Living in a crown dependency, neither I nor my family had a vote in the EU Referendum last week, even though Gibraltar did. I am a political person, a former borough and country councillor. I voted to stay in Europe the last time, but this time I found it harder to decide because the EU has developed into such a mess. It is not the same organisation as we signed up to in 1973. It is much harder to work with 27 countries who have their own agendas than with half a dozen. In the end I would have voted Remain, because the pros outweigh the cons but not by much!
I thought the vote a foregone conclusion so I did not even stay up to watch the results, even though I love elections! I missed history in the making! Nobody was more surprised to wake up on Friday morning to find we were out of Europe. I regret this outcome, but it won't stop me going to Spain or France as I love both countries very much.
Once the vote was taken, there is no excuse for trying to change it. The people have spoken and although I did not like the outcome, it has to be respected. I am proud that we have a democracy where the will of the people is paramount in spite of the Establishment or the opinions of other countries. We cannot go back.
As a good Manxwoman, I feel it strange to be saying 'we' when I mean England but I spent a large chunk of my life there and part of my family were English. England was good to me. This is a time to stand up and be counted, when we all must work together to make our future secure and we will.
Since I write historical novels, please excuse me for saying that England and the British Empire stood alone once before in 1940 and, with the help of non-European nations, we eventually went on to win. Both my parents were in the armed services and my father-in-law was fatally wounded at Dunkirk. I have a stake in England and I know it will survive and prosper.
I hated the fact that we turned our back on our own people in the Commonwealth to join the EEC and I was not alone in this opinion. I just hope they will be gracious to us now.
We must look forward. We must make our future happen, with friendship for other countries and malice to none. Let us hope that our future government is up to the task.
I wonder what impact this will have for writers and the publishing industry? Time will tell.