I never expected the UK to go Brexit aka leaving the EU! I was wrong. Personally I think this is not the right choice but I am not from England, do not live there, so maybe I am missing something from the whole story. I do read a lot and watch the news. Till now my opinion is the same: I am still convinced this was not the best choice the UK could have made. However this is NOT Armageddon!! 😉
A normal voice aka realistic imo over this after that we go to the LGBT community.
Diva.mag.uk had an interesting article about this concerning the GLBT community:
By the early hours of this morning, it was clear that the UK had voted decisively to leave the EU.
Despite sharp divisions emerging across the country, with Scotland and London voting largely to Remain, Leave won 17,410,742 (51.9%) votes across the UK as a whole, beating Remain’s 16,141,241 votes (48.1%).
The reverberations are being felt across the country. This morning, Prime Minister David Cameron tendered his resignation while MPs tabled a motion of no confidence in Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. And Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, whose country voted unanimously to Remain, told a press conference that a second independence referendum was now “on the table” and legislation was being prepared to stop Scotland being dragged out of Europe against its will.
And as the country attempt to come to terms with this seismic shift in UK politics, we wonder, how do the LGBT community feel about today’s decision?
Angela Eagle, Shadow Secretary of State, described the Leave surge in some of Labour’s heartlands as a “protest vote” by those frustrated with Tory austerity. She later retweeted Brendan Cox, the husband of murdered MP Jo Cox, who said: “Today Jo would have remained optimistic and focussed on what she could do to bring our country back together around our best values.”
Ruth Davidson, the leader of the Scottish Conservatives and the woman some are tipping as a potential successor to David Cameron, praised the Prime Minister for offering “stability while the country plots its course” and said he was “honourable to the last”.
Margot James, a Conservative MP voting to remain, also praised Cameron and said she had tears in her eyes following his resignation.
Phyll Opoku-Gyimah, Director of UK Black Pride, this morning said she was feeling “concerned” about the result and asked: “The trajectory of our future, what does that look like now UK vote to leave the EU?”
And it wasn’t just politicians and activists voicing their opinions. Comedian Jen Brister tweeted: “I’m sick of this ‘proud to be British’ bullshit. I’ve never felt less proud,” while fellow funny woman Suzi Ruffell wondered if Leave supporters popping the Champagne knew their tipple of choice was French.
Not all LGBT people were disappointed with the result, though. Former UKIP MEP Nikki Sinclaire tweeted a picture of her with former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and said: “We did it Maggie, We did it, We got our country back. I never gave up,” before adding: “We are getting out of the EU and getting rid of David Cameron in one go RESULT.”
Adam Lake, Director of Out and Proud UK, was also jubilant – and somewhat shocked – by the result, tweeting: “Fuck. We won. I can’t believe it. I’m scared but excited. So much to prove, but if we all work together on this my god we will prove it.”
But it seems most of the LGBT community, like wider society, are still letting the result sink in and feel uncertain about what the future will hold.
A Stonewall spokesperson told DIVA: “Clearly this decision will have a far-reaching impact throughout the UK and Europe. We don’t know what that impact will be at this stage, but Stonewall will be focusing on how any changes in the coming months and years affect the rights and equality of LGBT people.
“Our core mission – to improve and protect the rights of LGBT people and ensure that everyone, everywhere, is free to be themselves without fear of discrimination – remains the same regardless of today’s result.
“We will continue to work with the UK, Scottish and Welsh Governments to ensure that LGBT people are accepted without exception wherever they live, shop, work, study and pray. We will continue to work with the government to reform the way trans people are treated in the law, and we will continue to work by the side of LGBT campaigners across the world until every LGBT person, everywhere, is accepted without exception.”
And ILGA-Europe, who expressed concern about a Brexit before yesterday’s vote, today released a statement called for unity.
A spokesperson said: “From ILGA-Europe’s perspective, the message that must be taken from the UK referendum result is the need for more solidarity, not less. For greater compassion, not concentrating on what divides us. For celebrating our common humanity, not withdrawing to an insular worldview.
“Human rights organisations must come together to articulate a clear vision for the sort of Europe we want, one that is based on our shared vision of social justice, equality, freedom and diversity.
“We are not just talking about the LGBTI movement, but all human rights and equality groups, whether that is the women’s rights movement, environmental initiatives, development organisations, or sexual health and reproductive NGOs. More than ever, we all need to come together, standing stronger and more unified in our resolve to translate this vision into reality.
