To be honest

I want to be clear about the purpose of this post: I am not here to argue with anyone. I am here to be honest. Nothing more and certainly – always – nothing less.

I voted to remain in the EU yesterday.

I woke this morning at 4am to the almost certain knowledge that my voice, and the voices of everyone else who joined me in that decision, had not been loud enough. Persuasive enough. Passionate enough.

I am not ashamed to say that I have cried today. It doesn’t embarrass me to admit that I am afraid of what happens next, and afraid of the future that could now stand before my children.

I am not going to sit here and call you a racist if you voted to leave. I am not going to tell you that I think you are xenophobic. If you are either of those things then you really don’t need me to tell you. And I won’t say that you’re stupid or wrong for making the decision that you have. I hope that you had good, solid reasons. And, actually, I hope that you are right. There is nothing I would like more than to be proved wrong here.

I considered listing the reasons why I voted to remain in the EU, but it would be nothing that you haven’t heard before. So I’m just going to give you two, because actually, every single one of my reasons comes back to them anyway: O and F were my reasons. I believed that their future would be safer as part of the Union. I believed that I was doing the right thing for them.

I will not mince words; I am desperately unhappy with this result. But, over time and by necessity, I will accept it. Today I have hugged my fellow voters, both those who voted with me and those who voted against me. Yes, I am angry. But I find that I can’t really be too angry with ordinary people who were, at best, ill-equipped to make a decision that should – in my opinion – have been made by parliament. Of course there are people out there who voted to leave purely out of contempt and racism. It would be dishonest to ignore that very obvious truth. But there are also people who voted out of disillusionment and protest, and can we really blame them for that?

Lastly, I would like to say this: Europe, for my part, I am sorry for the way this turned out. It was not what I wanted.

I, like so many others, wanted to stay.

Only time will tell how this decision will change Britain. I hope that it will be much better than I fear it could be.


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