixed with “now you know what I deal with and could neve really understand” and urgh I don’t know this whole this is a mess and the xenophobic comments keep on coming.

    Though frankly I am really annoyed at the British passport holders and various other White immigrants from like Australia or something who are all “noooooooo I cannot move in/out of the UK now!! Travel is curtailed!!! THEY HATE IMMIGRANTS!!!”.

    Listen. Your British passport is one of the best in the world still. You probably won’t lose your ability to travel around the EU visa-free, and the rest of you who already enjoy the privilege of travelling to the UK visa-free aren’t likely going to lose that either (asides from perhaps Eastern Europeans who are bearing the brunt of this decision). If fuckin’ MALAYSIA, Muslim country passport and all, can travel to the UK in and out without a visa SO CAN YOU.

    (ps canada can you go back to giving malaysians visa-free travel kthx)

    And if you’re from Australia or the US or some other White-centric country, and you’re White enough to not have to deal with being hassled at the airport, YOU’LL BE FINE. The people who hate immigrants don’t hate you – they wont even recognize you as foreign. You’re the kind of people they want – the kind of people that can drive out people like my sister.

    But hey, if the worst happens and you have to (gasp!) get a visa, well: welcome to what most of the world has to deal with to even sniff at your country. Go get your 10-year-histories of travel, housing, and work, go get a family tree drawn up with everyone’s dates of birth & death, go get all your finances in order, go get medical reports from your doctor and your psychiatrist and anybody else you can think of. Because that’s what the UK (and many other “first-world countries”) demands from much of the rest of the world, the parts of the world whose people are dealing with the worst of the xenophobia propelling Brexit. If you want to be a doomsday planner, plan for this, since you seem to be extra paranoid about this happening for some reason.

    • I’m not really sure why you’re convinced that EU freedom of travel and work won’t be affected by this, why on earth would the EU allow Britain to keep this? We have no bargaining power.

      Also I think a lot of people are aware of how hard it is to immigrate to the UK if you’re not an EU citizen, and a lot of people work hard to campaign and fight for reduced border controls against an overwhelming majority who want the opposite. Knowing it is hard for a lot of the world to secure freedom of movement across borders doesn’t mean we shouldn’t feel sad and disappointed by this further blow to migrant rights.

      • I’m not sure that “allow” is the right word, it’s more a case of the price tag of Britain keeping preferable trade tarriffs will be signing up to the EEA and having to keep its borders open (similarly to Norway).

        The immigration process for non-EU citizens could perversely take a kicking from all this, because if it becomes impossible to stop European immigration even after leaving the EU then the non-EU migrants will bear the brunt of whatever new restrictions come in to try and bring immigration down to the ridiculous targets. When my (non-EU) wife and I were doing research for getting her visa, we saw the pattern of how much harder it had got in the past 6 years of Tory power (and Theresa May seems to suggest a new twist every other month), so that even as middle-class, educated and employed people we were left with spousal visa as the only option!

        Whatever party comes along with a message that stops the demonisation of immigrants will likely be the one that gets my vote.

      • I speak from experience as someone who’s travelled the world on two different passports, one of which needed extremely onerous visas for just about everywhere. The UK has free travel arrangements with a ton of countries, including those outside the EU. It would be pretty unlikely for that to suddenly change THAT drastically – maybe you actually need a student visa for once or something, but it will not likely ever get to the same level as, say, a Bangladesh passport holder would ever had to deal with.

      • And oh, I can tell you, unless you’ve actually experienced the system as an immigrant – especially a Third-world-country immigrant – you have NO IDEA what it’s like. Even the friends who have heard me rant and cry about visas for pretty much all my life still cannot wrap their head around it. They cannot get the sheer restrictions and layers and bullshit that goes into any little visa application. They may “know” that it’s hard, but they can never understand, not truly.

        • Yes – pre 9/11 I had a friend who was refused a tourist visa to the US coming from Taiwan, because she was of “a marriageable age”, whereas those of us with UK passports barely were questioned. And there was fuck-all we could apparently do to help her (in the short term for that trip anyhow). From Taiwan!! Not a place noted for instability, despite it’s relationship to China. So yes, I can hardly imagine if you come from a country that has a more volatile history, or is massively economically disadvantaged.

