By: Emma Osborne, Born in Liverpool, studying in Paris
Vote Leave supporters keep reminding us they want to live in a democracy. They keep telling us that the EU Referendum was a democratic vote, and that the result must be respected. They conclude that therefore those who voted Remain cannot be upset, complain or feel angry about the result.
I have every right to feel upset. I have every right to feel betrayed, angry and confused. I voted, along with 48% of the country, in favour of remaining in the European Union. Just as the vote was democratic and must be respected, it is my right to express my opinion on the outcome.
This referendum was of huge importance to me. I come from Liverpool, an area which has benefited enormously from EU funding – whether this be for the ECHO Arena, Liverpool John Lennon Airport, both of our beautiful cathedrals or many more projects to restore our forgotten city to its former majesty. Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s expressed a wish to abandon our city. The European Union showed its will to work with us. Only today I visited the Walker Art Gallery and found that their exhibitions had received funding from the EU Regional Development Fund.
I refuse to believe that a Tory government (something we will be stuck with for the foreseeable future) will maintain the level of investment in areas such as my own. With Boris Johnson looking likely to become the next prime minister, I fear deeply that Liverpool will be neglected and overlooked. Johnson is quoted as having expressed enormous dislike for our great city, going so far as to dismiss the tragedy of the Hillsborough disaster as the result of “drunken Liverpool fans” and claiming that we see ourselves “whenever possible as victims”. This is absolutely disgusting and insulting to anybody from this city.
When I voted to Remain, I voted with my head, my heart and my soul. I voted for communication with our nearest neighbours. I voted for multiculturalism in all its wonderful forms. I voted to show love to Europe, the same love that was so desperately needed following the devastation and divisions during World War I and World War II. For me, the most upsetting thing about Britain leaving the EU is not the negative effects on the economy but the ideas that this decision represents. I used to view Britain as a multicultural, open and loyal country that stood by its neighbours and did not shut up shop when the going got tough. I now see that those characteristics are not at all fitting to describe Britain. We as a country have chosen to be inward looking, self-serving and ignorant.
I used to be proud to be from Britain. That is no longer true.
Now, I am proud to be from Liverpool. I’m proud to be living in Paris, studying for a French degree and reaching out to our French neighbours. I’m proud to be outward looking, tolerant and welcoming towards different cultures.
I am proud to be part of the 48%.
"Don't tell me not to be upset" Reviewed by Student Voices on 11:56 Rating: