Sunday, 26 June 2016

An apology to the people of Europe

I've been umming and ahing about how to write this blog entry since I saw the result on Friday. I'm still not totally sure I know what to type here. I just feel I need to.

As anyone who knows me, or anyone who's read this blog over the past few weeks/months, will know I am a passionate supporter of the European Union. I don't consider it perfect. I'm not blind to its imperfections but I have faith in it. I hope I still can even if the UK is no longer a member as looks inevitable.

I have watched the EU grow over the years and celebrated each new accession. I have been happy to see people from all member nations come to Britain, believing their arrival has improved my country both financially and culturally. I have visited several EU countries, even learning an amount of French, Italian and Dutch to make this a more immersive experience. (BTW - I am not claiming to be a good speaker of any of these languages.)

But on Thursday most of my fellow Brits and UK resident Commonwealth citizens did not share this sentiment and our referendum resulted in the nightmare scenario of an exit.

This is where I need to start my apology. For this is going to have an impact beyond just these shores. This could cause pain across all member states. And this is not just financially. This could impact the growing sense of brotherhood and sisterhood between the 500+million citizens of the 28 countries. Similar demands for referenda in other countries are already being heard. I hope these do not lead to a disintegration of something as wonderful in spirit as the EU is.

I never wanted this referendum to take place. And I never expected this result even though I feared it was possible. After all for politicos who have spent two decades and more using the EU as a convenient target to kick to score a small, temporary upswing in their popularity to all of a sudden claim they are in favour of remaining doesn't ring true all that easily.

And I feel it goes much deeper than this. I think there is next to no trust in the political classes in this and many other countries at the moment. From sexed up dossiers through expenses scandals and a growing feeling that our elected officials are form a different breed to the working man and woman and lack and connection to them emotionally, spiritually, culturally or financially can we be surprised when some of the electorate rebel. I just wish they hadn't chosen this moment. Putting up protest candidates in the next general election would have been a better idea.

Anyway, I came to my keyboard today to try writing some more of my novel. I really need to get back into writing. Over the last few months I've lost my way (see earlier blog entries about the weight of so many rejections) and I was hoping to get it back. I'm just not sure today is going to be that day. I'm going to try though. I just wanted to say all this before I opened up the novel file.

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Dear European Union citizens,

I am a UK citizen. I am an EU citizen. The first will remain always (maybe). The second, alas, will be coming to an end soon. It is wrong. I wish it didn't have to be. I certainly cast my vote hoping to prevent it but not enough of my fellow countrymen and women felt the same way as me. I am not trying to remove myself from the blame. I didn't do enough I know to persuade others.

I am a UK citizen. And I am poorer (spiritually) since Friday. I can no longer count on a future of considering you all to be my brothers and sisters. I have a very heavy heart.

I am a UK citizen, but for the first time I am a little bit ashamed of the fact.

I am a UK citizen and I am sorry.

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