there is still a slightly surreal feeling surrounding the result of Thursday’s referendum.
Few if any of us expected Leave to win the day, regardless of whether we were part of the three-quarters of voters in Edinburgh who wanted to stay in the EU or the 26 per cent who wanted out. There has been a dazed feeling in the air across the city ever since, leading to despondency and anger in some places.
Edinburgh is a proudly cosmopolitan city and it would be a tragedy if one of the legacies of this vote is that the people from around the world who choose to make the Capital their home feel any less welcome today.
The other implications – and there certainly will be consequences to this vote – are as yet unlcear. Will economic turmoil in the short term turn into long-term recession as many fear or will Britain’s economy be able to bounce back quickly?
Will the decision put off the much-needed doctors, nurses and other key workers that might otherwise think of moving to Edinburgh? Will it discourage tourists coming here to spend their money?
The truth is that no-one knows.
There is certainly going to be great change – and with change there is always opportunity as well as risks.
There will be calls for quick action to resolve the uncertainty surrounding all our futures, but the next steps must not be rushed. The right decisions are more important at this time than speedy ones.
The other great fear that looms large today is that the vote will leave a legacy of rancour and bitterness. That would be a terrible outcome for everyone.
In the weeks and months ahead we should always remember the importance of maintaining respect for those with opposing views. We are going to have to live with each other for a long time – whether we like it or not.