          So yes, whilst I am saddened and extremely worried/horrified about the prospect of numerous rights being curtailed (amongst many other things), I do think that the relationship of the UK with the rest of the world as well as with Europe needs a radical re-examination.

    • Even now EU Eastern European passports are extremely poor, it’s very difficult to get visas for “nice” white countries like the US, Canada or Australia. I know many people who tried to visit family or friends in those countries and were not allowed to come.

  28. I was absolutely heartbroken when i woke up on friday morning, and that heartbreak was made even worse when my mum came downstairs and when she saw me sobbing told me that she herself had voted to leave. It destroyed me, it made me feel like my future meant so little to her that she could be so easily swayed by the lies of boris and farage. She even came out with the same “oh what do experts know??” rubbish because doctors at the hospital she works at were all saying they were voting to remain. My heart breaks and i don’t know at this point what we can even do to fix this, so all i can say is american’s PLEASE don’t underestimate trump and make sure you vote.

  29. Also, can we talk about queer immigration? I have so many queer Latvian friends and acquaintances who’ve emigrated within the EU because of bullshit attitudes and bullshit laws (their partner is from a non-EU country, and they’re sick of applying for student visas for study programs they have no real intention of studying or borrowing money every year for the “independently wealthy self-employed” visa, year after year, or whatever other creative solutions people come up with). Almost all of these people live in London or elsewhere in England. I’m certain many other queer people who come from less “progressive” EU member states have made the same choices. Where does that leave all of them? Will they have to uproot their lives, again, to return to countries where their partners and families aren’t recognized?

    …without even getting into the trickle-down effects stricter immigration laws are likely to have on LGBTQ immigrants or refugees from non-EU and less privileged countries.

  30. I’m a dreaded Romanian so if any restrictions on free movement are going to be put in, my rights will be the first to go. People keep telling me not to worry because nothing will happen for a while and negotiations when they start will take at least 2 years but then again people also told me not to worry about the referendum because there’s no way it’s going to pass…

    In many ways the results were shocking but in others they weren’t. Perhaps EU immigrants who are not Romanian or Polish get shielded from a lot of this stuff but racism and xenophobia, especially among older people, have been really, really prevalent in the UK for many years now. The hike in hate crimes is worrying but I’ve been getting mean comments, extremely dirty looks when speaking Romanian in public, harassment from old people etc for as long as I’ve lived here (which fyi is 6 years). I tend to try to stay away from old white people here as much as possible because their attitudes towards me usually turn out to be disgusting. We [immigrants] have often tried to engage with more mainstream UK political forces, esp lefty parties and orgs but nobody listened to us and nobody cared. There were many many many attempts to respond to lies from the Daily Mail etc, none had much support from anyone except immigrants. Brexit has forced people to finally face how widespread racism is in this country, maybe it will also force them to do something about it. Part of me feels like if Remain had won, racism / xenophobia would’ve gone back to being kinda boring and very easy to ignore for mainstream British parties / politics so it’s almost like it’s a good thing Brexit happened.

  31. It’s bad enough that 52% of a population decided to cut the noses off of 100% of the population … it’s another shite storm entirely to fuel the rising tide of intolerance, prejudice and hatred as far as your voices might go.
    Well done England EU-leavers – you might just have nudged Europe another step closer to yet another all-time-record-breaking implosion.

    Next time you vote, how about you do a bit of back ground checking, a bit of research, and vote to fix the underlying causes of a problem: not vote for the loudest tosser with the most familiar rhetoric. Let me put it simply: if it sounds vaguely like Mein Kampf, don’t click ‘follow’.

  32. I want to hide under my desk until it all goes away, but I instead will try to find small ways to spread happiness/care despite the sense of impending doom.

