I am currently living in the EU27 and was lucky enough to be able to vote in the referendum. Unfortunately, the referendum won with a slim margin for leave, which this government has interpreted to mean that we should pursue the hardest of brexits, and quite frankly to hell with any so-called “bargaining chips” who stands in its way.
This has had an enormous impact on me, my life and my family. As I said, I live in the EU27, but I used to live in the North West, where my elderly father still lives. He also voted to remain and is all too aware of the potential consequences this has on his grandchildren and his relationship with them. He is a sprightly 74-year-old, but things can change. I am very worried about how this will affect his rights to come for longer visits to stay with his grandchildren, and on a darker note, what would happen to him if he needs care. Under the EU rules I could possibly arrange for him to come and stay with us, as long as his health care insurance covered it. Now – who knows?
I know there will be plenty of people who will cry “why did you leave then?” so I’m just going to nip this in the bud. I don’t need to justify my actions but here it is anyway. To be honest we couldn’t survive in the UK. The austerity imposed by the government meant we were trapped. I am a graduate with an MA and worked at a University. I was by no means on a bad wage. Childcare costs and student debt, however, were crippling us. We were too poor to be rich, but too rich to get any support from the government. We were basically breaking even each month – barely. Sometimes only £10 off from going in the red. We were barely living. We were barely surviving. We lived in a tiny flat with one child and another on the way. We could see no other way out for us. We moved to give our children a better start in life. My father despite knowing it would restrict him seeing his grandchildren supported us wholeheartedly and still says “it was the best thing you ever did”. We chose to move because it was our right to do so. We didn’t change the rules. Cambridge Analytica, Theresa May, Nigel Farage and his mates Bannon and Mercer changed the rules. How is that democratic? I still see people say “you lost, get over it” but the truth is I never will. I say this with pride. I will never give in to right-wing rhetoric which is all about diminishing people and their rights – I will never give up fighting for what is right, for my children or for my elderly father. Because no matter how many dead fish Nigel Farage drops in the Thames, no matter how many boats he sets ablaze, Brexit is personal and will destroy lives and relationships.