Scientists describe the feeling you get on rollercoasters as ‘air time’. The body is composed of many loosely connected parts which normally have gravity to hold them together. When the rollercoaster begins to plunge, ‘air time’ refers to the moment when this common bond is removed and each body part is essentially weightless. Lay people would call this phenomenon a ‘sinking feeling’.
It is probably the best way to describe the UK following the vote for Brexit. Even among those who supported the Leave campaign, the sensation of plummeting dread as to what will happen next is pervasive.
This is rooted in three factors. First, the referendum has exposed damaging social divisions in Britain along geographical, generation and income lines.