Since the U.K voted to move out of the European Union over a year ago, many people around Europe have mockingly said that the move will result in an isolated and lonely island nation.

However, Britain is already facing a serious problem with loneliness according to a research conducted recently and published by the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness. The research found that over nine million people in Britain often or always feel lonely.

The matter is the main reason why Prime Minister Theresa May appointed a minister for loneliness. In her statement, the Prime Minister said loneliness is a sad reality of life in the 21st century.  She added that she is taking actions meant to remedy the situation and called up on all people to take the necessary steps to address loneliness that’s is endured by the by carers, the elderly and people who have lost loved ones.

Age UK chief office Mark Robinson said loneliness is a serious problem that could lead to death if not contained. Age UK is the largest charity group working with elderly people in the U.K. he said loneliness has proven to be worse than smoking 15 cigarettes every day.

In an article done by Dr. Vivek Murthy, a former United States surgeon general and published in Harvard Business Review, loneliness is a serious problem that needs to be addressed in workplaces. According to Dr. Vivek, loneliness increases the risk of anxiety, depression, dementia and cardiovascular disease. The report was initiated by the Red Cross in collaboration with Co-op, a cooperative supermarket chain. It was published by the Cox commission in December.

The group was formed in the memory of Ms. Cox, 41, a Labour Party lawmaker who was gunned down by a right-wing extremist in 2016. She was a known voice in parliament on the matter. She even came up with a cross-party commission whose main aim was to initiate a national conversation and establish the effect of loneliness in the U.K.

The Prime Minister on Wednesday appointed Tracey Crouch who works under the secretary for sport and civil society in the ministry of culture. To lead government group that will be tasked with building the legacy of Ms. Cox as well as come up with policies on the matter.