I know politics is not the usual subject in this blog, but I want to make an exception. We are right now at 31st of January 2020, the day the United Kingdom leaves the EU.
A bit of background first: I am a Spaniard that has been living in Ireland for the last 10 years. I’ve always been influenced by British culture, I guess through music and literature, and at some point I was considering moving to the UK for work.
When I read the results of the referendum, back in 2016, I was utterly in shock. I think it was the time I’ve been most in disbelief of a political event ever. It felt like completely surreal. So much that I changed my Internet avatar to include an EU flag. This may result silly for you, but I keep my avatar as my persona, and I’m very protective about it. To put things in context, the only other time I added a flag to my avatar was due the train bombing attacks in Madrid in 2004. I feel deeply European, and feel “at home” not only in Ireland, but also when travelling to France, Italy, Portugal or Germany…
And this whole process of the Brexit is so so frustrating. I’ve been keeping a close eye to the politics of UK during the last years, and I’ve been surprise by the sheer misunderstanding of, well mostly everything.
From the point of view of Ireland, that also has troubling implications. The Irish Border is an incredibly complicated problem, but it was dismissed for a long time, and even now I’m not sure most English politicians even understand properly the issue.
This post has been drafted for months, trying to capture my thoughts and feelings, but it’s just so difficult to write something that doesn’t feel incredibly silly, outdated or redundant.
During this almost four years, I think we collectively pass through a lot of states, from incredulity to relief, to acceptance to Schadenfreude, sometimes all at the same time. This long and complicated process has also exacerbated the nationalistic feelings, something that I don’t like and even scares me. Probably at this point everyone is tired and happy to see it moving to the next stage.
There’s still emotion attached. This rare moment in the European Parliament was particularly moving
Still, inside of me there’s still that shock, and the nagging feeling that this is a step in the opposite direction on where I’d like to move… It’s also the start of another part of the process, full of painful negotiations, and likely disappointments…
This is not over yet. And won’t be for a while…