Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

“Yes, we're scared but cannot resign ourselves”: Stylist's Susan Riley responds to the EU exit

use.jpg

Stylist's deputy editor Susan Riley reacts to a devastating night for Remain voters

I’m speechless. My train carriage was speechless (not that the 8.27 from Cobham is one for chat but this morning's commute was particularly sombre).

The Stylist office is sitting here, speechless. Aren’t we all? Even those who cast their remain vote as an act of rebellion or frustration must surely be too. 

Because HOW is this even happening? Right now, all I can think is wouldn’t it be brilliant if Donald Trump were voted in. Then at least we’d all be certain that the entirety of 2016 was just some monumentally bad dream and that, soon, we must surely wake up.

Yesterday I was due to fly to Nantes at 8am to join the Stylist team making an issue in France (oh, the irony).

David Cameron announces his resignation

David Cameron announces his resignation in wake of the Brexit vote

My flight was cancelled, then the trains back into London were delayed due to flooding on the tracks; it seemed like the end of the world. Now? Now I’d voluntarily sit at Gatwick airport for days, weeks, if we could only reverse the decision that’s just been made. Or rather, imposed.

Because that is what it feels like; democracy suddenly feels rather stifling.  

From the moment I woke up and saw Nigel Farage’s beaming face (it was all a bit Toad of Toad Hall at the wheel of a shiny motor car), my chest has been feeling constricted. And then when I dropped my daughter off at nursery, another mum had tears in her eyes and started apologising for being upset. Well don’t be. Be upset. It’s one of the most upsetting things.

Nigel Farage

UKIP leader Nigel Farage celebrates the Brexit vote

This decision is shaming to a nation we have always been proud to boast of as progressive. But – and this is aside from the tanking pound, withdrawal of crucial funding, and restrictions on our movements and opportunities – how we can we argue that now? Out in that big, wide wonderful world of ours, how can we even debate with integrity? The same world that, this morning, must be bemused and disappointed with every last one of us.

I realise we weren’t doing political cartwheels before, but we were happy with our place in the world. Weren’t we? And now that’s uncertain too. Today’s result was apparently down to the will of ‘real people, ordinary people’. But this much I know: all the real and ordinary people I know are sad, disillusioned and scared.

Distraught Remain campaigners

Distraught Remain campaigners

It’s difficult to see a satisfying way forward. How those that voted leave can resurrect something worthy of the sacrifice. How ‘remain’ voters – that’s half of us, probably many more however close the ballots – can happily remain in a country that we feel no longer represents us, our sentiments and the way we want to live. But we can’t do a Cameron. We cannot resign ourselves.

So let's not apologise for being upset. Be loud in your bewilderment. Passionately decry the ideology that got us here. Assure friends and colleagues that we can, somehow, turn this around. As intelligent, working, urban women, we have a powerful voice – and right now the whole world needs to hear it.

Photos: Rex Features/Getty Images

Related

operation-croissant2.jpg

From Paris with love: postcards are handed out to mark EU vote

tinder.jpg

Why this woman used Brexit to find a date on Tinder

HiRes.jpg

Should we stay in the European Union?

vote.jpg

Why feminists should vote ‘remain’ in the EU referendum

harman.jpg

Harriet Harman criticises lack of female voices in EU debate

GettyImages-528413890.jpg

Courage, not fear: why we’ve fallen in love with Ruth Davidson

LILY_4.jpg

Lily Cole and Keira Knightley urge Brits to vote in EU ref

iStock_87742831_MEDIUM.jpg

Stay or go? A beginner’s cheat sheet to the EU referendum

catsagainstbrexit.png

Feline campaigners have their say on the EU referendum

Comments

More

Chrissy Teigen just got blocked by President Trump on Twitter

This is what she said to push him over the edge…

by Kayleigh Dray
25 Jul 2017

Susan Sarandon’s life advice for these dark and troubled times

The actor reveals her pearls of wisdom to Stylist

by Helen Bownass
25 Jul 2017

Lucy Mangan: we should “think twice” before considering porn harmless

“Porn has become normalised, placed almost beyond criticism by its sheer prevalence”

by Lucy Mangan
25 Jul 2017

The best A-list Instagrams from the week so far

From inside J Lo's birthday bash to Ellie Goulding's Antarctic mission

by Nicola Colyer
25 Jul 2017

Sue Perkins on the moment she fell in friend-love with Mel Giedroyc

The Bake Off star has a beautiful point to make about platonic friendships

by Amy Swales
24 Jul 2017

Princes William and Harry reveal the last words they spoke to Diana

“That phone call sticks in my mind quite heavily.”

by Sarah Biddlecombe
24 Jul 2017

Pirelli’s all-black 2018 calendar makes a statement about inclusivity

The tyre manufacturer aims to continue shaking off its reputation with a beautiful fairy-tale shoot

by Amy Swales
21 Jul 2017

The best A-list Instagrams from the week so far

From Nicole Scherzinger's glam squad to Reese Witherspoon's hair hack

by Nicola Colyer
21 Jul 2017

Lana Del Rey is changing her aesthetic because of Donald Trump

"I’m not going to have the American flag waving while I’m singing Born to Die."

by Moya Crockett
20 Jul 2017

BBC ever so politely shuts down backlash over first female Doctor Who

Some “unhappy” viewers contacted the broadcaster about Jodie Whittaker’s casting

by Kayleigh Dray
20 Jul 2017