EXPATS in Duquesa port experienced an emotional roller coaster as they gathered to watch the live EU referendum results last night.
With ITV on hand to film their reactions at Irish bar Kinsale, the mood was optimistic as they pulled up chairs to get a good spot of the live results broadcast.
Hopes were high given that the bookies had been predicting a Remain victory since campaigning began, even increasing the odds as the first few results came in.
‘The bookies are never wrong’ was the phrase being thrown around, and when Nigel Farage admitted defeat, claiming the Remain side had probably ‘edged it’, there were cheers all around.
The moment was short lived, however, as the Brexiters produced a remarkable turn around, making unexpected gains in Wales and bigger than expected margins in Northern England.
“I am absolutely devastated and wish I could wake up from what feels like a very, very bad nightmare,” said Brit Tamara Essex, 57, originally from Dorset.
“I don’t know whether I will be able to keep living in Spain and everything seems totally uncertain. This is one of the worst days in Britain’s history.”
Expats shed tears and exchanged hugs as ITV announced a 75% probability of a Leave victory.
As the final votes were clocking in around 4am and hopes of a comeback faded, a shocked and sombre tone filtered through the bar.
Emotions were still running high the following morning, with the sense of shock still very much present.
“I cannot believe this result, it’s so upsetting,” said Jackie Richards, 58, originally from London, “I feel European, I’m a global citizen, we shouldn’t be isolating ourselves.”
The sense of disappointment was shared across Duquesa’s expat community.
“I cannot believe we have left, I have a life here, I love Spain, but now we are going to need a visa to potentially work here or could even be sent home,” said barmaid Jayne O’Regan, 47, from West Yorkshire.
“And if all the expats return home there’s going to be no jobs or homes for
us, it could get really messy, it’s really worrying, I’m still in shock.”
Expats will now face an uncertain future after the life they have become accustomed has been launched into uncertainty.
“We wanted to stay because we rely on the healthcare out here, and now we don’t know if that is going to remain in place or whether or not the terms are going to change,” said Fiona and Bill Reade, from Liverpool.
“We are very concerned about our future here because it’s just such an unknown.
“We also fear for Gibraltar and how vindictive Spain is going to react to the result, and on top of that our pensions could take a hit, so we are hoping the pound bounces back fast!”