The result is clear in Shropshire. On a 77% turnout, 57% of the voters in this county said we should leave. That bigger than the UK trend, where leave has 52% with some areas still to declare as I publish this at 5.35am.
I don’t like the result. But it’s a democratic result and a result for democracy. People voted yesterday who had not voted before or very rarely voted. That’s a significant win.
The worst thing that can happen now is that we hurt ourselves. George Osborne promised an emergency austerity budget if we voted out. If that comes true, we will damage our economy and support for vulnerable people in our country.
I also fear with Scotland voting in, and England and Wales voting out, we are now a deeply divided country. I worry too that younger people voted in but older people voted out. It’s the young people that will have to live with this decision.
Scotland has voted in favour of the UK staying in the EU by 62% to 38%. Voters there will not be happy having their future dominated by an England that wants out. Scotland is an internationalist country. I cannot see how a new vote on Scottish independence can be denied, certainly not by a government led by David Cameron.
London also voted in. Most of the cities and shires outside the capital voted out. That will reinforce the growing divide between London as an international economic powerhouse, while the rest of the country ticks along at a slower speed.
Cameron and Osbourne no longer have a mandate to run the country. Their credibility has been undermined not just by losing this vote and losing our place in the EU. George Osborne spat out inane nonsense about pensions diving and taxes going up. David Cameron issued threat after threat, even claiming that our pensioners’ bus passes will be withdrawn. At one point I expected these two scaremongers to threaten that Britain would be swallowed up by sea serpents if we left the EU.
During this campaign, Cameron and Osbourne brought further discredit to the troubled arts of politics. I cannot see they have right to continue, even if Tory MPs including Philip Dunne are rallying around them on Twitter.
The photo of Farage standing in front of a poster of suffering refugees sickened me. But he and his supporters gained strength yesterday, something they failed to do in the general election. Their anti-immigration rhetoric worries me. We are a tolerant country and we must remain so.
We must now get on with the business of leaving the EU and do that with as little fuss and turbulence as possible.
I spoke on BBC Radio Shropshire this morning, rather breathlessly while walking Mel the Collie.