Saturday, 25 June 2016

Natalie Lamb and the Brexit Opinions of Students

For the past month, the UK media has been saturated with information (whether fact or opinion) about the  EU referendum. The results were announced yesterday and I felt a post had to be completed on it. Instead of just giving you my opinions, I have asked for the opinions of my fellow students, so you can really see how people are thinking and feeling at this time of change.

I was really surprised at how passionate the students were. These are science PhD or EngD or MSc students, not politics students. They are from Cranfield University, Sheffield University and Imperial College London, so it was a mixture of universities too. I kept the questions unbiased and yet the opinions all seem to lean in the same direction.

Did you feel properly informed before the election?
"Yes, thanks to Buzzfeed"
"As well as I could have been, I think, as a lot of it was guess work"
"Yes in terms of the amount of reading. No in terms of true facts"
"Yes- the information was there if I wanted to know more"

How certain of your vote were you?
"100% IN"

When did you decide which way you would vote?
"The day I was born"
"As soon as the referendum was called"
"As soon as it was announced"
"Monday before 23rd"
"A few months ago. I was even more convinced after watching a video on EU law by a Liverpool professor" 
"As soon as it was announced"

How did you feel when the results were released?
"Angry and ashamed"
"Sad. Disheartened"
"Gutted/quite ashamed to be English"
"Devastated. Why would people want this?"

How do you think your future will be changed?
"Not sure yet, but most likely negatively"
"I don't know whether I'll stay in the UK"
"Massively for the worse"
"It's looking a lot gloomier. There could be limits on my exposure to different cultures, traditions and people, which is sad"
"I finish my PhD in 2020 and am worried there will be less funding for research and innovation. I am worried I will have greater difficulty finding a job"

How do you think the UK's future will be changed?
"The poor will be most negatively affected by likely reduction in human rights protection and employability laws"
"Less multicultural. Less open to foreigners"
"Massively for the worst. It will set Northern Ireland back by 20-30 years with the troubles and it is a big worry for me. We now look to be a bigoted/narrow-minded nation and this will cause unrest in the UK"
"Who knows"
"Beyond repair. Our borders, strength, unity will shrink and we will ALL be worse off"
"I'm worried we will no longer be a united kingdom- Scotland will want to leave and what would stop Ireland and Wales leaving too? I am scared other countries will think of us as racist."

Any other comments?
"Fuck Gove! Fuck Boris! And fuck Farage too!"
"I feel like I'm not welcome in a country I love and where I would have wanted to live in the next few years"
"I sincerely hope that the leave campaign proves me wrong but I have serious concerns for my own and my children's futures, as well as the future of every other nation"
"Crazy how people like me can vote on something so big. Who knows what would happen either way! I found like 'parent age' voted leave more than people my age. World is doomed!"
"I remember studying the break down of the League of Nations in high school and thinking how ridiculous it all was- couldn't they all see it coming? I think the next generation may be sitting there in high school thinking the same about this situation. I hope not but that's how I feel"

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