So the process of democracy now means I’m living a new country from the one I was living in only a few days ago. The UK will be leaving the EU. I type that with a heavy heart since whilst the EU is (was) far from perfect I firmly believed in the power of unity, collaboration, co-operation etc. However that is hard, 500 million people from a wide bunch of cultural backgrounds and with a load of history between us trying all to work together and agree… that is tough. Sadly the majority of my fellow Britains don’t take my few that the pain and the compromises necessary are in the long run better for us, economically, culturally and simply in the matter of peace in Europe in our time.
I was very active on social media before the vote, particularly as I’m want to do as a Specialist in Belbin or a Sage in Jungean archetypes, finding research pointing out the facts as I could uncover them etc. But the leaders of the exit campaign told us this was not the time to listen to experts but to be brave and bold. So we have been.
But what now? We are leaving the EU… well technically (sorry to point out the facts again I know it pisses people off but… ) we aren’t as we’ve not triggered Article 50 in the EU treaty. Once that happens two years of acrimonious divorce negotiations. My assumption I can’t see how when you’ve told 27 other countries that you think their club is rubbish how else it will go – how many amiable divorces do you know of?
We’ll have a new PM, selected either by a small cadre of backbench Tory MPs if they produce a shortlist of only one or voted on by less than 150,000 members of the party. Isn’t out democracy great – 17 million say out and the choice of the lead negotiator is left to less people than live in my council area.
One thing I’ve noticed a lot of on social media this week is the refrain from many that we need to stop whining about losing and get on with working at it. I’ve been thinking about this as I feel sad, depressed, let down etc. Here’s my point… Why should I? Nigel Farage has campaigned for 20 years to get out of the system we were in, he didn’t pull together to make it work in the EU why should I pull together to make it work out of it?
I had a very depressing conversation with my son yesterday. He has just, luckily, landed a 3 year contract at a top London university as a post doctoral researcher. However I work in that sector and know how much funding and support comes from the EU esp since 2010 and effectively a freezing of research budgets in the UK. I fear for his position in the future more than my own, although frankly I doubt I’ll now get to retirement without seeing massive redundancies in the sector. However my son is someone who on this occasion as rapidly moved through the change curve (you can tell I’ve not!) and was talking about how he needs to use the next 3 years to line up opportunities in the USA and Canada. Note he excludes EU as he doesn’t feel after we exit he’ll be welcome. Frankly for me personally I’m extremely sad and angry about the whole decision to leave and the crisis our country is now in is frankly not of my making so you know what… Think I’ll accept the things I cannot change and look to have the courage to change the things I can. At 53 emigration is unlikely to be honest and I’d rather not risk a move into the EU only to be forceably returned here when the exit completes if UK nationals are not allowed to stay. But maybe I’ll start the UKinEU party and in 20 years be celebrating in front of Westminster?