Amid the flood of Brits with Irish roots seeking passports for the Emerald Isle, and Scotland seriously considering a second independence referendum after the ‘Brexit’ vote won by 51.9%, Spain may well offer ‘asylum’ to UK nationals seeking to flee their non-EU island, if a recent Twitter post is anything to go by.
The oft-published photo of the Cibeles Palace in central Madrid bearing the sign ‘Refugees welcome’, showing Spain’s willingness to take in war victims escaping the Middle East, has been doctored by Twitter user ‘Camilo en Madrid’, and reposted to read ‘British refugees welcome’.
It has already been retweeted 229 times and ‘liked’ by 211, and a number of Brits have replied, saying they are ‘on their way’.
Developments since the referendum result produced a vote for Britain to leave the EU have been fast – a petition for a second referendum needed only 100,000 signatures to be debated in the House of Commons, and is now at well over 3.3 million, whilst it has since come to light that the result will not become binding unless and until it is agreed by a majority in Parliament.
A subdued-looking Boris Johnson and Michael Gove looked far from thrilled at their victory when appearing before the press the morning after, and have ‘assured’ there is ‘no rush’ to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty to start the exit process.
‘Leave’ campaigners have been forced to admit immigration from EU member States is unlikely to reduce even as a result of the Brexit, and UKIP leader Nigel Farage – who was not part of the official ‘Leave’ campaign but one of the most staunch supporters of a Brexit under the slogan ‘Grassroots Out’ – has admitted the UK will not be able to spend its 350 million pounds a week EU membership fee on the NHS.
This has led to an uprising among some ‘Leave’ voters, who backed a Brexit mostly because they were told it would reduce immigration and because they thought the money saved would go to the health service.
And with the flaws in the two campaigns now exposed, it is becoming more and more clear that the public were often unsure of what they were voting for, whether they chose to remain in the EU or leave it.
One woman, when questioned, said she had voted ‘Out’ in the referendum ‘because of the bedroom tax’ imposed by David Cameron, the outgoing Conservative prime minister.
A Welsh village – Ebbw Valley – which has benefited from major EU funding and has zero immigration voted overwhelmingly to leave ‘because immigration is too high’.
Harry Potter author J K Rowling has said she believes the ‘Out’ vote was largely one of frustration and protest against national leaders rather than any real issues the voters had with the EU.