Some initial thoughts with the proviso that I’ll change my mind later.
- Right showed they can win a vote by using racist fearmongering about immigration against a backdrop of service cuts and economic insecurity. That is scary but sadly not news.
- Leave won and hence UKIP et al won and people even further to the right will be cheering. However, they haven’t won *control* over something – that is slim good news.
- There will be all sorts of consequences of this decision many of them immediate and many of them not liked by people who voted ‘leave’. In particular, the vote has shown deep regional divisions in the UK.
- Because the vote is not automatically binding there will be a temptation to nullify this in Parliament. The worse things look (e.g. plunging pound as I write) the more it will look to some that there is a moral imperative to reject the vote to save the economy or to save the union etc. I think that is a bad idea.
- Distrust of institutions and political leadership are part of the problem here. That trust needs to be rebuilt for civil society to function and that can’t happen if the result of the referendum isn’t honoured.
- [eta] However, the process to leave isn’t short – policy changes based on actual changes of public opinion are a different matter.
- Object lesson to right leaning mainstream parties everywhere: don’t outsource your internal disagreements to a wider political vote. All you achieve is exporting your own toxicity to everybody else.
- The UK can exist and eventually prosper outside of EU but it may not be able to stay the UK.
- Yes, this really is the f’cking tories fault. Don’t blame SNP, Labour don’t fight yourself over this. REMIND people who did this. Leave and Remain voters both hated the process.
- …but Labour has to deliver to its core. Inequality and economic insecurity underpin this and fixing that is Labour’s task.