Once again, leaving the UK does not get me away from the topic of Brexit. My Continental friends on Facebook are still burbling away about how (a) we're doomed without them because our economy will wither and die if not tied to their withering, dying economies and (b) they're doomed because we have given stupid ideas to their proles who must at all costs be ignored for fear of the return of fascism. Which is it guys? A big happy European family that we are being rude by leaving, or a seething mob of would-be fascists that we must help repress?
My Russian friends are asking questions too. They expressed mild amusement at the way President Putin was used by Remain as a bogeyman in the referendum campaign. Unfortunately that also reinforced their long-held and utterly-misguided view that the West lives its entire life in negative relationship to Russia. They imagine we think of them like SNP voters think of England; vicious, calculating hostiles who are the cause of every problem in our lives. I spent six years here trying to convince them that we were happy that Russia had rejoined the free world and wished it well. David Cameron blew that, along with everything else in his political career.
We had some discussion over drinks as to whether Brexit opened opportunities to ease economic sanctions which are hurting them almost as much as they are hurting us. The U.K. is correctly perceived to have been a sanctions hawk within both the EU and NATO. With us already out of the EU equation when it comes to forming policy, I suppose it's possible things may ease up. On the other hand, the sanctions that hurt the Russian elite the most are those applied through the City of London and Wall Street.
Perhaps it may help Russia to have a new party to talk to. However I have encountered no celebrations of the kind Cameron so dishonestly predicted.