  33. I am an American expat living in northern Scotland for the past 8 years with my wife. I campaigned positively on the streets to REMAIN last week. I thought it would be a close vote but did not expect OUT to win. As a former supported for Scottish independence I recognized many of the Fear tactics used in this campaign (Trump uses similar techniques).
    I think it was a massive protest vote gone wrong. The Conservative party made a major power play which backfired when it succeeded, now the right wing section of Labour has decided to follow their lead by backstabbing one another. Basically all the richest politicians in Westminster are behaving disgracefully for personal positioning.
    Not everyone who voted out was a raciest, but every raciest voted out. Fear of foreigners, and a promised return to an idealised have trumped a progressive inclusive future. I am saddened by this choice but glad that all regions of Scotland voted INand Nicole Sturgeon has been fantastic! She has gone out of her way to be accepting and approving of immigrants. (The SNP Scottish Nationalist Party is not facist because it defines Scottish news by residency not nation of birth and they welcome immigrants). Although I would like to see an independent Scotland, I regret that it will be achieved due to the lies of the OUT campaign and the suffering which will result. I hope they will remain politically engaged and hold the politicians accountable.
    Although hate crimes have not increased in Scotland, the same is not true elsewhere and I expect it will get worse as campaign promises are not kept (because they were empty to begin with). Please Google the Safety Pin campaign in support of immigrants and other vulnerable groups. We are trying to be supportive and positive as the only real response to hate and fear is kindness and support.
    I caution those in the USA not to dismiss the power of their votes, and not to cast a ballot AGAINST something but FOR a positive reason. I also advise against dismissing or degrading Trump or Tea Party supporters, but acknowledge that did frustration and offer them hope for the future.
    Take heart. Millionaire have made this mess, now it is time for the millions to make it better.

  34. I am an American expat living in northern Scotland for the past 8 years with my wife. I campaigned positively on the streets to REMAIN last week. I thought it would be a close vote but did not expect OUT to win. As a former supported for Scottish independence I recognized many of the Fear tactics used in this campaign (Trump uses similar techniques).
    I think it was a massive protest vote gone wrong. The Conservative party made a major power play which backfired when it succeeded, now the right wing section of Labour has decided to follow their lead by backstabbing one another. Basically all the richest politicians in Westminster are behaving disgracefully for personal positioning.
    Not everyone who voted out was a raciest, but every raciest voted out. Fear of foreigners, and a promised return to an idealised have trumped a progressive inclusive future. I am saddened by this choice but glad that all regions of Scotland voted INand Nicole Sturgeon has been fantastic! She has gone out of her way to be accepting and approving of immigrants. (The SNP Scottish Nationalist Party is not facist because it defines Scottish news by residency not nation of birth and they welcome immigrants). Although I would like to see an independent Scotland, I regret that it will be achieved due to the lies of the OUT campaign and the suffering which will result. I hope they will remain politically engaged and hold the politicians accountable.
    Although hate crimes have not increased in Scotland, the same is not true elsewhere and I expect it will get worse as campaign promises are not kept (because they were empty to begin with). Please Google the Safety Pin campaign in support of immigrants and other vulnerable groups. We are trying to be supportive and positive as the only real response to hate and fear is kindness and support.
    I caution those in the USA not to dismiss the power of their votes, and not to cast a ballot AGAINST something but FOR a positive reason. I also advise against dismissing or degrading Trump or Tea Party supporters, but acknowledge that did frustration and offer them hope for the future.
    Take heart. Millionaire have made this mess, now it is time for the millions to make it better.

  35. As a member of an other EU-country I have very mixed feelings about this.
    There’s this side that is sad. I can’t believe this actually happened. And the way it happened! People voting based on half-truths and lies..
    And there’s is this side of me that is really angry and is thinking ‘ok, you voted out, no problem then, get the **** out!’. I feel a bit.. abandoned, maybe? We are great EU-believers here in my country.
    And now there’s this uncertainty: which countries will follow? Will they even go through with the brexit now that the pro brexit politicians are too cowardly to take their responsibilities? It’s really f***ed up.

