Vote for or against Brexit and what of our world?

Jane Reddington

Sounder Staff

Tuesday, June 28 2016

I was born in England, educated there for some years of my young life, and both my grandparents and parents come from Great Britain. I have a British flag bumper sticker on my car and a Welsh dragon licence plate from our days in Calgary on my fence. My sister was born in Wales, my grandparents grew up there and some of our family still lives there. We have many friends and relations in England and I always think of it as my second home.

It has been many years since I’ve set foot on English soil, but I spent a summer there with my grandparents touring London, Wales, Stonehenge and living in a little town called Lymington when I was 14 years old. My grandfather and I walked across the top of the Isle of Wight, along Tennyson Down in the fog, running into sheep with every step we took. My grandparents were British to the very core and my grandfather served as a Commander of the British Navy destroyers during the Second World War; he was part of capturing the Enigma, which ultimately helped end the war.

So when I heard about the British vote to exit the European Union, having lived so much of my life away from England, I wondered at how every fibre of my being said, “No.” I wished and hoped that the country might vote as I felt in my heart, to stay, especially now, and not leave the 28 countries it is presently joined to.

Why stay? Because it’s right. Because we need fewer borders, not more. We need common languages, experiences and community, and especially with the migrant crisis in Syria that has had international repercussions, we need to stand together. Never before in our history has there been a time when the world has been at such odds over the Muslim faith, at least to my knowledge. Everyone has an opinion about immigration and yet I feel deeply this is something we must address as an international community.

The more isolated we become, the more we fend for ourselves and let the problems of the world be other people’s problems, the more suffering there will be. Victims stay victims, trapped in refugee camps, but when we are an inclusive world, victims become people again living lives that have meaning and a sense of community.

We are all neighbours in this world, all in this fight together. Whether Britain stays or goes will have lasting ramifications on us all. To keep the British economy strong, and to stand tall amongst other countries that are falling, to be a symbol of democracy, free speech and freedom is what’s important. The EU and the rest of the world need more leaders, not less of them.

As the results come in, I would be devastated to hear of a win for the “leave” side. I cannot cast a vote having not been on the electoral registrar for the last 10 years, but in my heart I know what is right. Being part of an international community, looking beyond ourselves and what we might need, these are values that I believe in. Defeating isolationism, ignorance and intolerance is what the referendum is about to me. 

I will stand tonight with the “remain” vote because it’s necessary for progress and ultimately for us all to work on global issues together, not run because these issues need more time to be solved. Together we are stronger than apart. It’s important we remember how small the world is, and to take giant steps toward each other. Only then can we be truly united as a planet. Only then can we realize how much better it is to help, and to give a hand rather than to turn and walk away. But like any great democratic nation, we need people to vote as a collective, we need a vote to “stay.”

In an historic upset, the UK voted 51.89 per cent to “leave” the EU on June 23, 2016. The pound tumbled to 1.35 sterling against the American dollar, the lowest value since 1985. Britain is a divided country and Brexit has won. It will be 2019 before Britain actually leaves the EU in this unprecedented decision where the electorate, that feels left behind by globalization, has cast their vote. Prime Minister David Cameron has said he will resign by October, 2016.