“Predictions about what will happen as a result of the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union are fanciful at this point. But our commitment to working with our members in all parts of the United Kingdom to drive forward equality there, and across the entire continent of Europe, is one thing that will never be in doubt.”
I agree with you Xandra – Brexit is NOT Armageddon 😉 After all: It still will take a while until that “divorce” is completed and there is time to find workable solutions. At the moment the reactions of the markets and the politicians remind me of those of headless chickens.
Personally however I do have a more Euro-sceptical view than you, because the attitude of the EU and its demands clash heavily with the direct democracy we have in my country.
I agree that the EU has its advantages and a coordinated cooperation of European countries makes a lot of sense (especially since European countries were more or less at war with each other for over 1500 years right up to WW2). And it does as well for more reasons, especially when it comes to keep the peace between European states, the protection of environment, fighting criminal organisations or having free trade agreements between the states and some others. In those matters I’m all for an European Union.
But I see the EU as it is now as a very bloated construct that repeatedly has failed to come up with practical and pragmantic solutions for the various problems that have arisen during the last 20 years. It also continually fails to listen to the worries and objections of the common people about the increasing demand and wear of funds inside the EU, about globalization, migration or refugees. Nor does the EU to give them an actual say in those important matters.
I often heard EU and other politicians say in the news that the ordinary people are just too stupid to recognize the advantages the EU has. Which – in my humble opinion – is a very arrogant attitude that alienates people even more.
The EU also interferes more and more with the domestic policy of its member states, with rules, laws and regulations that often cuts into the constitutional rights of the people and sovereignty of those countries.
Furthermore it devours huge sums of money – billions and billions – the member states have to pay with the money from their tax payers, but it delievers less and less solutions that are actually supported by the majority of people in the member states and not only by their governments.
As I see it: If it continues like it does, the EU becomes more and more a colossus on clay feet.
From my point of view the EU needs to undergo basic reforms – and soon! Cut the bloated bureaucracy, get rid of all the swollen but basically meaningless declarations many of the member states don’t follow anyway, and let it come up leaner and more capable to work out practical and pragmantic solutions and answers than it is now. I truly believe less would be more.
So working together: Yes – but to be centralistic reigned by the EU: No.
So much for my humble opinion…. 😛
Wow! Well written! 🙂 Thank you ! For the greatest part I agree with you Yersinia! I do think though that it makes a difference if you never joined the EU. Then you are absolutely okay. But if you leave the EU ,the benefits are not there anymore, especially for younger people, who are used to those benefits , may have a harder time because some things they cannot do as easily anymore! Like going for an education in another country. And the EU needs a reform in every way! It is to bloated and is becoming a bureaucracy with not enough knowledge of the member states and their problems. In the Netherlands we are very capable to think for ourselves (most of us 🙂 ) and a lot what the EU says and does we do not like. However most of the Dutch want to stay in the EU (at least a few years ago) we felt that the pro’s are outnumbering the anti’s. In this time and age especially with all the terrorism there is a better communication because of the EU. Sharing of knowledge is good. I hope for the UK that they still have access to this kind of knowledge.I also hope that Scotland will turn around a bit so that there is not going to be a division inside the UK . Who knows. Let’s wait and see what happens in the next few months.!
Xandra, thank you for pointing out a valid aspect I haven’t thought of:
The difference of never have been a member state and therefore over the years to have worked out different solutions as well as bilateral agreements with the EU versus to have been a member and now loosing the benefits of the EU all at once, but not having yet an alternative plan or solution how to actually to cope with the consequences.
Let’s keep our fingers crossed the politicians of the EU and Britain as well as the Scots stay now levelheaded and start to work on practical solutions that all parties can agree on. To get caught up in petty retaliations would help no one.
Or as you said: Let’s wait and see what happens 😉
If we two can agree on the main points about the EU despite coming from a more pro-Eu-view and a more EU-sceptical-view, why shouldn’t the EU, the Brits and the Scots be able to that? Let’s hope they have the maturity 😛
LOL… I sure hope all the involved parties will stay levelheaded! I don’t know when Brexit will be a fact but you are right, the Uk should start negotiating right away! I hope the younger Brits will have the same opportunities (more or less) as before. Nowadays you need all kind of agreements with other countries to flourish and have a safe country.
And 🙂 of course we can have a different opinion. That makes it interesting imo. As long as there is a civil discussion everything can be worked out!