Whatever one’s view, the referendum has divided the country whilst calling on it to make a decision based on guesswork, misinformation, scaremongering and pure lies – on both sides. And yet, in the end, the people have decided that their history must be rewritten, that their future must be outside of Europe, and, for many expats in Tenerife, their own future in Spain is now a matter of negotiation and uncertainty.
Clearly, nothing will change quickly for those of us who live in Tenerife, but in the medium and long term, where this will leave residents here with regard to their right to stay, or their right to healthcare, or their right to drive, or to receive their pension, or their future generally, no-one fully knows. And the same probably applies to David Cameron, who might now regret calling the referendum that was in essence purely to placate his party’s Eurosceptic wing in order to support his claim to lead the Tory party.
As of 6am this morning, the pound has plummeted against foreign currencies, some other countries in the EU have already made noises about a referendum of their own (Geert Wilders in the Netherlands has just openly called for one), and the issues of independence in Scotland and unification in Ireland have already raised their head. David Cameron may well have succeeded in breaking up the UK as well as the EU. I don’t think that’s the legacy he will have expected … or have wanted. The price of a man’s ambition will yet have ramifications beyond the aspirations and lives of British residents in Tenerife.