10:33 GMT29 May 2020
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    Britain Says 'Cheerio' to EU (463)

    Britain awoke on 24 June 2016, to news that those who wished to leave the European Union had their dreams and desires granted after the Leave campaign won by 52 percent to 48 percent as 30 million people went to the polling stations to vote in the UK's referendum on EU membership.

    London was the only region across England and Wales to vote in favor of remaining in the EU, with "In" winning 2,263,519 votes compared to 1,513,232 voting "Out." So, it comes as no surprise that the most common word on the streets of the UK's capital city was "devastated," as Sputnik discovered.

    "I'm totally devastated about the result. It's really unexpected in the borough of Lambeth, where there is a huge Remain vote, and I thought that feeling was replicated across the whole country," Kate Richards, who runs a shop in Brixton Village told Sputnik.

    "I have a lot of European stockists and European staff — and I'm devastated that my relationship with them could come to an end."

    Tabatha also works in Brixton, running a shop called "Circus." 

    "I woke up devastated. I can't believe this is the outcome and this is how British people feel. It feels like I've woken up in the 1970s and we've gone back to a 'Little England' type of mentality. I'm really worried about what's going to happen."

    For a region that overwhelmingly voted to remain in the EU, there is no surprise that tears have been shed by some of those who wanted to stay "in."

    "I'm absolutely gutted. The sun might be shining but I'm not feeling this vitamin D," Sherri, who is from Canada told Sputnik as tears welled in her eyes.

    "I'm on the verge of tears, emotions are high for everyone. This is horrible — I'm gutted." 

    Alongside devastation and tears in London, was an overwhelming sense of shock. 

    "I voted Remain even though I thought the EU was far from perfect. The result has simply shocked me," Camden resident Jeremy, told Sputnik.

    "I blame the Leave campaign for spreading so many lies and vitriol. But I'm also miffed with the Remain camp, because I felt they didn't do enough."

    Elsewhere in Croydon, south east of London, 25-year-old Nicola, told Sputnik the result was "an absolute surprise."

    "I believed it was simply impossible that people could vote to leave — and I can still hardly believe it has happened.

    "I think it will be bad for the economy, for tourism, for universities, it's a nightmare."

    Amanda Owens, a leading sports psychologist is equally shocked — but remained upbeat as she sipped coffee with a friend in a south London cafe.

    "It's a bit of a shock — great for change — but I'm deeply shocked that David Cameron has resigned."

    "I think he's been a great Prime Minister. I think its a huge shame for the country that he's stepped down and that we'll have to have a new PM in October. I think change is good, however it will be unstable: economically and financially. I do think the outcome is positive though — it's just a shock."

    Back in Brixton, Oscar Taylor, a graphic designer who also volunteers in a cafe, told Sputnik he was feeling melancholic. 

    "I was shocked and then instantly resigned myself to dejection and melancholy. Everyone I know is disappointed that we've left the EU.

    "I hope that the continuing resurgence of right-wing politics which has been legitimized by leaving the EU will drive the younger generation to more constructive politics."

    Gathering opinion across the UK's capital city on the fallout from the majority vote for the UK leaving the EU, Sputnik spoke to Paul Gallie, an independent poll consultant who sounded almost ecstatic that the UK had voted to leave.

    "It's an absolutely fantastic day for the UK and this clearly shows that we want to take command of our own situation.

    "In the words of Winston Churchill — it's never been better, because we get control back. My hopes for the future are for a bigger, greater, stronger Britain," Gallie told Sputnik.

    In east London, Roger, a pensioner, sounded defiant. "Politicians have long been out of touch with people.

    "We can't take more immigrants, we can't just accept the strain on our services and we can't allow some guys in Brussels to decide how we run our country.

    "For me, it was a no-brainer to vote out."

    On a more somber note, Emma who is 35 and lives in South Kensington, finds the situation very difficult to deal with — but with sadness turning to anger. 

    "Our public services and the NHS transport system, rely a lot on people coming from the EU, who usually work much harder that Brits. We, us in London just can't make it without those people. I'm so angry."

    With London overwhelmingly voting to remain, bucking the national trend, it comes as no surprise that a petition calling for London to declared independent from the UK and apply to join the EU, has been backed by more than 60,000 signatures. The decision to leave, now becoming a real-life nightmare for many people living in the UK's capital city. 

    Britain Says 'Cheerio' to EU (463)


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