Students in UK Offer Firsthand Account of Historic Brexit Vote

• from Meisha Swaby

Voters in the United Kingdom went to the ballot box Thursday to have their say on whether Britain should remain a member of the Euro­pean Union.

Polls leading up to the vote showed the “leaving” and “remaining” sides in a dead heat, and  North­eastern stu­dents living and working in London say the atmos­phere has been incred­ibly tense—and that uncer­tainty has led to volatility.

“I’m cur­rently in the U.K., where it is get­ting quite hos­tile,” Dana Landman, AMD’18, a British cit­izen, said ear­lier this week. “Everyone has a strong opinion on it, and that has cre­ated quite a sig­nif­i­cant amount of unnec­es­sary conflict.”

Landman pointed to the shooting death of British politi­cian Jo Cox last week as an example of the insta­bility. Cox, who sup­ported staying in the EU, had just fin­ished meeting with con­stituents when she was shot and stabbed by Tommy Mair, who author­i­ties say may have had links to right- wing extremism.

Katie Mul­ligan, who is cur­rently on co- op at Wellington Man­age­ment Inter­na­tional in London, noted that an air of uncer­tainly has lin­gered over the impli­ca­tions of the ref­er­endum results.

“No one really knows what is going to happen and there is con­stant dis­cus­sion in the work­place, at pubs, and on the Tube about the poten­tial impli­ca­tions of a vote either way,” Mul­ligan, DMSB’19, explained on Wednesday. “With so much uncer­tainty, how­ever, many people feel very pas­sion­ately about the vote. It has turned into more of an emo­tional vote rather than a vote based on fact, which has made the atmos­phere pretty tense.”