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Global Citizens send powerful message to the world after Brexit


Less than a week on from the EU referendum, the media is full of stories describing the deep divisions in British society. 

The Leave victory came as a shock to many on both sides, and the narrow margin seemed to reveal a fragmented nation, between the Leavers and the Remainers, young and old, rich and poor, English and Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish.

So in the hours after the referendum, we asked Global Citizens for their reactions to the outcome. We received responses from over 1,000 global citizens. The answers were raw and honest, but the overwhelming message offered a vison of hope — that despite our differences, the only way forward is by working together. Here’s what they had to say: 

“Many of us are anxious today, as our hopes for unity have been taken away, we will continue the spirit of love, solidarity and peaceful support with our brothers and sisters within the EU, hope remains and love remains.”

“Today's results will not stop me caring and supporting my neighbours in Europe or those further afield, around the no way does today's results in Great Britain mean that we are racist or xenophobic, and I hope people truly know this.” 

“We are a human race, not divided by national boundaries, we can unite with our thoughts and actions and continue to be a community of global citizens. We can show that the UK people do still care about the wider world.” 

“I am shattered! Having lived through the Second World War, I can't believe we don't want to be united with the countries of Europe, and stay good friends.”

“I'm all for unity. It's the only way forward. But please, please uniformity causes divisions. So let's all embrace our differences and unite together in love and hope for all our fellow earth residents.”  

“We must remember how fortunate we are to have had this democratic opportunity that many lack. We must stand together to find unity, even if many around want to be isolated and take on the world alone. We must pray for those who will be most affected but also send hope to them that in time we will get through this by standing together, united by love and faith our future will flourish despite the challenges we now face.”

“If you are an EU migrant living in the UK, you are welcome here. If you are studying here, you are welcome here. To our European friends, the youth of Britain still stand with you. To the rest of the world, we are better together and united as one.” 

“Don't listen to the messages of division stirred up by the media - so many of us in the UK care passionately about looking after the poorest and most vulnerable both here at home, in Europe and throughout the world. If we have chosen change at this point in time, it is to make that more possible in the future.”

wordcloud.pngA word cloud visualising the most frequently used words in these messages.

“Despite the vote I still believe Britain is the tolerant, open-minded country I grew up in; your struggles will remain my troubles, and together we will prevail.” 

“I see myself first as a citizen of the world, then of Europe and then of Britain. We need to continue to strive to emphasize those things that unite us not those that divide us.” 

“Many of us will be struggling today, feeling lost and alienated and apprehensive of what this means. But we need to make sure we stand up and continue to get our voices heard so those of hatred and fear no longer are the dominant ones. The struggles the world faces today need global, united voices and compassionate solutions that improve the lives of everyone. It is time that these are the one the rest of the UK and the world hears."

“Britain has made a choice to control its own economy and affairs. We love our country as we love our planet and all the people on it. Please re-unite and re-group in love and kindness to all races, genders and ages. Thank you.” 

“I have always felt I'm British rather than English, and a member of the human race more than anything else. This has not changed. We all need each other and should be able to feel we can lean on each other, support each other and rejoice in eachother’s individuality regardless of borders, nationality, religion and language. We are small and life is short, there's no time or energy for anything else.”

“Try to remember that we are all members of the human race, living on a very fragile planet, and one whose very existence is threatened every time nationalism triumphs.” 

“Let us work towards transforming this sad day into a positive improvement for all of the European Union. Uniting as human beings and residents and guardians of our one and only home, Earth, is far more important than any man-made boundaries and borders, which are of no interest whatsoever to the rest of the natural world." 

“Today's Brexit vote has not stopped me feeling like a citizen of the world. I am more determined than ever to contribute towards peace and unity in UK, Europe and the world.”