I want my country back. And I also want to take back control. I’m not asking for complete control, just an iota would be nice at this point. Because right now, I feel like an alien in my own country and like I have no voice at all. Yes, I am a Remainer, a Remoaner, a certified member of the liberal metropolitan elite. I speak four languages, have lived in five countries and have been fortunate enough to travel to many more, and on top of it all, I live in Islington, that north London liberal stronghold. So despite my burgundy British passport, I am officially a citizen of nowhere, at least according to our current Prime Minister.
In another universe, the one that existed prior to 23 June 2016, being liberal and metropolitan and understanding other cultures and countries was actually seen as an asset. I felt that I could build links with other people, that I could advance British interests in other parts of the globe and that I could bring the best of what other places had to offer back home. Win-win, right?
Brexit is an attack on everything I stand for and my entire way of life. I can only begin to imagine how unwelcome EU citizens here must feel, but I can assure you, there are plenty of British citizens like me who feel similarly unwelcome and despairing, even if we do not face the threat of having to leave the UK.
It is difficult to accurately convey what Brexit feels like. How it has ripped me apart, torn up my identity, made me less proud to be British, made me feel sorry for my European friends and sad for my fellow British citizens, many of whom will end up bearing the brunt of our nation’s inevitable decline towards second-rate status. I do not understand how to even begin choosing between my Britishness and my Europeanness — the two are just elements of what makes up my varied identity, elements that have melded together to form who I am. Brexit is forcing me to choose, but I cannot, it’s completely impossible. It feels like being asked to split the blue and yellow colours out from a green bucket of paint: you know there is blue and yellow in there, but they are forever fused.
As a result, since the morning of 24 June 2016, I have been in a state of some confusion, constantly torn in different directions and trying to make sense of the steady stream of incomprehensible madness coming out of Westminster and much of the press. Sometimes I feel like I must be living in a parallel universe. For how can our politicians, who are supposed to know better, be taking us down this path of destruction and be condemning us to a future of struggle and irrelevance?
Everything feels out of control. Whether you voted Remain or Leave, surely we can all agree that the government has no plan. No plan at all. And seen from here, Brexit has already inflicted irreparable damage to our country’s reputation, the fabric of our society and the pillars of our democracy. We need to come together to stop any further damage and to reunite this deeply divided nation. We need to fight to get our country back.