Dyer column on Brexit ‘really touched me’

July 19, 2019   ·   0 Comments

RE. Column “The Brexit Cult”. I want to applaud columnist Gwynne Dyer on his well-written piece about this awful mess in the UK that really touched me. I am a British native and Canadian citizen and have been watching with horror what’s been going on ‘back home’.

Dyer describes it quite well in saying the country has become unhinged. I cannot believe that the Conservative Party is pushing to leave the stronghold of the European Union without an exit deal. How can this possibly be the right or the best thing for a country? 

The English nationalism that seems to be running rampant in the past years appears to be winning over any sensible thoughts of how this xenophobic approach (aka Brexit) will negatively affect British people’s freedom to choose where to work anywhere in Europe, as well as their livelihoods – now and in the future.

My three siblings still live in Europe. My sister in Germany was hoping to return to the UK when she retires in a few years’ time and now is worried about her freedom to relocate and still receive her full pension from Germany. My other sister and her partner, who live in Northern Ireland, are now planning to move to the Republic of Ireland because they’re so worried that if and when the UK leaves the EU, the now open border between Ireland (an independent member of the EU) and Northern Ireland (part of the UK) will reinstate the checkpoints and militarisation of the border crossings. And they worry it would be only a matter of time before the old and still not forgotten animosities and violence would raise their ugly head again. She is also embarrassed to be British given all the foreigner-hating that’s been going on. Sadly, my third sibling is a Brexit supporter and falls squarely into the typical Conservative average, i.e. white, male, and more than wary of foreigners.

I too will at some point receive pensions from EU countries, both Germany and the UK, and still travel there to visit friends and family, and now unsure how the Brexit mess will affect me. 

I always used to feel that my emigration from the UK 20 years ago was not in any way driven by my being threatened economically, politically, religiously or due to a war zone or huge environmental catastrophe in my home country. It was merely a personal choice. Now, with the elitist and racist agenda of Brexit supporters vying to return the country to colonialist attitudes and a grande British empire, and economists’ dire predictions of the effects on the UK economy, I am glad I chose to relocate to Canada before I was forced to!

Martina Rowley

Orangeville resident

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