A Brit’s Brexit – notes from a small (minded) island!
International Editor based in the UK
This is my personal view and does not necessarily represent the views of this magazine.
The whole world must be as sick of hearing about Brexit as everyone stuck here in the UK. Plagued by our ineffectual government who saw fit to try to negotiate one of the most important deals in our history without conferring with anyone else in Parliament, we see the two-party system crumbling before our eyes. I stopped listening to the news on radio or reading the news as it was so farcical and sad.
So, after years of heading toward the leave date, we didn’t leave on March 29th as planned. The next date for departure is literally the scariest day of the year – Hallowe’en, October 31st.
Did you know the referendum only took place to try to solve quarrels within the governing Conservative party over Europe? No? Neither did most of those voters who saw it as their right to destroy the last remains of Britain’s now less-than-savoury reputation across the globe (think Balfour, Pakistan/India, colonisation of Africa and elsewhere, Gulf War, Iraq, Afghanistan etc etc) and effectively blast it into a million parts when they voted ‘leave’ back in 2016.
The long drawn out, intensely painful process has split the nation into ‘remainers’ and ‘leavers’ and seems to have crushed decency and any sense of community we once had. It has also seen an unsettling exodus from our shores. Those who chose to make the UK their home have been threatened, bullied and basically made to feel unwanted in communities where they have lived for decades, if not generations. Families have been put under pressure and stress, told they need to apply for expensive residency papers and take numerous tests. Don’t these idiots insulting their neighbours know that this country has had a vivid past where people have come from all over the world, whether as invaders (Vikings), occupiers (Romans) or rulers (French, Dutch, German) or basically to help rebuild the country after wars (anyone from the Commonwealth)?
Didn’t they realise at the time that one of the world’s largest employers, the UK’s National Health Service – of which I am very proud and thankful for as my Mother lies in a hospital bed receiving free healthcare – is already under massive pressure? It is now close to crumbling point as overseas nurses, doctors, surgeons, radiologists etc are flocking elsewhere after feeling the wrath of this Brexit disaster?
You’ve may have heard our Prime Minister, Theresa May, has resigned under enormous pressure, leaving us open to the rise of a buffoon with blonde hair who was a national embarrassment as Foreign Secretary (doing his best Trump impression) or even scarier right-wing options potentially taking the most powerful of reins. Some of the contenders for the ‘crown’ view doing foreign trade deals with despots and dictators as much more important than being aligned with our nearest and dearest neighbours. To quote the Lego movie, “everything is awesome when you’re part of a team”! Why can’t they see this?
In the forthcoming national general election (as there will be one soon no doubt), smaller splinter parties such as the nationalists, populists, fascists or environmentalists, are on track to split votes that naturally would have been given to the two main parties who have ‘traded’ government for many a generation – the Conservative Party and the Labour Party. These two parties are finished if you believe the commentators.
Many of the votes cast in the recent European wide elections were protest votes – turning one’s back on the party you have supported for years, or voting specifically for a party who came out as either pro-leave (Brexit party) or pro-remain (Liberal Democrats, Green Party).
Britain’s racists now feel it is OK to air their filthy views and call it free speech. The rise of various independent racists and fascists (who ‘shall not be named’ just like Voldemort as I don’t want to be trolled – but you probably know by his assumed stage name of ‘Tommy’) who wanted to represent the people of the UK in the European Parliament, is an unwelcome and rather scary bi-product of the whole ridiculous Brexit process. Thankfully he was forcefully rejected by the voters and slipped away into the night, hopefully never to raise his head again.
I am actually fearful for the future of our country. I am scared for the future of my children. Now I know that some readers may possibly also feel that about where you live, but I never once in my current 46 years EVER expected to feel this about the United Kingdom. We are no longer united; I expect that the union of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland will no longer exist in a short period of time as nationalists in both Wales and Scotland are talking seriously about independence.
As for Northern Ireland, the potential for a return to the ‘Troubles’ that ended in 1998 is horrific. Northern Ireland and Eire (Ireland) share a land border, and the fact that Northern Ireland is dropping out of the EU leaves massive problems about the border. The removal of all checks on the border was a fundamental part of the Good Friday Agreement, so any return of checkpoints would be horrendous. Noone wants to see it reinstated.
I know that we have written often about how people travel massive distances to seek a better life for their families and often place themselves in great danger whilst doing so. The word needs to get to them that my country is unfortunately no longer the safe haven it once was. And personally that makes me very, very sad.