The people of the United Kingdom voted narrowly to leave the open borders and economic intermixing of the European Union yesterday. The campaign to leave prevailed by a margin of 1.3-million votes, or 3.8-percent. The areas of England and Wales portion of the country voted narrowly to leave, while Northern Ireland and Scotland had larger margins which favored remaining.
The results surprised many observers around the world, including here in Kodiak.
“My name is Frances Sandin and I was born in a place called Bexley, Kent, England.”
Sandin has lived in Kodiak for 49 years and is a naturalized American citizen. It turns out, her family back in the old country were split on the British Exit, or “Brexit,” vote.
“My brother went to Belgium yesterday, and I thought that was a pretty strange thing to do when you voted against the EU,” she said. “And then my sister, she couldn’t sleep last night worrying about it. She knows it’s going to be tricky. And she worries who on earth’s going to be the prime minister.”
Reports from the BBC indicate a generational split in the voting, with younger Britons voting in greater numbers to stay with the EU, and older ones voting to leave and tighten their borders, which Sandin says does not surprise her.
“Well, older people aren’t too thrilled…. are more likely to be bigots about immigrants and people coming. They have a thing about ‘England for the English,’ which is so stupid, you know,” she said. “I mean England has had people coming there for years. Indians and Jamaicans, you know, and they really help the economy.”
She pointed out that at its height under Queen Victoria, the United Kingdom had an empire on which the sun never set, which brought many Commonwealth citizens from around the world to England.
Sandin said she’s concerned now about the Brexit’s impacts to the UK’s economy, as well as the jobs of British citizens on the European Continent, which will be complicated because of the tightening of the country’s borders.