As an ex politics l student I was stunned, as a business owner I was worried, and as a mother I was heartbroken. When the nation spoke on Thursday 23rd June it wasn’t the language I was expecting.
And I wasn’t alone; many eminent figures from the worlds of business, art, retail and medicine quickly declaring that xenophobia, ignorance, stupidity and fear were the driving forces; the future is doomed and that self-serving politicians had totally let us down.
The leave campaigners were quieter. Very quiet. In fact, silent.
It was without question one of the most emotional responses to a vote I have ever studied or personally experienced, but with the turnout it generated one can understand why. Couples, families and colleagues were as divided as the voting reflected.
Within hours of the result the PM had resigned (an honourable and decent fellow, no doubt, but not your finest hour in my opinion ‘Dave’); the exit button was left hanging; the opposition was in turmoil (he’s a decent chap too, apparently…); the FTSE had plummeted; company shares had fallen; European leaders were in disbelief; and Scotland, well Scotland… it was a particularly bitter pill to swallow whatever side of the argument you were on. A mess.
And still no reassurance from the Bremainers.
But three weeks on, as I write and reflect now, the dust is beginning to settle. A new PM is in place. And she’s getting on with it – a sensible and very canny selected cabinet has been appointed (and for the record I think BoJo will be her ace, not her joker).
Trident sorted followed by a visit to Germany to meet the formidable Chancellor; and she has made it clear, very clear, that she intends to take time and considered views before making key decisions. She is what I would call ‘my kind of business women’ (albeit it not necessarily drinking partner…), and just what the country needs at this time: a firm, tough, measured love without an ego in sight (hallelujah).
She can have a job with me, any day.
That said, there’s no question that this historic decision will raise significant challenges in the months and years ahead. The full consequences of the decision to leave the EU will not be known for some time and that uncertainty is destructive.
But, for now, we must remember that nothing changes… the UK remains a member of the EU and continues to abide by laws and regulations; we trade, travel and work tomorrow as we did yesterday.
May has a big job. A big job! She will trigger our exit and launch and negotiate our exit negotiations. More ‘everything to play for’ than ‘down and out’. We need to get up and get on, and she has brilliantly led this in the immediate aftermath. As with all change, opportunities will be born. And I think that’s the position that the electorate, businesses and communities alike need to embrace to help ensure a constructive way forward. We all have a part to play in that to help unite and renew confidence.
Good luck May I say: regardless of right, left, Brexit, Bremain, north or south – as our Leader you should expect the respect that that position should bring. As much of a reflection on us as you. Let’s see what the next chapter brings.
These views are entirely personal.