This is an exciting and frightening day for the UK. The referendum has concluded and over 51% want to leave the EU. I know that I have written in favour of leaving, but now that the voting is done, and that Leave have won, I have a frisson of excitement and fear.
I’ve felt that feeling before. It was when I finally left my comfortable job in a pharmaceutical corporation to start my own business. Suddenly it was no longer theoretical. It was real and it was now. I remember walking home and thinking “That’s it! I’m now my own boss. No one tells me when to work and when to take time off. I choose when to work. It’s up to me.” Faced with the practicality of not working means not having the money to eat meant that I chose to work all the time, and my wife reminds me that we didn’t have a proper holiday for five years. I have gained immensely through the experience of those years.
Now we are here again, this time together. We are metaphorically walking home together thinking “We are our own boss”. The future is in our hands and we decide how we will do by our own actions.
This is not a time for crowing over the Remain campaigners. The referendum is now history and was a means for lively debate. In the process we got to know some of our politicians better and I hope that we will consider their integrity when it comes to the next election. For now, though, we need everyone to be part of this looking forward in a new direction.
Right now there is immediate uncertainty and things will be a bit turbulent. It will settle down though. Already the establishment are acting to calm the troubled waters. I saw the chairman of the Bank of England lay out the preparations for Brexit that they have already made this morning and his speech was directly targeted at demonstrating continued stability.
In the end though, nothing speaks louder than success. If we free up our businesses to trade unfettered around the world, if we work to establish trade links, if we add value wherever we can, investment will return and we will see a strong world economy re-established.
Nicola Sturgeon has called for a new Scottish Referendum. Will Scotland want to leave the UK? Once again, nothing succeeds like success. If we can show that we are willing to go out and be successful around the world, opening new doors, bringing in new business where we had none, and that they can be successful with us, why would they want to leave?
This is our country. It is a country I love deeply and am immensely proud of. We now have the opportunity to do things differently. We can’t blame THEM (the EU) anymore. We are all US and need to accept that we are responsible for how it goes. This includes everyone. We are all involved. We all need to do our part.
We are a capable people, we care about each other and other peoples of the world. From the straw poll in my own family (who were evenly divided between Remain and Leave), one of the main reasons for staying was that we can do good in Europe. This is still as true as it has ever been.
Let us face the future, with hope in our hearts, determined to do well together.