Today’s columnist, Coun Rob Murphy: Crossroads after Brexit vote

Sheffield Green Party's Councillor Rob Murphy.
Sheffield Green Party's Councillor Rob Murphy.
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Our country is at a crossroads and the Brexit referendum has divided us.

At this crucial time when our leaders should be building bridges, the two main parties are fighting shamelessly among themselves.

With the Conservative and Labour parties paralysed and the Leave campaign unsure of what it promised, the country is in a state of turmoil.

Uncertainty is damaging our economy, our credibility and our future.

We need a vision of what our new Britain will look like and we need it soon.

Sheffield Green Party was a big supporter of the campaign to Remain in the European Union, but we fully accept that the people have spoken and it is up to us to work towards the best possible future for our country.

We need to make sure we don’t throw out the good parts of a united Europe along with everything else.

We must support the cross-border work on environmental regulation and workers’ rights which protect us from unscrupulous businesses that seek to lower standards and play off countries against each other.

There is still much we can learn from our fellow European countries on many issues – from transport to education, from food to football.

It is clear many voters want better management of migration and we need to explore ways of doing this that do not entrench inequalities or cause racism.

While talks continue about our new role in Europe, we must also remember that the EU citizens who are here now must be treated as we treat any other citizen of our country.

We cannot blame those people who have come here and have contributed to our country for the mistakes made by our governments.

The insensitivity and inaction of both the British and European governments to dealing with the challenges of mass migration has left us in this position, not the people who have been working for a better life.

One thing is certain: whatever happens over the next few months and years, Britain will never be the same again.

It is the job of good politicians to make sure both sides are listened to and we can come together again in a united country that we can be proud of.