By Emma Campbell

Elm Staff Writer

Two years after the United Kingdom voted controversially in favor of leaving the European Union, nearly 100,000 people have taken to the streets of London in protest. A chorus of Anti-Brexit voices spread like wildfire across the capital of England on the second anniversary of the EU referendum, all longing for a nation returned to the days of old.

The people’s decision to leave the European Union was made by a 52 to 58 percent margin. Those who voted in favor cite a number of variables that led to their choice, including the Euro crisis, the burden of the EU’s economic regulations, and the notion that Britain deserved independence from the larger organization, as reported by Forbes in 2016.

Protestors who took part in the People’s Vote march brandished signs displaying messages like “Brexit wrecks it!” and “I’d like to wake up now, please!” The face of Margaret Thatcher was pictured on many posters and banners as a symbol of Britain’s success in the European Union. The former conservative prime minister was notoriously proud of the fact that England was a leader in establishing the EU’s single market economy. Nicholas Maclean, a former advisor to Thatcher, told The Guardian “[Margaret Thatcher] would be turning over in her grave.”

It is commendable that the people of Europe are standing for their beliefs, and although it is true that protestors have due cause to be angry, the question must be raised of whether it would be more productive for them to spend their energy elsewhere. Protesting a decision that will be almost impossible to overturn is ill-advised, while focusing on bettering a relationship with other countries in the EU is something the average British citizen could do that would help the split hurt less.

The vote to withdraw from the European Union was a reactionary act, certainly, but Anti-Brexiters must be realistic when it comes to reaching an agreement with their adversaries. Right now, the United Kingdom is at a stand-still as those in support of Brexit become impatient for the process to move along, while those in opposition hanker for another vote. To have Parliament overturn the decision in favor of another vote would appease the protestors for a moment, but this could very well backfire on them if the results prove to be the same.

The protests, while successful for raising awareness surrounding the devastating implications of Brexit, may also be making the situation more dire by causing gridlock. This would slow any progress that could be made in breaking Britain away from the EU, but would also create even more animosity in a nation that, in its current state, cannot afford to be divided.

To the London marchers, this is not a suggestion to become docile. It is vital for these citizens to make themselves heard — but not in a way that provokes unnecessary distractions to the government officials who wish to maintain a beneficial relationship with the EU. As it stands, the United Kingdom is scheduled to separate from the European Union on Mar. 19, 2019. If Britain stays wary and treads lightly, it may be able to ensure the break is favorable rather than destructive.

The Elm

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