Following on from last week’s question surrounding Brighton’s position in the UK, a lot has happened. You may have heard that we voted to leave the EU, the Prime Minister subsequently stepped down, and the pound fell to its lowest worth since 1985.
So yes, busy week.
In the meantime however, it appears as though the notion of an independent Brighton has started to pick up steam. A petition has even been created in order to generate support for the idea of a Republic of Brighton and to declare ourselves independent from the rest of the UK.
It appears as though the backlash of last weeks referendum has struck closer to home, with many anticipating a rise in other countries seeking to leave the EU I’m sure nobody thought of it happening in their own back garden. Brighton and Hove generated a turnout of 74% with a great majority of 68.6% voting in favour of remaining in the EU, leaving citizens of the city bitterly disappointed with the result.
Last week I wrote that Brighton and the UK would be stronger together, echoing my hopes for us to remain in the EU. However, now that we have to face the fact that we are actually leaving the EU I can’t help but wonder what would happen if Brighton did stand on it’s own two feet.
And I’m not alone in that.
With such a difference in opinion, and such notoriously liberal attitudes Brighton does set itself apart from the rest of the UK. On the one hand it provides that balance that the United Kingdom needs to remain somewhat progressive; but on the other with so much that Brighton disagrees with, does a United front hold the city back?
It is no new idea that Brighton should be a Republic, Facebook groups have been surfacing for years. On the back of this referendum vote however it does seem that now, more than ever, the opportunity for separation has gathered steam. We could have our own flag, our anthem and leaders. We could follow Monaco in becoming a member of the EU still, and not face the potential backlash that leaving will cause. We could stay united, united as Brighton.
The referendum called for the “Citizens of Brighton and Hove to emphatically state themselves as independent to the rest of the UK”. Emphatic is not a word that I would associate with the United Kingdom at times, it is more often than not split. Take the referendum for example, near on a 50/50 split with only just over a million results separating the Leave and Remain campaigns. More people have signed a petition calling for a second referendum than there was dividing our nation.
One thing is clear, and it always has been. Brighton is not divided. Brighton is emphatic. It is clear in what it wants, it is clear in what path it wants to carve for itself and for its citizens. With so many political decisions leaving Brighton disappointed, as a part of the minority, maybe it is time that it became its own majority.
Divided we fall, so maybe Brighton could stand.
Sign the petition here.