Politicians need to listen and learn
The outcome of the EU referendum has plunged the political world into turmoil and inevitably led to much uncertainty about the future of the country. The Prime Minister has resigned and Labour is in the grip of an increasingly acrimonious bout of in-fighting and looks likely to be searching for a new leader, too. Of course, politics can be a notoriously unpredictable business but the current upheaval is on a scale that is unprecedented. For our politicians, the overriding priority now must be to ensure the Brexit transition is negotiated in a way that minimises delay and does not create a long period of uncertainty for businesses and people concerned about their jobs, the cost of living and the ability to travel. Discussion about whether there should be a second referendum is not helpful when it comes to addressing these challenges. Whinging about the outcome and demanding another poll is about as helpful to the country as lamenting the performance of the England football team at the European championships. The result is what it is. Leave means leave and David Cameron is right when he says the vote is a clear instruction from the British people. Of course, extricating the UK from the EU will not be easy. We are in a state of flux. But if our politicians have learned anything from the referendum it is that the people they represent often see them - rightly or wrongly - as detached from reality and part of an isolated Westminster elite. How our politicians respond to the referendum result gives them an opportunity to show they are listening and learning.