This post wasn’t really planned, but my trip to London is. I will feel strong with marchers who share my ideals. I missed the march in July because I only started with facebook and twitter after the march had taken place. I spent the first week following the referendum crying, and the second writing a long article which was published on a Dutch opinion website. I haven’t stopped writing since.
I feel as though an earthquake has occurred somewhere deep in my soul. Of course I am aware that the recognition of my UK dental degree might be questioned once Brexit occurs. But the chances are that nothing too serious will happen to all British expats who have worked for donkey’s years in the EU and vice versa. I mean, can you imagine governments deporting us? In any case, I am also a French citizen, so I’m protected. It’s just a question of my dental degree’s validity continuing.
But why, then,did I cry so much, despite the fact that I left London in 1984?
It’s not only the result of the referendum that made me cry, it’s the whole manner in which it occurred. I deeply feel that for such an important decision, many more people should have been allowed to participate in the referendum. I would have lowered the voting age to 16 because, let’s face it, it’s more about their future than ours. You can be cynical and say that most of the older voters who voted leave will no longer be alive in 20 to 30 years, if not sooner. This could result in the UK being outside the EU despite 80% of its population being in favour of membership.
It is also scandalous that UK expats who, like myself, have been living outside the UK for more than 15 years had no say in the matter. Now our future lies in the hands of the UK government.
The causes of my sorrow and anger lie deeper than that. Until the referendum, I didn’t even realise how fond I remain of the country in which I grew up. Despite living on the continent for over 30 years I still maintain this deep, unconditional love for the UK and all that your country represents. But I remain a European, having had a Polish father who came to England from France just before the war broke out, and a French mother. And now I have a Dutch son…If I’m not an EU fanatic, then nobody is.
This is what the EU represents, despite all its shortcomings. And there are shortcomings in abundance. But multiculturalism and freedom of movement are the essence of the European ideal. I, and many others, are what we are because of this ideal.
The choices we made were ours to make. It is a crime to deny our children the same freedom of choice.
And now the email sent to the website of number 10. But will Theresa read it? 1000 characters, that’s all I had.