The UK has just voted in a historic referendum to leave the European Union. After months of official campaigning (and for some years of unofficial campaigning) the UK has decided to leave the EU, with Scotland and Northern Ireland clearly voting Remain while Wales and England have voted to Leave.
Edit: Final numbers are out of an electorate of 46,501,241 Leave got 17,410,742 and Remain got 16,141,241 while 12,949,258 didn’t vote at all.
Edit 2: David Cameron has confirmed he will stay on in a caretaker role until October and then resign.
Edit 3: Jeremy Corbyn, Labour Leader and Remainer, is likely facing a Vote of No Confidence in the parliamentary Labour Party due to what many see his lacklustre and non-committed approach to the EU that failed to get voters out.
Regardless of which way people have voted only one thing at this stage seems clear which is the utter shambles both Britain Stronger In Europe and Vote Leave, the official campaigns for In and Out respectively, have been with both obsessed with scare stories, with the former screaming economic collapse and preying on fears of pensions while the latter screaming about the immigrant at your door and preying on fears of clogged services, while according to both no matter how you voted death and destruction awaited. The rampant rhetoric that saw people become increasingly absolutist in their views is also what likely led to the tragic death of Jo Cox MP last week. Very little sadly of the campaign has been focused on the positives of either side or having a detailed debate about the pros and cons of various issues regarding the EU.
From watching the results come in it appears that what has caused the unexpected victory for Leave is a much lower than expected turnout in pro-Remain areas with Scotland for example, which had a near 85% turnout in the 2014 Scottish Referendum, falling to 67% tonight along with Northern Ireland even lower at 62.9% as opposed to Wales and England who had 71.7% and 72.9% respectively and a complete collapse in the Labour Remain vote in the North-East, where many working class communities in industrial decline have lost faith in a leadership that seems further and further centred in London and uncaring to their concerns, with the new leader Jeremy Corbyn being absent for much of the campaign.
Despite the result what matters now is that as a country the UK comes back together to find a mutual path forward in the minimum 2 year period of negotiations that will now follow separating from the EU and also deciding what sort of independent country we want to be and what example we want to set in the world going forward. At this moment unfortunately this seems unlikely with people on both sides too busy still throwing insults at each other.
That’s the big story of the day. Now what will you guys be doing this weekend or what are your views on Brexit? Outside of writing yet another Stargate SG-1 recap I’ll probably be drinking heavily and discussing the politics of Brexit with my fellow Brits if things hopefully (but unlikely) calm down.