Fil-Brit voters react to Brexit
LONDON, United Kingdom – Filipino-British health worker Gracious Rey Cruz voted yes to a Britain exit (Brexit) from the European Union (EU), cheered the surprise win of the "Leave" camp, and then watched the pound dive to its lowest level since 1985.
Ratings agency Moody's also lowered its outlook for the UK after the vote wiped out more than $2 trillion (P94 trillion) of value from markets around the world.
Cruz is not feeling victorious. But the University of the Philippines alumnus who arrived in UK in 2004 and got his British citizenship in 2010 said he is hopeful that his gamble on the future of his new home will pay off in the long term.
A blame game is in full swing on social media while others are reportedly regretting their Brexit votes.
"Remain" voters were surprised by the result of the referendum, especially because a late poll showed their camp was ahead.
"It is unbelievable," said Michael Needham, a Filipino-British student at the London School of Economics and Political Science.
"I've seen everything played out in my Facebook feed. It is not so much about the reasons to stay. There is no convincing reason to leave. There is not a single independent study that Britain is better leaving EU," he added.
"The economic arguments made sense to me. Just look at the numbers. We export much more than we import from EU."
But Cruz maintained that the EU had restricted the UK from trading with non-EU countries. "Countries with faster growth are outside this continent and most of UK trade agreements are decided by Brussels. This is just one of the many reasons why I voted to leave," he said.
It's a sentiment echoed by other Filipino-British who voted to leave. "I voted to leave because I strongly believe that UK can form its government on their own without other countries involved. That is the only reason I voted leave," said Mokamad Mentang, 36, who got his citizenship in 2007.
Cruz is also one of several Filipino-British health workers who voted to leave the EU. Many of them are counting on the promise of Brexit campaigners that the National Health Service (NHS) will get the necessary additional funding, a part-time health worker earlier told Rappler.
Debate over NHS funding was highlighted during the referendum campaign, along with the impact of Britain's potential departure on the economy and immigration. The "Remain" campaign had warned that a Brexit would actually make the NHS situation worse.
The Guardian reported on Saturday, June 25, that the "Leave" campaign "appeared to row back" on its promise that UK contributions could instead be spent on the NHS.
British Prime Minister David Cameron, who led the campaign for the UK to remain in the EU, has said he will resign to make way for a new leader who will oversee the country's transition out of the union. – Rappler.com