First allow me clarify: I am an EU immigrant, therefore somewhat biased one might say. But I’ll try my best not to be. Even though it’s hard. Very hard indeed. Brexit is the topic of the decade here in the UK and the one subject which takes 95% share of the news and of all discussions in this country. It’s the equivalent of Greece’s memorandum(s) where everyone in Greece since 2011 is talking about them and the crisis, well everyone here is talking about Brexit since last summer. And after 18 months it still feels like a day after the referendum which dooms this country into uncertainty and economic instability (told you it’s hard not to be biased).
So far there’s been no substantial progress between the EU and the not-so-effective UK negotiating teams. On the contrary there’s been tremendous ‘progress’ in inflation (3% from 0.5% before the referendum) and in the drop of the pound (£1.12 to € compared to £1.30 before the referendum). There’s a palpable misery and pessimism in the air, the result of last July has given the excuse for racists to come out of the closet and going back to the economy front, all goods are at least 15% more expensive now, insurances are up, fuel is up, interest rates are up (after 10 years!) and there’s a generic uncertainty which, according to the newly announced budget, will not allow the UK economy to grow more than 2% for the next 10 years. Fantastic! And think about that: we still haven’t even left the EU!
But for the fanatic Brexiteers out there it’s all good news. They’ve taken their country back. Immigration of course is soaring from non-EU countries but hey! they’ve taken back control or at least that’s what they hope. It’s obvious that the vast majority of people who voted from Brexit did it based on an illusion of grandeur long gone and because they blamed everything on immigration. Of course there are those who don’t like the EU and the way it operates and believe that a UK outside the EU will be truly better off. But these rational thinking individuals are the minority of the 52% who voted for Brexit. I respect their vote and rationale but I disagree. Because I think that UK has the power to change the EU. It’s one big power which can actually achieve great thinks in this big family. As a Greek I hate what EU is doing to my home country and I want the EU to change radically but I don’t want and never did want to leave the EU. The € maybe but not the EU.
There are now more and more voices crying for a Brexit reconsideration. Especially after Theresa May admitted that UK may have to pay up to £55bn as a divorce bill. There’s something not printed on Boris’s red -bullshit- bus. And of course the £350m/week back to the NHS have been cancelled the day after the referendum, let’s not forget about that! So we’ll end up paying £55bn to get a worse deal that we already have. That’s some fantastic negotiating ladies and gentlemen. There was a decision by the British people to buy an Audi -I’m going to use the analogy Chuka Umunna (Labour MP) used in last night’s Question Time in BBC. They were promised a fancy, shiny Audi with all bells and whistles. And as the Audi is being slowly delivered at their front porch they begin to realise that it’s not an Audi but a ‘clapped-out old banger and it looks like it may break down’. It’s not inevitable to take a step back and thing again as a nation: ‘Are we doing the right thing here for us and for our children? What are we going to lose and what are we going to win?’ Re-evaluating is something we still have the luxury of doing. It’s not too late.
I don’t put my faith neither in Corbyn nor of course on the Tory government. The former is the equivalent of Tsipras (the Greek PM) an ultra-populist who will promise anything just to appease to everyone and the latter, well it’s the Tories and they will do everything to appeal to the xenophobic part of the population which is the one actually making all the difference when the votes are counted. They even made a pact with DUP for crying out loud just to remain in power. I put my faith in common sense. I still believe there is time and that something will indeed change.
Follow this category of posts to hear (see) my views on Brexit as it unfolds and slowly but steadily disintegrates this, in all respects, great country I’m lucky to call home.