Cardiff residents react to Brexit; End of an Era

After over three and a half years of division and delay, what was the reaction of Cardiff residents to the UK leaving the European Union?

On a night culminating in the ending of three and a half years of stress and suspense, some tears and cheers wouldn’t be that out of place, particularly in a Wetherspoons where European beers were offered at a discount to mark the occasion.

In spite of this, the atmosphere at the Prince of Wales on Friday evening was a relatively quiet one, filled instead by a mixed crowd who didn’t see the UK’s exit from the European Union as an exit from Brexit uncertainty.

“We haven’t really seen the repercussions of any sort of action that’s happened at the moment,” said James, a pro-leave financial services worker.

European pints were on discount at Wetherspoons as the UK officially departed the European Union.

As of Friday evening, the UK entered the transition phase of its relationship with the EU, whereby it remains in the single market and customs union while leaving the European Commission and European Parliament. However, it is still subject to EU legislation and the European Court of Justice.

The entering of this period also sparks fears among British citizens and Europeans living in other EU countries due to the plans to end the free movement of people between the UK and the EU.

“I just think [ending free movement is] wrong and it’s slightly inhumane because we should look after each other,” said Louise, an administrator at Cardiff University.

Yet, others suggested that the rhetoric is overstated. Stuart, a pro-remain financial services manager argues that given the hype behind the UK entering the transition phase prior to today, the event itself was massively anticlimactic.

“I don’t think anyone really knows what free movement’s going to be,” he said.

What does this mean for the UK?

With many Brexiteers celebrating on this momentous occasion, Boris Johnson sets out his plans for a trade deal with the EU.

Cardiff residents having a minor reaction to Britain entering the transition phase.

While some people gave this general reaction in Cardiff, these feelings over Brexit did become more vocal after the 11pm entry to the transition phase.

“I don’t think Brexit is good at all”, says Richard, a Highway Engineer. “We should’ve stayed in Europe. I’d never vote Tory, ever.”

Eurostar passengers reflect on Brexit day.

Cardiff residents enjoying a normal night out.

Jules, a French-born student studying at Cardiff University, said, “The impact of ending the free movement of people between the EU and Britain will be limited by Britain’s dependence on foreign immigration.”

Believing that European collaboration will be under pressure after Brexit, those like Jules worry Brexit will lead to the rise of the extreme right wing across Europe.

Brexit: Can I still live in the EU?

Although Brexit has now entered the transition phase, there is still widespread discontent within the country itself.

“As a leaver, a lot of average remainers would say, ‘You’re racist, you’re bigoted, you’re hard right,'” said Daniel. “I’m not somebody that accuses other people of things.”