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It may be ‘Au Revoir’, but we are still European

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Yesterday morning, the UK awoke to find we have voted to leave the European Union.

For those who have been watching the events unfold for the last two years before this vote, it has been a rollercoaster of a ride, and one that has thrown up fascinating questions about the UK itself.

The reaction to the news has largely been of disappointment from those I have spoken with: students are gutted, and universities are issuing pleas for calm; the markets flopped, but are steadily stabling at lower levels; young people cry of a selfish older generation.

Some have said they will emigrate to Europe following the vote, and some have gone as far as to say they do not know their own country anymore.

What happened yesterday morning set in motion the process for the UK leaving a political, legal, and economic union with the other 27 members of the EU.

However, I want to stress this is not “au revoir”, “auf wiedersehen”, or “adiòs” in the fullest of senses.

The EU facilitated it, but Europe will forever be a social, cultural, and historically united region of this planet.

That sounds like hyperbole, but in a world whose horizons are stretching to more distant horizons, it is worth remembering that – regardless of what laws we subscribe to, or who we elect to parliament – we are part of a European family, and that will not change.

It is the same message as we heard in the 2014 independence referendum: we are a family of nations, and if we were part of a different state it does not take away the ties of friendship that have bound us since after the middle of the 20th century.

Many argue the EU is the cause for this. However, the EU has existed through 70 years of change, within which our attitudes have changed about ourselves and others.

The EU likely assisted that, but I believe it would have happened regardless. International co-operation and harmony will prevail in the modern age. We came together for the attacks in Brussels and Paris, and share in successes of innovation and creation.

Now, we must continue to ensure those bonds never fail, and push forward with a future decided by the people of the UK.

I will be providing more analysis on my website, which you can find here.

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“It is worth ascending unexiting heights if for nothing else than to see the big ones from nearer their own level.” - Nan Shepherd

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