I’m genuinely shocked by the UK referendum result. I’d been largely ignoring it, mainly because, from what I did see, noone really had compelling arguments for either case, and much of what was said seemed simply untrue. I had assumed that it would be close, but that Remain would just sneak in. Clearly I was wrong.
I think this is a very disappointing outcome and that we will eventually regret this decision. I think it’s inward looking, short-sighted, slightly selfish and unwelcoming, and is using the EU as a scapegoat for problems that are mainly of our own making. I don’t think we will be better off out of the EU, and I think we’ve damaged our reputation both with our European neighbours and with a large part of the rest of the world. I also think it’s an indication that we’re rapidly forgetting why we forged these relationships in the first place; this wasn’t just about free trade agreements and economic activity, but was also intended as a way of developing a European community that works together to solve problems, rather than one that creates problems by regularly fighting amongst itself.
Of course I work in a sector that has benefited greatly from the EU and is very supportive of the overall goal of developing a community that collaborates for the benefit of all. The Higher Education sector, and research in particular, will probably suffer as a result of this decision. We will lose access to funding sources that have a brought a lot of research income into the UK and will probably find it harder to develop meaningful collaborations with European partners. If this were for the greater good, that might be fine, but I suspect it is not. I genuinely hope I’m wrong, though.
That’s all I really have to say. I think we’ve just taken a step in completely the wrong direction and I really do hope the consequences of doing so aren’t too severe.