London, June 23 (IANS) Britons braved pouring rain and waded through deep water to reach polling stations to vote on whether UK should remain in the European Union. Twitter was flooded with comments on the Remain or Leave vote that is being watched with bated breath the world over.
British Scholar @britishscholar tweeted, reflecting on the gloomy weather and the crucial vote. “Brooding skies over @KingsCollegeLon on a critical day in British and world history. #Brexit”
@baldeguy56 tweeted in favour of an exit vote: “I don’t ask much from my followers, but as Patriots that are lovers of freedom & liberty, please pray for the Freedom of Britain today.”
Zoomin Moomin, tweeted in favour of Remain in a rhyming vote: “Today’s the day Great Britain/ To go a vote IN in this election/ To show that #Brexit bus/ We’ll not let them FEXIT UP for all of us! #Remain”
Chilled Bunny, in a philosophical note, posted: “#Brexit – how many people voting today have a clue as to any issues never mind the overall picture of the State in a Union? Democracy eh?”
Nico Yearwood @neeksman, in a similar vein, tweeted: “99% of the people don’t know what the hell they’re talking about when it comes to this referendum. #Brexit”
“Nigel Mitchell tweeted: “We all know #Brexit is possibly good for the UK and indubitably bad for the world. Wondering what we will wake up to ..”
Tonusree Basu, a 31-year old Indian public policy professional living in London, was among those who braved the heavy rain to vote. According to Basu, there was a good turnout at her polling station as it opened at 7 a.m., despite the heavy rain.
She described some of conversations she had with passersby, when campaigning for the Remain in the run up to the voting.
“The mood on the street is rather mixed – it could go either way. It surprised me to see how many people were keenly reading the leaflet and clearly wanted more information to make an informed choice. People from all walks of life – race, gender, age, and professional background – enthusiastically came up to me for “I’m In” stickers.
“But then there were others – a young man who crumpled the leaflet and threw it at me, yet another who expressed disdain at me for being an Indian who supported Remain, rather than leave so we could “throw out the ‘bad immigrants'” who take away our jobs. The latter gentleman didn’t quite have an answer when I suggested that the jobs might go out the door with the EU, if UK chose to leave,” Basu told IANS.
“Vote to remain people of Britain, you can still queue in the EU, don’t get left out in the rain #Brexit,” John Fagan tweeted.
Gautam Dey, a research scientist at the University College London, another Indian voter, described the mood among scientists in the UK: “The debate has been acrimonious and loud and angry, and the UK is clearly divided and conflicted.
“For scientists thinking about the future of UK science, though, there is no debate. The UK captures a disproportionately large share of EU science funding, far outweighing what it pays into the pot, and UK universities and research centres benefit hugely from the influx of skilled European scientists that live here, work here and contribute to the UK’s knowledge economy and its position at the forefront of global scientific research. Ask any scientist in the UK, and the chances are (more than 80 percent, to be precise) that they will unequivocally say, “I’m in”.”
“Shall we stay or shall we go?” – Gavin Barker, MP for Truro and Falmouth Constituency, in a blog wrote: “Someone asked me which way I was voting and why. Here is what I wrote:
I am a reluctant Remain voter with my doubts based largely on the points that you make in your email.
In the end I still believe in the spirit and ideal that embodies EU membership – a family of nations born out of the devastation of the second world war whose economic union sought to make war an impossibility, something unthinkable because close economic interdependence in a free trade zone meant everyone had too much to lose. From that emerged a closer social union, a fraternisation and closer understanding and appreciation of the different cultures, nations and peoples that made up the EU.
“…I believe in democracy and much of the Brexit campaign stressing democracy and sovereignty resonates with me – but I do not trust the people leading this campaign and the poison that has infected this campaign makes me shudder.
“In the end I believe the only way forward is to democratise the EU and take out the technocrats. Make the EU parliament much more powerful and embed the principle of subsidiarity that the EU embraces, so that places like Cornwall become autonomous regions in charge of their own transport, energy and healthcare. It can be done but it needs initial investment from the EU itself. Such are my thoughts.”