FORGET left and right, at a time when the political lines of old have become increasingly blurred, the EU referendum has created a new divide within the country the likes of which have never been seen.

Like many others I read the news this morning with shock and disbelief, but, as a leave voter, am unable to feel any real sense of victory.

As an under 25 I am in the minority, a significant majority of my friends and peers voted remain, and, through reviewing the posts on social media, I am almost afraid to admit that I went against the grain.

Such is the strength and volume of anger from those who voted remain it is easy to forget that actually, democratically, I represent a part of the majority.

The narrowness of the result however is impossible to ignore, which only goes further to highlight the polarisation which has occurred as a result of this referendum.

With people on both sides of the debate so sure and vocal in their convictions, no one seems willing to admit that in truth, there is no right or wrong.

We will now never know what the future of this country would have been had the result been the opposite, but we can be fairly certain that the sudden apocalyptic doom forecast by the Remain campaign is unlikely to materialise.

The coming weeks and months will no doubt be somewhat tempestuous, and there are many challenges ahead to be faced.

I don’t know that I will ever be able to say for certain that I have been vindicated or proven wrong in my choice, but of one thing I am fairly certain: that if we allow this social division to prevail, the future is bleak for all.

The usual course of political I told you so’s is one thing, but a future in which neighbour turns on neighbour, merely for exercising their democratic right to vote according to their own convictions, heralds the end of civilised democracy.

Let us not forget that this referendum has been one of, if not the most democratic events in the history of our country.

Already there are those on the remain side who are calling for a second referendum, in the hopes that the outcome may be different, and many are writing off the 52 per cent of the voting population as ignorant, racist, unworthy of the vote. I hope that this is merely reactionary, that as the dust settles so too will people’s emotions. But if we allow this us and them mentality to continue, things can only, and will only get worse.

What is needed now is a clear voice which states that, whatever our personal political opinions, we the British people are united in our will to take this country forward into a peaceful, unified, and stronger future.

We need a collective understanding that democracy exists to represent the common interest, and should not be abandoned because common and personal interests are not always aligned.

And most importantly we need to remember that, whatever the future, we all face it together, and can only cause harm to ourselves by allowing a chasm to form between a population of which we are all a part.

Lloyd Cockram

Union Street