    • I find it confusing the ‘abandonment’ comment? How can so many countries staying in the EU feel abandoned by one member (as the UK counts as one I presume, rather than 4)? It’s just one member, you have ALL the other members still there! If the EU is so great, why be worried that your country or others will leave? It makes no sense? You are the clever ones right, the ones that knew what the UK didn’t? You know the EU equals prosperity and togetherness, the English and Welsh were just too dumb and egotistical to not see that, no? It’s just them who weren’t uneducated, you and others are, so why worry that your educated citizens in all your countries will leave if they aren’t as ignorant, selfish and blind as the English? None of you will leave, you know what’s right, they were wrong and will pay for this uneducated mistake! How funny, people thinking the English are educated after this. Not such a great country after all!

      If the EU is one happy family where everyone loves each other, there is not so much corruption that people should be brought to account and everyone feels they are under a big system of justice and fairness, then why would anyone else want to leave it?! You will be fine in the big EU, it will stay together, no one will leave it and want to look like the sad English (and sad Welsh followers).

      It’s just the silly UK (English and Welsh) that didn’t trust it enough, and were not educated enough people to know that the EU was going to reform, change and move with the times and always evolve for all members and not just the ones in it that held the power. The English and the Welsh were childish to think that they had little involvement or no importance in the EU, as in the EU every country is equal, every county in it has an equal say and all EU policies are tailored to the cares/sensitivities of each country (their cultures, their history, their people of all social/financial background) and not just one mass template for all; nor run mainly by a select few were all others have to abide. The EU is too good a political setup to be free of, there should be no worry that other countries are as dumb and racist as England and Wales.

      If you are angry and want the UK to **** off, then be happy they’re going! They will be gone once the article is activated, and your EU club will just have the happy members left in it that have no gripes about how it is currently run.

      It’s just one member that has left, not half or even a majority. Abandonment is usually the minority feeling separated from the majority, so the UK is the one that is abandoned (hence why they want out) not the EU. The EU can’t be abandoned if they’re the happy united majority. The UK (England and Wales) didn’t feel a part of the EU enough, didn’t like the way it was run and whatever other irks it had, so are you not thankful they are finally leaving and ready to say good f*****g riddance to them! You’re still happy (as you’re staying in the EU which you like), so why feel abandoned? You’re still in the EU PARTY with everyone else, and technically you can look at it that you’ve kicked out the English (and the Welsh) and left them abandoned on their own where they deserve to be! If they’re unhappy that’s what they had coming, if they can’t conform to the majority why should they get any sympathy for their reservations! It’s mainly England’s fault as the bigger voting population, so maybe we should let the Welsh out-vote off the hook. England deserve this though, they’re the ones that voted for this and they should now sleep in this bed they’ve made for themselves and never wake as their reality after official Brexit won’t be worth it.

      England, the uneducated righteous party in this, have abandoned themselves! You and the rest of the EU countries are NOT abandoned, you are still in a majority and you can still move freely to ALL the other EU places. Just don’t go to England anymore! Go to Wales, as they were just the silly followers in this that mistakenly followed racist, uneduated England and not inclusive progressive Scotland. Don’t go the England if and pressurise the EU to punish them particularly at every step they make when coming out of the EU. Show your love and support for Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, but not England. Don’t make it easy for them, make their citizens suffer, make sure they know they were wrong to leave the EU, make them know being alone in the wilderness is a hard, sad and lonely place to be! Don’t visit England anymore, don’t trade with them at all, don’t buy their goods or spend you money there, make their currency suffer and FALL till they are on a cliff edge, make them know how leaving the EU was the worst thing in the world they could ever do! Don’t travel there, show them how hard it will be to go there, how freedom of movement was the only thing allowing you to move comfortably from one county to another. Make them know that not being in the EU makes them a place that can’t be left/visited easily anymore, not desirable anymore and not worth it anymore!

