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Referendum's legacy a divided, resentful UK

Published 10/06/2016

I am now starting to have real concerns that, whoever wins the forthcoming referendum, the losing side will be left with a deep and perhaps inconsolable resentment.

While the 1975 vote was held following a vigorous and well-argued debate which focused mainly, if not exclusively, upon the economic benefits of us remaining in the Common Market, the result was - for the most part - accepted with good grace. This time round, the whole argument has become downright rough and dirty.

If we vote to stay in, there will be millions who will carry with them - perhaps for a generation - a deep resentment about current and further immigration.

If we decide to leave, there will be millions who will blame all future economic ills - whatever their cause - on those who wrenched us away from the security of the EU.

The legacy that the leaders of both sides will bequeath to us after their shabby campaigns is a divided nation. They should remember how history shows us that whoever wins a civil war, the nature of the conflict ensures that the losers never trust, or respect, the winners again.

I, for one, will never forgive them for it.


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