Family rifts over Brexit: ‘I can barely look at my parents’


**Family rifts over Brexit: ‘I can barely look at my parents’

The EU referendum result has thrown many thousands of people, particularly young adults, into bitter conflict with the closest members of their families – divisions that ‘won’t heal any time soon’

‘I’m worried Brexit has made me ageist,” a friend said, following the shock of the referendum result on Friday morning. “I saw this older couple in the street and just felt this sudden, enormous wave of fury towards them and their generation. It was almost physical.”

In the immediate aftermath of Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, emotions have been running high. Since YouGov reported that 75% of 18- to 24-year-olds and 56% of 25- to 49-year-olds voted in favour of remain, versus 44% of 50- to 64-year-olds and 39% of those over 65, the extent of the generational gulf between Generation Y and the so-called baby boomers and their parents has been palpable. As has the anger many younger people including my friend, are feeling.

Over the past few days, thousands have vented on social media. “I’m never giving up my seat on the train for an old person again,” read one tweet. The overwhelming consensus on the part of “millennials” (defined as those aged 18-34), has been that, by opting for Brexit, the older generation has selfishly voted against the interests of subsequent ones. What happens if the people voting against your interests were members of your own family: your parents, grandparents, uncles and aunts?

Stephanie is 21, from Merseyside, and was visiting her parents for the week of the referendum. “Right from the moment I got back I was bombarded with questions about which side I was on and why,” she said. “I’m not one to shy away from healthy debate, but my parents completely refused to see things from any point of view but their own, and would deliberately misunderstand my view or rubbish it completely.

“After the leave result, my parents continued to insult and degrade the 48% of us [who voted remain], with my dad at one point getting into an argument with a family friend who is an EU citizen and telling her she ‘should leave if she loves the EU so much’. Even when stories of legitimised racism and xenophobia were highlighted, my parents refused to accept this may have been partly because of the leave vote,” she adds.

The referendum may have ruined Stephanie’s trip home, but it has shifted her perspective. “What was supposed to be a nice week turned into a week of being belittled and endless arguments, and I have never felt so insulted by members of my own family before. As much as I love my parents, this referendum has made me see them in a different light – people who are unwilling to listen to the opinions of others and disrespectful of those with legitimate concerns about what their opinion could lead to.”**


The abuse thrown at the elderly due to the Brexit vote is truly appalling.


I’ve seen several articles about this. What I take away is that the younger generation is ill informed, vindictive, and hateful. When they don’t get their way they want to change the rules. When people don’t agree with them they are not listening to their opinion. I saw one young man say he only voted leave because he thought his vote wouldn’t count! He seemed to not be troubled by this line of thinking. I saw another who said she didn’t understand what voting leave meant. She was also untroubled. I think universal suffrage is a terrible idea and this event only reinforces that opinion.


Universal suffrage is a terrible idea.

The ideal would be something like limiting the vote to a head of household with children over the age of 35. The core philosophy should be a family with a vested interest in not only their personal well being, but the well being of their posterity decades down the road.

There’s a reason single people tend to vote for more of a welfare state. By the time the bill comes from the massive debt, they’ll be gone.


The damage done by uninformed voting can be astounding. On the other hand, a literacy test as a qualification for voting? Methinks we’ve been down that road before.


I take all the bregret stories with a huge grain of salt.


The young are always eager to give the old the benefit of their inexperience.


Me too. Only people who are like me should be allowed to vote. The people who are different from me will vote for the wrong things because they are only thinking about what they want and not what I wasn’t.:rolleyes:


I undertand your point, I’m assuming you are a leave voter from your post. If so can I ask you a question.

So the leave vote was 52%.

Do you think that vote would have reduced if the Leave campaign had been honest about that they are not going to reduce immigration?

Do you think the Leave vote would have reduced if they had been honest about the likely imact on the economy?

Do you think the Leave vote would have reduced if they had not waited until a couple of hours after the count, to state that it was a mistake to sayt there was going to be more money for the NHS if we leave?

I have no issue with people voting for a party, or in this case a decision I do not agree with. But people casting votes based on lies is the reason the Remain side feel so bitter about this.


If you’re stil under some illusion of that what the Leave side labeled “Project Fear” is not not showing to be fact then I suggest you need to take a step back, and actually have a look what is happening on our streets and to our economy, not to mention this amazing trade deal we are going to get from the EU is slowly dissapearing


I would say after 4 days is to soon to tell. As I have said before I am agnostic on whether Britain leaves or stay. The reaction by the losing side, however, is exactly the kind of temper tantrum we see from the American left when they dont get their way


Yesterday, England suffered one of there greatest sporting humiliations of alltime when tiny Icleand knocked them out of the European Football Championship 2-1. I blame it on Brexit :smiley: Of course Wales advanced to the next round, but poor Scotland weren’t even good enough to qualify for the tournament :smiley:


Putting what side of the debate you are on to one side, would you not agree that the “risk” of leaving is all on the side of the young?

I guess I’m somewhere in the middle of the age range so can see both sides.

Jobs, the ecomony, human rights laws all up in the air. You could argue that you think these will all improve. But all of the risk is on the younger generation, what if the 9/10 experts are right, or even half right?

If you take the 65+ our we have a clear victory to Remain. which means people who are most effected by the decision are being taken out of Europe by people who on the whole, will not be retired, will have their mortgage paid off and will not really be effected either way. This is why I feel the young are hurt by the decision last Thurdasy


And Ireland was eliminated by France on Saturday after scoring first - not sure what this has to do with the family rifts over Brexit, however.


I’m from the U.S., so I don’t have a vote. I agree that it is difficult to discern what to vote for when people seem perfectly justified in lying through their teeth about anything as long as it supports their agenda. I don’t think disenfranchisement of entire demographics is an ethical or logical solution.


That is quite possibly the single worst idea I have ever heard.


Only the Remain side is not left-wing but comprised of a broad church coalition of Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrat, Greens, Scottish Nationalists, Irish Nationalists, Welsh Nationalists et al.

There is no left/right division on the Brexit issue.

Our politics has almost been de facto realigned by it.




The reason there is a bitter taste left in the mouths of Remain is not because we lost. But because we lost to a pack of lies.

Youre right to say, its only 4 days since the decision. The main vote drivers for leave were all missleading.

“sort out immigration” - which we were told the next day that “no one actually said they would reduce” immigration numbers, if you listen that was only implied and what people actually wanted was control, as if - go back and watch the debates!

“stop wasting money sending it to the EU and spending it on home causes like the NHS”, we then find out that this claim was a mistake. (My own Grandmother voted to Leave as she said it would “Save the NHS”, they tricked her to vote Leave, so she thought that there would be a stable NHS for her grandchildren)

“We don’t need the single market, we are the 5th biggest economy” - next day , we are told we do need it and we will negotiate to stay in it, which means free movement of people.

Do you honestly think we would have seen a Leave victory if they would have said before the referendum what they are saying now? Also its not as if we have been in negotiations and we are struggling to keep what they promised - nothing has happened - which means they knew before the referendum they had no intentions of doing what they were claiming, that is why I’m frustrated by the result. Not because we all knew the facts and we all voted for what we believed and the public decided they wanted to Leave.


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