Brexit: Chronicle of a Catastrophe

I AWOKE early, I mean really early, that morning in June 2016.

It was just getting light, that kind of grey pallor that Britain is so often afflicted with, summer or winter. The local results of the EU Referendum were still arriving from around the UK, but it was evident that ‘Leave’ had already won.

Leave? To go where? I remember threatening to leave home when I was 11. My father asked me, “How much money I had.” I looked down at the ground, “£4 something.” “Well,” my father promptly replied, “You won’t get far with that, will you?”

How could ‘leaving the European Union’ be possible? No more living, or loving, across international boundaries. An amazing achievement of modernity; glasnost. The country had lost its mind, I was sure. Finally, around 8am, it was definite: “And that’s it.” gloated the BBC presenter — I had never liked him anyway — “We’re out!”

More than three years later I still struggle to explain to other Brits my feelings of anxiety about what might be coming, and of very deep loss about what might happen. Grief, actually. I am European. What will I do? Quo vadis?

I can tell you that, as Britain approaches 12/12/19, living here is a bizarre experience. There is little media discussion about the many positive aspects of EU membership, as opposed to the abyssal alternative that is Brexit. An absolute abyss: no partners, few prospects, little influence. Brits have become like lonely schoolchildren: you know, the ones that stand apart in the corner of the playground, with no friends.

Even in public the ‘B’ word is mostly avoided. Because, according to the politicians and commentators — the supposed influencers — people are ‘tired of Brexit’, and just ‘want it finished’. Well no-one has asked me. I want to Reverse the Curse, because we’re going to be worse off — the vast majority of us. Such reasoning however has no audience. “Give Back my Future,” I cry. But the corresponding silence is deafening.

The ‘will of the people’ must be fulfilled, some repeat ad nauseam. Okay, but la volonte du peuple changes. New information emerges, and people return to their senses. I trust.

Ray Bryant, Burghclere Down, Andover