‘The dust is settling on Post-Brexit Britain. The battle – more potent and more divisive than many could have imagined – is done. but the challenge – for leadership, for identity, for certainty – is just beginning.’
The aftermath leaves us with a nation divided along fault lines that have remained to many, until the referendum, soft: notional and deniable – though all too real to those on the front lines of deprivation and inequality in 21st Century Britain.
Now, these fault lines are definitive: we are a country cleft by age, by education, by region, by profession and opportunity and, if we allow it, by nationality. We have not been one nation fighting for our European identity, but many nations – many realities, countless versions of our Britain – fighting to assert itself in our national narrative.
And so the real battle must begin: not for ‘post-brexit Britain’, but for a Britain that works for those who would be In or Out; a Britain that works across regions, professions and classes; that leaves no one behind; a Britain in which its people are not compelled to use Democracy as an act of sabotage or cry of protest, but a tool of function and foresight and collective benefit.
A freshly isolated Britain in which we are newly divided is not one any of us can afford to countenance.
The Inequality of the Broken Britain that frontline organisations like the CSJ and the EIF and so many others have worked for years to address is no longer a concept that can be consigned to graphs and papers and sporadic governmental intervention. It has forced its way, rudely, into our political reality and our national consciousness.
And in this post-Brexit Britain, one thing is certain. To heal the rifts of this broken nation we must begin at the source: taking this opportunity to create, in these coming months and years, one Britain – united, if not by age, or race, or skill or region (and indeed what Britain would this be) but by equality of opportunity. Nothing can be more important.