As Britain voted whether to leave the European Union or remain, rain lashed down across London, flooding main railway lines and parts of the London Underground. The previous day had been warm and sticky, with massive thunderstorms overnight.
Midsummer can be a strange season: June 24 dawned warm and faintly sunny, as people woke to the news that a majority had voted “Brexit,” Prime Minister David Cameron was about to resign and a new chapter had opened in political history.
For weeks, TV, the Internet, newspapers and house-to-house leaflets bombarded the nation. Leading figures in banking and show business — together with the official government spokesmen — urged us to vote “Remain.” Boris Johnson, until recently the mayor of London, and an assortment of campaigners led the campaign to “Leave.” And the Church weighed in, with the Catholic bishops urging us to vote prayerfully and after due reflection: While remaining neutral, they somehow vaguely communicated a faint sense that “Remain” might be the better option.
Catholics were divided on this issue, along with everyone else. The “Leave” campaign included Catholic writers Charles Moore of The Spectator and Tim Stanley of The Daily Telegraph. But many Catholics were just as deeply committed to the “Remain” camp. And at no point did the “Catholic issues,” such as abortion, euthanasia or same-sex unions, even remotely figure in the agenda. This Brexit business was essentially all about political independence, parliamentary traditions, immigration, democracy and economic matters.
Many people were certainly convinced that remaining in the European Union would bring more prosperity and that any decision to leave would cause disruption, hardship and unemployment, as businesses faced an uncertain future. Among some young people, there was also a sense of incredulity that any country could switch course away from the European Union: a feeling that anyone who wanted to do so must have nostalgic ideas about a Britain of the past belonging to black-and-white movies and a vision of the nation as it was in the 1940s or earlier.
This article continues at [National Catholic Register] Britain Needs More Than Brexit