Fear-mongering on both sides rule the day and violence ( the murder of MP Jo Cox, being the most serious so far), is in the air. The campaign has been suspended for the last few days after the killing of Cox, who campaigned very passionately for the Remain side, and who favored immigration, especially of the Syrian refugees).
Those campaigning against leaving, talk about a "leap in the dark", about pensions, investments, Health care, the economy on the whole, about free movement of the 2 million expats living in Europe( 800,000 in Spain alone3) and of the 3 million Europeans in Britain. This is not merely fear-mongering but real concern that Britain will be isolated, that it will not have the European markets and must negotiate new treaties ( 47% of trade with Europe (7% with Germany), that investments will dry up; that the economy will shrink ( 5.6% by one estimate)and rather than protecting jibs and security, it would instead see the loss of jobs, a threat to pensions and to health care ( the latter two in direct relation to the aging population). Scotland, Northern Ireland want to stay ( in the case of Scotland, it remember its divisive referendum in 2014...the drop in the price of oil has them breathing a sigh of relief that the referendum was a defeat for those who wanted to leave, and they worry about being alone at this time of economic turbulence and a new currency, if the leave win).
Those in favor of leaving talk about the loss of sovereignty (bureaucrats in Brussels has too much power), the loss of identity ( Eastern Europeans and others), the loss of culture and the loss of religion (Muslims), the loss of jobs to cheap labor from Europe, being swamped by Syrian refugees, loss of control of the courts to European courts, even the loss of democracy
(British), to " others" with no sense of democracy and with different values. Its main proponent is Boris Johnson, the former mayor of London and who wants to replace Cameron as leader of the Conservatives, the fascist/ racist/ nativist British National Party, the UKIP and the Sun newspaper which warns against " the relentlessly expanding German-dominated federal state"( the fears that Brussels is controlled by Germany. They have been successful with their message of fear and have them "taking up arms against a sea of troubles".
June 23, 2016, is dawning.
Britain has voted by 52% to Leave, and now we are beginning to see the effects. The immediate casualty is David Cameron who called the referendum The markets are a sea of red from London to Paris to Tokyo to Wall Street. Investment flows are going to affected; the pound is down to its lowest in 30 years; the Bank of Scotland is withdrawing hundreds of workers and the 1000s of companies (3000 from Japan ), which have been operating in GB in order to get access to the 500 million Europeans will be reassessing their position; the 3 million Europeans in Britain and 2 million Brits in Europe will be affected; Scotland which voted by 73% to Remain, will be thinking seriously of another referendum ( Strugeon, has said it is "highly likely"; N. Ireland may well seek to leave also and may even contemplate a closer relation with the Rep. of Ireland. And there is Europe itself, is this the beginning of the unravelling? European leaders are quite concerned about economic, social and political uncertainty and instability.
Whatever the reason for this outcome, whether fear, hate, immigration, jobs, identity, racism, nativism, ignorance, insecurity, whatever, they have sown the wind and the whirlwind is at hand.