I write at 6 am, at exactly the point when “vote leave won”.
There will be many blogs written trying to make sense of the vote, this will not be one of them.
I voted remain and at mid-day yesterday, I was bragging that there was (on Betfair predicts) an 88% chance that I would win. I was so wrong!
At around mid-night, my partner and I accepted that the votes in Sunderland and Newcastle weren’t bucking a wider trend. my Betfair app was as out of keeping with the unfolding reality as I was!
What is this?
This is the great kick in the whatnots that this country has been waiting to deliver to the ruling minority in Westminster and the City since it all went horribly wrong in 2008.
72% of us voted, the biggest turn-outs being in the Brexit areas. This was no fluke, this was democracy in action.
The Scottish are already calling for independence and the right to maintain in Europe. So is Sinn Feinn.
The pound has fallen 10% overnight, the stock market is expected to follow suit. I have been walking the streets of the City, taxis are rushing people to their desks, this is a financial crisis.
My memory of the weekend is walking down streets in Thames Ditton where almost every detached property had a remain sticker in its window. The economic prospects for the wealth of the families within, now looks tarnished.
There was a rainbow breaking over Gateshead, the town that links Sunderland and Newcastle.
Whatever this is, this is democracy in action.
And for intergenerational fairness.
This table tells its own story, I don’t suspect we’ve heard the last of this.
And in Europe
This is a sad day for Europe.
The reality is that Europe feels it needs the UK rather more than the other way round. Ordinary families in Poland and other European countries are now in fear for the millions of their compatriots in the UK. No announcement has been made of their status as UK residents but the tone of our debate has made them unwelcome.
Just how difficult this will be for the European super state is one of the great questions we now have to consider.
And for British politics
This has been a disastrous referendum, I said this yesterday and today. It has not been carried out in a decent way and it has massively backfired on its architects. It has not been good for the Labour party or the Unions and it is heartbreaking for the few remaining Liberals ( of whom I am one).
The new politics will be very different. We will have new leaders and we will have new policies.
Stop press+++ David Cameron resigns within an hour of announcement+++Stop press
Before this vote, George Osborne threatened us with a punishment budget if we voted as we did. The chance of him carrying out this threat look slim.
And for pensions
On 13th June 2016, Andrew Warwick-Thompson Head of Policy at the Pensions Regulator wrote to me rejecting my request to set up a meeting between him and leading figures in the Transparency Task Force.
We note that it is the FCA’s view that this (transparency) will be best achieved as a pan-European initiative (e.g. PRIPS, amongst others) as many UK investment managers operate across Europe, indeed many operate globally.
Pensions, as almost every area of public policy will now have to adjust to a new reality, that we are no longer subject to European initiatives and are now self-determining.
The immediate impact of this vote on pension scheme deficits is likely to be mixed, assets will fall (disastrous for those in draw-down) but liabilities may fall too – if inflation kicks in.
Where do we go from here?
This is the political consequence of austerity. We have thrown out the post-war consensus in exchange for a very uncertain future.
We have no choice but to accept this astonishing development and we will have to move forward.
I am not going to shout in anger at the people who voted differently than me nor shout at Nigel Farage and others whose views I do not share.
Like tens of millions of others, I will go to work today and put in my shift.