Brexit – Five First Quick Thoughts

  • My first thoughts on waking to the news of the result of the referendum on membership of the EU are not with the markets nor about sovereignty but with individuals. In particular, my thoughts are with the considerable numbers of members of my own congregation who have come from the rest of the EU to make a home here and indeed those who have moved the other way and who are living in other European countries. There will be considerable numbers of people feeling very uncertain about their own place in the world.
  • My second concern lies with those who will be the poorer for this decision. Financial volatility seems destined to affect the poor disproportionately. So far I hear no discourse in the media about the least financially secure. One of the reasons that this has happened is that there has been a collapse in trust in the ability politicians in much of the UK to speak for policies that would benefit most of the people.
  • I don’t think that the economic questions facing Scotland got any easier overnight. The calls for a second independence referendum are surely coming our way but on what terms? A Scotland in Europe hitched to a pound out of Europe? An independent Scotland committed to a Europe that fractures even more? Neither position is terribly attractive. It seems to me that there will be further attempts across Europe to persuade countries to leave the EU. That becomes much more likely after this vote.
  • I fear that there are more referendums heading our way whilst hating that way of making political decisions. We have representative democracy so that our representatives get to slug things out primarily so we don’t have to do so ourselves. Sadly I suspect there may be quite a lot of anger coming the way of our politicians. To some extent this result reflects the existence of quite a lot of anger already. However, politicians stand between the tyrant and the mob keeping both at bay.
  • The most frightening thing I saw over the last few days was the relatively powerful in the country having no contact at all with the disaffected majority. Again and again I heard people of the intelligentsia (a group I’d have to acknowledge I belong to as a card carrying member) saying that they simply knew no-one at all who wanted to leave and didn’t believe that it could possibly happen. We are divided and in ways I fear.

There will be more to say later.

Very much more.