I’m one of the 2,000,000+ British citizens who, because I live in Europe, was not allowed to vote in the referendum on whether Britain should stay in the EU.
Over the past weeks, I’ve watched with a growing sense of helplessness, a campaign to leave the EU where voters were being incited to fear immigrants and see the EU as an overlord, restricting Britain’s freedom and draining funds that would be better spent on the NHS. My helplessness blossomed into anger and grief at the murder of Jo Cox.
Today, I am disappointed but not surprised at the decision to leave. I’m disappointed because I’m sure that it will damage the ability of the UK economy to provide for needs of its people.
I find myself grieving today, not because of the economic consequences of the decision but because the decision was fueled by fear, hatred, and xenophobic nationalism. It saddens me that the majority of British people chose to stand behind the kind of values that Nigel Farage promotes.
I feel that this campaign has created a climate of intolerance, aggression, and a lack of compassion that could cause violent conflict as the economic downturn bites. I would like to think that sanity will return and that kindness, compassion and the willingness to help each other will become the values we stand behind.