Stephen Green believes that the Referendum exposed the deep divisions in our society, and also an unrealistic pride in our history. He sees the new situation as a chance for honest self-analysis, recognition and repentance, leading to better conditions in the areas which voted Leave, and a humbler stance in the world.
I woke up very early that morning. The news was a shock and sleep vanished instantly. And shock was what many others I know felt too. I and they had voted to remain. Over the following days, the mood – in me and around me – was a swirling mix of disbelief, dismay and anger. Even the Leavers amongst my friends and acquaintances were surprised. And it became clear very quickly that few people in either business or government had much idea what Brexit would mean in specifics. For a while, some Remainers – who seemed to become more passionate in defeat than they had been at any stage in the campaign – pinned their hopes on the petition for a new referendum.
Some still hope that it may not in the end come to an actual Brexit: that a new grand bargain which in effect changes the nature of the EU will allow continued British membership on a basis which is more acceptable to the British people. Others – both Leavers who had been nervous about whether they had done the right thing by their children (as one father of a nineyear-old confessed to me), and Remainers who have been relieved that so far at least the sky has not fallen in – are becoming more relaxed now that the new Government seems to be getting its act together, and more optimistic that Britain will find a reasonable modus vivendi with its European neighbours.
We shall see. But whatever happens, there can be no definitive Christian view on the specifics of the case for leaving or remaining in the EU. The case could be and was argued on both sides by committed Christians on…