      You have every other country to choose from, what loss is England to you? Most people in the world hate/feel indifferent to England anyway, so people should be happy they’re going! They’ve made little impact in the world, so what loss are they to the EU and it’s movement going forward? They would hold the EU back, offer no inspiration and add no credibility! You don’t need England, and you’ll get Scotland back when they leave the UK, maybe Northern Ireland too, and then it’s just two places in this combined one member that are gone. It’s only England (and Wales just because financially it’s too early for them to make a UK break) that is Brexiting (in terms of mindful will), so what is the real travesty here??? Wales one day will rejoin after Independence, so it will just be England that has left, and what’s so important about England and the English that the EU can’t cope without? Answer, is NOTHING! The English culture and political involvment is of no loss to the EU, it never cared about it anyway, it just wanted it for numbers. The EU is bigger than just England, so how you or anyone can feel abandoned by England makes no sense. You have the massive EU left, England is not so important to the EU that all the remaining members should feel angry or abandoned. England is TINY, there is NO loss! You have WON infact, as why would you want England in it anyway? England’s culture has always be set apart from the rest of mainland Europe, you have no real solidarity with English people, you have no real love for them, you just liked their financial contribution to the EU, but didn’t like anything about them, their people or their culture. You hate their weather as much as their corrupt politics and don’t think they’re as funny, pretty or clever as everyone else in Europe, so why pretend their exit is more than what the EU actually wanted all along! You’ve always been European regardless of the English, so them gone is not going to change that! You were always more European than them, they’re always been a lonely identity. You would want to be any nationality but English! What has England ever offered Europe that Europe cannot find easily or more of in another EU member? The answer, nothing!

      The English only offered the aspects of Europe that the rest of Europe are embarrassed by, so why be in a political club with them?! England is not a country to look up to, or a place you would want to visit, feel safe in, raise a family in, make friends in, be educated in or ever consider being happy in. It’s a country full of unhappy, undesirable and unsavoury people is it not? Why the rest of EU members didn’t abandon England sooner is the bigger question! Mainland Europe has little in common with England, so it should have less worry over it’s looming exit. Mainland Europe makes sense being in a European club, and if Scotland, Northern Ireland (and Wales if one day U-turn) want to be a part of it, then let them, they’ve always hated they English (due to history and the bad oppressors and folk alike) and rightfully so! We should all hate the English really, as their past and present history is a disgrace, is it not? Nothing to shine a light on but just shadow and darkness. No prospect, no hope and no future without Brexit! What do the English people have to be proud of, and after this Brexit vote, surely even less than before?! What have they now left after this? The EU gave them everything they ever needed and could hope for, what Britain will be left after this? What idiots they are to do this to themselves! How will they ever survive once Brexit actually officially happens! Their society and standing in the world was rocky already, but will be even worse off after this, no? How will they ever be respected after this, if ever were before? Everyone will surely think it makes sense to turn their back for good now?! It makes sense to be done with this tiny nation but backward nation, no?

      Why anyway even cares that England are out doesn’t actually make any sense. The English are a nation of people that others around the world laugh at, mock and think are inferior because they are small population of people trying to bat above their weight. You in the EU should not feel abandoned, as it has always been a majority in the EU that don’t want England, not the other way round! The EU is a majority, you are the power, just be happy you’re still the more powerful lot after this Brexit vote! You have lost the freedom of movement to just one member, and it is luckily for you the less active and most insignificant member in the EU! You can still visit, trade and be best friends with everywhere else in the EU. England is no loss to anyone, not even the rest of the UK one it splits up! Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, get out while you can, as the English will forever bring you down and tarnish you by British association. Leave this sad country that has not offered anything to the world or Europe and join your other European members for a better world, a world free of bigotry, free of persecution, free of and injustice. Staying in the UK with the English means you will always be a part of the most oppressed political system that Europe has ever had. The worst place in the world to feel like a free citizen with hope is in the UK, and being associated with the English and anything relating to England will just mean your life is shackled at the most basic level! Leave this oppressed Union, join other countries with fairer laws that will offer you all the justice that is lacking in British rule. Stick with those others in Europe that really understand true freedom, equality and forever are the ones to offer these rights to you as you will never get them in a place as unfair and corrupt as the UK.

      If you really, truly believe the EU is everything that the UK constantly fails to be, then no one is going to be jumping the EU ship. When you look at it in this way, the remainers in the EU have not been affected long term, they are still one and together and benifit from everything the EU still offers them. To be abandoned is to be alone and on your own, and that’s not the huge EU that still has all but one of it’s member states. The EU doesn’t need to feel angry or abandoned, it has not lost anything or been left. Brexit is happening, and remain happy in your big unified club.

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