I should’ve written and posted this article at the end of March 2019. The UK should’ve come out of the EU on the 29th March 2019. But, that didn’t happen. Then, the exit day was moved to the 12th April, but again it didn’t happen. The new exit day is the 31st October 2019. I don’t want to repeat the events that happened over the past 4 or so months. It was so ridiculous that I am almost ashamed to even think about what was happening, let alone write about it. Rather, I would like to write about what I think about the Brexit insanity.
Back in June 2016, the UK held a referendum on the EU membership. I voted REMAIN! 17.41 million people voted to leave the EU, while 16.14 million people voted to stay. The UK had approximately 65.65 million people in 2016.
This means that approximately 26.50% of the UK population in 2016 voted to leave. So, whenever someone says that Brexit is the “will of the people”, they are lying. It was the will of 17.41 million people that voted to leave and no one else. Then, we can ask the question: “But, what about the will of 16.14 million people that voted to stay?” Should all these people be ignored? What about 32 million people that didn’t vote for whatever reason? What about Scotland and Northern Ireland that both voted to remain? Basically, the will of two constituent nations of the Union has been completely ignored by the devious conservative government.
Back in February 2016, the conservative government did not call the referendum in the interest of the nation. Rather, a fraction of xenophobic elements within the conservative party threatened to move to UKIP, which was another xenophobic and racist party. The one and only role of the referendum was to prevent the split within the conservative party. When you consider this, you can’t help but wonder about the arrogance of a person that called that referendum, with total disregard for the country. To put the interest of the conservative party above the national interest was pure evil.
No one should be surprised that Brexit has not yet happened. It’s very simple – no option is better than being a member of the EU. Whether some people like it or not, geographically the UK is in Europe and that can never change. At the same time, membership in one of the most powerful economic blocks in the whole world certainly makes sense. Also, how is it possible that 27 countries are happy to be in the EU and the UK is the only one that wants to come out? Are 17.41 million people that voted to leave more clever than approximately 450 million people in 27 EU countries? Am I missing something here?
But for me personally, the most invaluable is the freedom of movement. I believe that it’s difficult, perhaps almost impossible for people in other parts of the world to fully comprehend what the freedom of movement really means. For example, if you are Spanish and you decide to move to Germany to live and work, all you need to do is to pack your suitcase and go to Germany. You would only need to register with the local authorities, to obtain the local social security number and that’s all. In other words, a person from one EU country can move to another EU country without any obstacle.
That’s not possible in any other part of the world. Of course, people move between countries, but legally it has to be for a good reason and with a lot of permits. You don’t need any permit to move within the EU, it all depends on whether you want to move or not. You can decide to stay in your country forever or you can go and explore another country and gain new experiences, learn a language and immerse yourself in different cultures.
The funniest thing of all is that I have 2 nationalities. I’m Serbian by birth and I’m also British. Serbia is not in the EU and it’s desperate to become a member. The UK is in the EU and is desperate to get out. I observe current Brexit events from my Serbian perspective. I don’t really think that people in the UK truly appreciate the EU membership. Just this for example, a Serbian person can almost never legally live and work in any EU country. I know so many people in Belgrade who would love to have that opportunity, but that’s simply not possible for them. Serbs do go to other countries to work, but mostly in very specialised professions, such as doctors and nurses and only after they have passed rigorous tests and approvals. Even then, the time that they can stay is often limited.
I’m very glad that I have my Serbian nationality, at least I have an option, although it’s not ideal. When the UK comes out of the EU, I will have two nationalities and both will be non-EU.
So, we now have to wait until the end of October to see what happens and whether or not the UK will come out of the EU and on what terms. It seems that it’s impossible to agree a deal that is satisfactory to various groups within the country. At the same time, coming out from the EU without a deal is equal to economic suicide. The pound devalued after the referendum and it never recovered.
I was in China in June 2016, I arrived several days before the referendum. I changed some cash one day before the referendum and I received 9.73 yuan for 1 pound. The day after the rate was 9.03 yuan for 1 pound. Everything became nearly 10% more expensive overnight. This also means that my every travel in the past 3 years since the referendum was approximately 10%-20% more expensive because of the devalued pound. How insane and totally unnecessary this all is?
Anyway, I will brace myself for more insanity in October this year. Or perhaps, I may get surprised if sanity prevails and Brexit doesn’t happen. We will see!