Yesterday the UK voted to leave the EU. For the millions who voted to remain, here are nine reasons not to panic.
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1 The UK is the new Iceland. The wonderful land of Bjork, Sigur Rós, and pickled herring is one of the world’s over achievers. Not a bad sister nation.
2 We will still be in the European Economic Area. The consensus of both Leave and Remain is to keep free movement of people. If we enter the EEA by joing EFTA then French people living in London can carry on doing so visa free, as can your Uncle Keith living in Marbella. Nothing will change.
3 Nigel Farage is obsolete. He is not an MP. He won’t get to make the rules. Whatever he thinks about immigration doesn’t matter. Only our elected MPs have a say, and they are calm, sensible folk.
4 The economy may improve. Open Europe’s analysis of scenarios suggested a possible fall of 2.2 per cent by 2030. Or... with the right deal, a rise of 1.6 per cent. It’s all about the deal.
5 This was coming. The European Project was misfiring, giving us Jobbik, Golden Dawn, True Finns and a resurgent Front National. Think of the UK as a pressure valve, blowing off steam before one of these parties gained power and really blew the up EU.
6 The EU will make a counter-offer. The EU loses referendums from time to time. There’s always a back up plan to keep the project moving. Look at Denmark voting No to Maastricht in 1992, Sweden declining the Euro in 2003, Ireland rejecting the Lisbon Treaty in 2008.
7 We’ll be a democracy. If you want to change something you can do it. No lobbying a remote European Commissioner. Our MPs will make the laws and you can aproach them directly. New Zealand and Canada balance their international obligations whilst maintaining a parliamentary democracy, and we’ll be back to this straightforward situation.
8 The UK economy is strong. Unemployment is at the lowest since 2005, inflation rock bottom, growth adequate, crime is at record lows, and our sectors are diversified. We negotiate from a position of strength.
9 You are still European. Just like Norwegians, Swedes, Croats, Albanians, Swiss and Romanians The former European Coal and Steel Community never defined our identity. Or looking wider, to quote the philosopher Thomas Paine, “The world is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion.”