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.”
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