Friday, 24 June 2016

I'll miss EU

This morning, I woke up in South Africa to the news that the United Kingdom had left the European Union and I am completely and utterly devastated. It's not just feelings of devastation though, it's sadness at what our country is turning into, anger at those who've benefitted from a system their entire lives closing the ladder behind them, and fear at what happens next.

It's difficult to put into words the shock that many across the UK, and across the world, felt this morning as they woke to the news, news that so many of us never wanted to hear. It's difficult to begin to understand how our incredible, welcoming, kind, caring country appears to have become increasingly intolerant, increasingly selfish, increasingly hateful of those different to ourselves. It's just difficult, difficult to listen the older generations gush at the news of leaving a union that they've fundamentally, wholeheartedly benefitted from for their entire lives because what now?

We're entering a long period of uncertainty and for what? Because we've allowed a nasty side of the media and an opportunistic handful of politicians to spread fear mongering lies? Is that what the younger generations deserve? A period of time where nothing is certain, where no one knows what lies ahead?

What about the young people who have just graduated and are desperately trying to get a job? What about the students who have just finished their first year of university and have no idea if there will even be a job at the end of it? What about the people who rely on working within the European Union to put a roof over their heads?

It's difficult not to be angry, isn't it. To continuously hear your generation described as 'lazy', as 'soft', as 'pretty much useless', yet we don't appear to be so lazy and soft and useless when we pick up the pieces of the previous generations mistakes once again.

It's difficult not to be bitter, isn't it. To think that the 75% of 18-24 year olds who voted to remain within the EU, have lost the right to work, study, live and love in 27 European countries, countries that beautiful and loving, that wanted us to stay.

The maddening thing, the ironic thing, in fact is that as people across the UK have become so scared that immigrants will ruin our economy, we've actually managed to do it ourselves. As the value of the pound tanks and as the stock market falls, as we watch our prime minister resign and politicians squabble between themselves, is this what we want? Was it worth it? Was taking our free movement away really, truly worth it?

I hope in years to come, I'm proven wrong and it is. I hope with all my heart that I'm fundamentally wrong, that I can look back at this blog post and think 'you didn't need to worry, look at England now!'. But as Scotland bids to leave the UK, as political parties such as UKIP increase in popularity, as Islamophobia continues to rise, it's currently hard to look at it optimistically.

I'm, usually, so proud to be British. But I want the Britain back that's forward facing, that's tolerant and kind, compassionate and caring. I want the Britain back that could never turn their back on those in need, that would never shout 'we're full' at people who migrate to the country and contribute significantly to society, to the economy, to the multi-cultural Britain that we should be so proud to be.

Today, I'm angry and I'm sad. Maybe tomorrow will be different. All I know is that hate will not win, fear mongering cannot win and love and tolerance and the acceptance of others, eventually, conquers all.


1 comment:

  1. I was so gutted this morning when I found out the news. My boyfriend just graduated from his engineering degree and is so worried about companies putting out a freeze on new jobs. I also rely on the strength of the pound for my freelance work as many of my buyers pay me in a separate currency. I have no idea what we're going to do

    Steph -


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