Heather Rawson, social policy tutor at Vision West Nottinghamshire College, reflects on the outcome of the EU referendum.
100 years ago today, thousands of young men went ‘over the top’ in the trenches fighting for their country in what became the Battle of the Somme.
A week ago, Britain woke up to a shock result from the EU referendum.
Many commentators thought it would be close, but it was expected that the Remain campaign would win in the end.
The turnout numbers locally and nationally were the highest they had been for 20 years, suggesting that people who had not voted for a long time – and many who had never voted before – had decided that they wanted their say.
Democracy would still appear to be popular then; politicians – and particularly those in Westminster – not so well-revered.
The verdict was clear: Leave. Brexit had triumphed.
UKIP leader Nigel Farage made the most of his moment; his supporters clearly delighted.
Much had been made of the fact that this was a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity”.
The people of Britain, the people of Mansfield and Ashfield, took this opportunity and told their leaders they wanted change; they wanted to leave the EU, they wanted immigration to be curbed, they wanted more money to be spent on their NHS, their schools and their communities.
Deep-rooted divisions were revealed for not only the nation, but the wider world to see.
Brexit will need to address these issues to re-unite the country.
The question is, what happens now?
David Cameron has resigned, Labour leader Jeremy Corbin looks unlikely to remain in the long run, so the political situation is unstable.
This, as we know, is not good for the economy – so it needs to be sorted quickly, as we need a strong team to conduct the Brexit negotiations.
As football fans know, a strong team is needed for success – not a collection of individuals.