My friends - well yes, they tend to be left-wing, liberal, anti-racist Europeans. Of course they all voted Remain. But even my family voted Remain! My dad's family suddenly remembered that they are immigrants, and that they are in favour of a free market. My 89-year old grandmother who is horribly racist despite having black grandchildren and great-grandchildren - even she voted Remain! Apparently because she doesn't like Boris Johnson and doesn't want him in charge of anything, but that's still a better reason than a lot of people who voted Leave.
According to the front page of the BBC News site, 17,410,742 people, being 51.9% of those who voted, chose to Leave. Meanwhile 16,141,241 people, being 48.1% of those who voted, chose to Remain. That isn't a clear mandate for anything! Even if the figures were reversed, even if Remain had narrowly squeaked through... I would still be saying that the country is divided, that it isn't a clear mandate either way.
What bothers me is this. My mum manages a block of flats for retired people. In order to make changes to services offered, she needs to follow a Code of Practice which states that to make changes to the status quo, all of the following criteria must be met:
1. 66% of the votes received must support the proposal,
2. 51% of the total number of leaseholders must support the proposal, and
3. not more than 25% of the total number of leaseholders are against the proposal.
Leaving the European Union is many, many orders of magnitude more important for the country than any change to services provided by a block of retirement flats, and yet a 3.8% majority is apparently enough to make the change!
I just can't take this in.