Brexit: not in my name
Cards on the table.
As a well-educated, well-travelled language student — even a soon-to-be Erasmus+ exchange beneficiary — I stood to benefit perhaps more than most from the EU. In age, education and interests, I am probably the archetypal citizen of the European project and, honestly, I have a far more European mindset than I do a British (and especially English) one.
But now, I feel anger, confusion and overwhelming disbelief.
In voting for Leave, the country I was born in has repudiated the very internationalism that I believe in so strongly. The european identity that I feel (felt?) some affinity for, now shaken, is a crumbling edifice amongst a skyline of supposedly unwavering and uncompromising ‘certainties’, each willingly defined by national borders rather than cross-cultural, social collaboration and progression.
This picture bears little resemblance to anything I identify with, and it is a challenge to process the miserable, oncoming isolationism. Right now, Leavers’ claims that we can now build new, stronger bridges with other nations are little comfort when this means rejecting those with whom we were formerly united. Apparently I am not alone, either.
“Love Europe, Hate the EU”, the saying went. After withdrawing from the latter, I can’t help but feel there’s little left of the former for the UK to tap into. This result will surely necessitate a European protectionism that will further divide ‘us’ and ‘them’, only confirming Leavers’ assertions that we’re better off on our own in the process. The EU has been ripped from us, and those who took it away will feel vindicated with every step the institution then takes to save its project.
I mourn the lost opportunity and lost sense of community. I lament that the EU will never turn out to be the solution to the very problems inducing others to ‘take back control’ from it. I worry that those who voted against an EU that didn’t work for them will find no true ally in government from the Leave ranks now that this Great Political Stunt is over.
What an unbelievable, irreversible step back. I am in shock.