This 'Financial Times' Comment On Brexit Is The Only Explainer You Need
Friday has been a sad day for approximately 48 percent of Brits. That's the chunk of the vote the Remain camp took home in the contentious referendum deciding the United Kingdom's future in the European Union on Thursday. Now, the vote has been certified — and the U.K. has voted itself out of the EU. As a result, millions of Brits are trying to come to terms with a future outside of Europe and without their partners on the Continent. One reader comment on a British newspaper's website has articulated these emotions in a summary of the Brexit vote from the Financial Times that has gone viral.
The comment, "a quick note on the first three tragedies" of the Brexit campaign and vote was signed by a Nicholas on the FT article, "Britain plunges into constitutional crisis after vote to leave EU," and was left just hours after the results of the vote came in. It was then distributed on Twitter by several accounts. First a user with the handle @AD7836 tweeted that it "puts it better than I ever could," and then later Nicole Perlroth, a cyber security reporter for the New York Times. The impassioned author touches on what he views as the three sad truths the U.K. woke up to Friday. Point one: It's those who will suffer most (and ironically are those who supported the referendum the most):
Firstly, it was the working classes who voted for us to leave because they were economically disregarded, and it is they who will suffer the most in the short term. They have merely swapped one distant and unreachable elite for another.
Before Thursday's referendum, polls showed younger voters wanted to remain in the 28-member bloc. Nicholas gives voice to their thoughts too:
Secondly, the younger generation has lost the right to live and work in 27 other countries. We will never know the full extent of the lost opportunities, friendships, marriages and experiences we will be denied. Freedom of movement was taken away by our parents, uncles, and grandparents in a parting blow to a generation that was already drowning in the debts of our predecessors.
His final point should really hit home for Americans. In the United States, we've seen Trump take over an election for the Republican nomination by bullying and disregarding economic facts to make unrealistic campaign promises. For examples, just look at his wall with Mexico and rhetoric with China. Here's what Nicholas said about the Brexit campaign:
Thirdly and perhaps most significantly, we now live in a post-factual democracy. When the facts met the myths they were as useless as bullets bouncing off the bodies of aliens in a HG Wells novel. When Michael Gove said, ‘The British people are sick of experts,’ he was right. But can anybody tell me the last time a prevailing culture of anti-intellectualism has led to anything other than bigotry?
Given the number of retweets and comments that the posts have gotten, there's no doubt that countless Brits share the sentiment.
If they were the majority, the U.K. wouldn't be facing recession, political uncertainty, and a generation of disappointed Europhiles.