A community campaigner says the ‘politics of fear have prevailed’ - after Britain voted to leave the European Union in a knife-edge poll.
Just over 51 per cent of Brits backed the Leave campaign in an historic referendum, with Prime Minister David Cameron stepping down soon after the result was announced.
The politics of fear has prevailed.Lalon Amin
Lalon Amin, a prominent figure in South Shields’ Muslim community and chair of the Refugee Aid Network, says he is still reeling from the country’s verdict.
The 36-year-old, from Lawe Top South Shields, said: “My reaction is one of utter dismay. I am completely shocked.
“To be honest, I thought the Remain campaign was going to win.
“I thought common sense would prevail. But the politics of fear have prevailed.”
Mr Amin says UKIP leader Nigel Farage - who was accused of stoking up anti-immigration feeling with a controversial poster claiming Britain was at breaking point over the issue during the campaign trail - proved a ‘pivotal’ figure in the crunch decision.
He added: “Who would’ve thought he could be that pivotal and that influential?
“He has changed the face of Britain. He has played into people’s fears.
“I knew it would be close, but I was surprised at the vote in South Tyneside and in Sunderland.
“When I saw the South Tyneside vote I was gutted.
Mr Amin fears people will be hit in the pocket - whether they plumped for in or out.
He believes the future is now ‘bleak’ for the country.
He added: “I see that £100billion has been wiped off the FTSE since the result was announced.
“I can only see the future of Britain as being bleak.
“The people it will hit the most will be the working class. It will have a massive financial impact.
“Unfortunately the people who voted Remain will suffer.
“I’m not sure those who voted to leave are aware of the consequences yet.
“For every £1 we gave the EU we got £10 back.
“The pound is down and I can’t see things getting brighter.”
Mr Amin says he feels a sense of loss among pro-European supporters.
He added: The feeling is pretty weird. I feel like we have lost something.
“I have been talking with other people and we are all completely gobsmacked.”