Following the result of the EU referendum on Friday morning, events have been planned in Oxford to voice opinions on the outcome and its effect on Britain in the future.
Oxfordshire voters deviated from the national trend and chose to remain in the EU; with a 72.3% turn out, 70.3% of people voted for the Remain campaign.
Leaders of both the Remain campaign, including David Cameron, George Osborne and Theresa May, and the Leave campaign, such as Boris Johnson and Michael Gove, are all alumni of the University of Oxford.
On Sunday Afternoon there was a gathering of around 100 people at Radcliffe Square outside All Souls College. The organisers and participants made speeches on the future of the Remain campaign in the wake of the referendum result.
Mark Barclay, who publicly expressed dissatisfaction at the result at the event on Sunday told Cherwell, “After hearing certain discourses, I felt one issue that needed addressing was how the Bremain side would approach the 52% in disagreement with it.”
“I wanted to highlight that it is the way in which this energy will be used that will determine whether or not post-referendum Britain can secure a constructive outcome. This is about how Bremainers will direct their sense of urgency when they engage with their opposition. This for me means, that a concession has to be made to the leave side; acknowledging their motivations rather than deriding their decisions.”
“Protests such as that on Sunday I hope may pave the way to securing a useful and constructive reengagement. A good third of those present were under eighteen and the sense of disenfranchisement they confidently and clearly asserted, marked the fact that the reaction brewing on both sides will not be trivial. Dialogue and good will, in addition to strength of feeling will be key.”
There is a pro-EU protest planned on Tuesday evening to which 1,400 have pledged their attendance on Facebook. The event, previously called Oxford Stays has changed its name to ‘Stand Together: Oxford Event’. The event will fall at the same time as ‘Stand Together’ events in London, Manchester, Cardiff, Exeter and Cambridge. According to the Facebook event descriptions “We feel that continued public engagement following the result is also a part of the democratic approach. We wanted to create a public space to begin that dialogue.”
Tessa Clayton, the manager of the Oxford protest on Tuesday told Cherwell, “#stay events are about gathering in a positive way to discuss the post referendum landscape. They are not affiliated with any political party. The aim is to channel the high levels of energy people are feeling about the referendum in a productive way. We need to find hope and start to look at how our voices can shape our future relationships within Europe.
“The #westay events are taking place in the cities that overwhelmingly voted for Remain in order to signal that we still see our future very much intertwined with Europe. Oxford voted 70% for Remain and there has been huge support for the event since it launched yesterday afternoon.”